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No political arena should look like a football stadium

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01.01.2020

The last few weeks have seen a massive social and political up-churn, with protests rising against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA). A lot of discussion has taken place over the “discriminatory" nature of the Act, its constitutionality, and linkage with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process, which India’s home minister mentioned on earlier occasions. Still, let’s take a step back to see how a given law that has sparked massive protests, spread feelings of fear and negative solidarity and is causing a communal divide can be seen as justified in its “implementation".

In Republic Of Beliefs, Kaushik Basu provided an extensive framework to discuss how and why certain nations are not able to execute laws once a sovereign’s implementation process underestimates some of the social and economic costs that these laws impose on citizens and functionaries. This happens when a sovereign (or a government in power) legislates assuming the absolute loyalty of government functionaries (those responsible for implementing the law) and of those perceived as “subjects" (to whom it applies).

In the context of countries like India, founded on principles of a constitutional democracy, two elements are critical in the legislative process for upholding and safeguarding constitutional values: An efficient administration and a dignified process of governance. An inability to ensure one would naturally........

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