Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy

Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy

Sedition is serious business. The fear of sedition is paranoia, which itself is a sign of fragile national confidence.

Sedition is serious business. The fear of sedition is paranoia, which itself is a sign of fragile national confidence.

Slapping of sedition charges against 49 filmmakers, artists and intellectuals who were signatories to an open letter written to Prime Minister Modi intended to draw the attention of growing number of mob lynchings and incidents of case and religion based discrimination in the country is indeed shocking and chilling development.

Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy, and throughout history, we have seen why it matters.

In India, if you express your opposition and you become a destabiliser. If you raise a question and you will be tagged as an enemy of the state.

If you give factual, concrete information that debunks what was stated and you suddenly become a member of the opposing political party. If you check the facts and set the record straight, and people will call you biased. This has become the new normal. This makes our democracy unhealthy.

When we don't encourage dissent and discussion, democracy withers. Listening to what others have to say is an integral part of creating solutions that will make the nation a better place.

Difference in opinion is inevitable, but what is important is that we know how to respect another person's viewpoint on things, especially when objective and not mere speculation.

Dissent is important, if not necessary, and if we disregard this as a fundamental of democracy, then what our forefathers fought for would never make sense at all.

The slapping of sedition charges is an attempt to browbeat the protesters into submission. Under the present dispensation, the state's brutality seems a constant.

It is almost a certainty that such grim ironies will continue to stalk the nation until the media and people devise a mechanism to ensure that the fog of forgetfulness does not shroud the state's brutality.

Presently an ideological fight is going on in the country and it's about if the country be ruled by one person and one ideology and all the others should shut their mouth.

Try as the government might, they will be unable to suppress their voices or use these arrests to chill others.

Javvadi Lakshmana Rao, Visakhapatnam

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