India is, in many senses, a typical example of a modern nation-state. It  contains within itself most of that which commends a State to the universal  body politic. It has managed to stay within the definition of ‘democratic’ – the  brief blip that was the Emergency notwithstanding. It has an elaborate, written  constitution clearly delineating the three pillars of the modern nation-state and  demarcating their respective roles. It guarantees the rights of its citizens in  virtually identical terms as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to life, the right to freedom of speech, the right to equality and the equal protection of the law, etc. In fact, the Indian constitution  incorporates, as a Fundamental Right, the right to directly move the Supreme  Court in case the State violates any of the guaranteed, Fundamental Rights.

On paper, India also has a fairly elaborate and developed system of justice.  The best and the most liberal strands of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence have been  interwoven into the foundation of the system. There is a clearly defined  hierarchy of courts with the Supreme Court at the top. The powers vested in  the Supreme Court: to do justice, to protect the Fundamental Rights of people
in general and citizens in particular, are truly sweeping. The flanks, so to  speak, are amply covered by the High Courts, which have even more sweeping  powers in many respects.

At first , it seems inevitable that backed by such might, the ‘Rule of Law’  cannot but prevail. However, for the vast majority of Indians repression is the  only truth. Repression is not just a matter of custodial torture and extrajudicial murder. Mis-governance or mal-governance is repression too. While  some countries have developed a ‘cradle to grave’ system of welfare, we in  India are confronted with a State apparatus that has perfected a ‘cradle to  grave’ system of repression and oppression.

Look from the eyes of  the Dalits, the Tribals, the abjectly poor, the abysmally helpless and ignorant, the landless, the women,
and all those who are or are forced to become marginal to the mainstream. They easily comprise an overwhelming majority. Their lives are an endless  saga of misery and oppression without redemption. For most, if not all, the  system does not even hold out a possibility of succour or relief. If asked, most  of them will say that the State, in one or more of its myriad avatars, has been
the handmaiden of oppression and repression in their lives, if not the active  agent.

Here is background information on the Repressive Laws

Draconian and Black laws of India

PUDR Crtique of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act


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