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Unity is not conformity — India should know that as Prashant Bhushan is convicted for contempt

India is a criticism-surplus society, but one trip to China or Singapore will tell you why its much better than a robotic society.

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What makes us different from the Chinese? For one, we are a criticism-surplus society.

Dissent and difference, we must remind ourselves, are foundational to democratic societies. The public culture of a robust democracy must be diverse, even contentious. India is no exception to this rule.

In fact, we Indians love to complain. We criticise everything, starting with each other and, especially, those in power — much more than is necessary, useful, or true. Criticism, for us, is a way of life. It’s how we vent our frustrations. When nothing works as it should, bitching about our lives is our safety valve. It helps us reconcile ourselves to what we cannot change.

When you visit other countries, where civil liberties are not as well-entrenched or safeguarded as in India, the contrast can be striking, even breath-taking. But Prashant Bhushan’s contempt of court charges can dangerously blur that difference.

Also read: Why I look forward to Prashant Bhushan’s contempt case hearing, if it’s full and fair

Robotic China

In my eight trips to China, I was often struck by how difficult it was to get anyone’s opinion on anything, let alone on politics. Politics, as we know it, doesn’t exist in China. Anything to do with the government was, of course, off-limits except in private conversations with trusted friends or interlocutors.

In every committee, including an ordinary departmental meeting of a university, a representative of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was a mandatory presence. I asked a colleague in a leading university where I was lecturing, “Do they interfere, though?” His reply made me think. “You never know. They hardly say anything. Unless you do something that flagrantly violates the party line. But no one would dare to do that anyway. So they say nothing, know everything, and when they act, as when someone is sacked or transferred, you can’t be sure it’s because of them.” The result? One hardly speaks one’s mind.

But what about ordinary citizens, such as taxi drivers, restaurant managers, hotel staff, or, even students? It was hard to get any of them to express a view on anything other than the most mundane things. The young, I found, were vocal about products and consumer items. There they exercised choice and had opinions. But catch anyone saying that a foreign product was better than something Chinese-made and it would be couched in some sort of patriotic prattle: “Oh, we have some catching up to do there.” I was told that even about Indian films or Indian food, both of which, especially the former, have registered a rising appeal. “We need to improve the popularity of our film industry and our version of Indian food.” Just as, say, Punjabi Chinese is our favourite eat-out cuisine, the Chinese would also come up with Chinese desi, given half a chance.

When I tried to ask someone about, say, Taiwan, Honk Kong, or, worse, Tibet, I got nothing but the official line—or should I say, lie? I was repeatedly told, even by educated people, that the Chinese leadership was dedicated and excellent. They would find a solution. Intellectuals would say, “That is not my domain. Consult so-and-so who specialises in that field.” Those actually dedicated to diplomacy, policy, economics, or other government-allied fields would only offer pragmatic and useful inputs. Not speculative or innovative ideas that had little practical value. “We are trying to build a great country,” I was told, “we don’t have time or the luxury for such non-focussed or useless mental stimulation.”

Even ordinary people, whom I tried to talk to about simple things such as food, clothes, housing, or retirement plans, gave non-committal answers. Whatever you asked, the usual answer was “Oh yes, that is good”, or “Life is good”, or “Books are very good.” Not which author was better than others, or what happened to your grandparents during the Cultural Revolution, or what’s the difference between Marx and Mao.

Everything was all right and if it was not, the leaders would take care of it. Their leaders, unlike ours, were never seen, except on special, well-orchestrated ceremonial occasions. But just because they were not in your face, didn’t mean that they were not omnipresent, omnipotent, or omniscient. In the end, despite so much cultural, linguistic, geographical, and social diversity, I found much of China to be metaphysically and spiritually monotonous, even arid. The body language of a disciplined, compliant populace is robotic, in addition to being too orderly.

Also read: Prashant Bhushan’s refusal to apologise puts him in the same league as Gandhi and Mandela

Democracies need dissent

Apart from China, even ethnically Chinese-dominated free states such as Singapore tend to be highly regulated and controlled. When I first visited the island-nation, considered by some to be a contemporary version of Plato’s republic, I was told, only half-jokingly, “Even the birds must take Lee Kuan Yew’s permission before they can chirp in the morning.” Lee was Singapore’s extraordinary founding Prime Minister and ruled from 1959 to 1990 with an iron hand, more or less. Now his son, Lee Hsien Loong, is in charge, having been the Prime Minister for the last 16 years, since 2004.

In Singapore, both the free press and the right of dissent of opposition politicians and private citizens have been curbed quite effectively through legal and judicial means. In most cases, dissent has been, quite literally, driven to bankruptcy through relentless litigation under laws that are too strict to tolerate the criticism of the government or those in power beyond tepid and enforceable boundaries.

Authoritarian societies, even when well-managed, are not very attractive to live in. They do not nurture the human spirit. I know that this is not likely to ever happen in India.

But strong states, strong leaders, and strong ideologies function very differently in democracies than in dictatorships—they show magnanimity, confidence, and respect for differences of opinion. Homogeneity of opinion is soul-killing. Unity, let us remember as Prashant Bhushan faces sentencing for contempt, is not conformity.

If he goes to jail, Bhushan will be a hero, a martyr even to the cause of the right to dissent. He has already been compared to Gandhi and Mandela. But the Supreme Court may end up seeming just a little more unforgiving and less secure.

The author is a Professor and Director at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. His Twitter handle is @makrandparanspe. Views are personal.

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  1. It is not true that, “Authoritarian societies, even when well-managed, are not very attractive to live in.” Ask the Chinese whether they would like to live in democratic India in preference to living in autocratic China? THEY WOULD FLATLY TELL YOU NO! ON THE OTHER HAND, INDIANS ARE LINING UP TO LEAVE DEMOCRATIC INDIA TO GO TO AUTOCRATIC COUNTRIES TO LIVE THERE AND WORK! THERE HAVE BEEN CASES IN WHICH, WHEN THEIR WORK VISA IN SUCH COUNTRIES EXPIRED, AND THEIR APPLICATIONS FOR EXTENSION OF VISA WERE TURNED DOWN, THEY HAD APPLIED FOR REFUGEE STATUS! AN INDIAN FROM DEMOCRATIC INDIA SEEKING REFUGEE STATUS IN AN AUTOCRATIC COUNTRY! WHY WOULDN’T HE WANT TO RETURN TO DEMOCRATIC INDIA TO ENJOY THE FREEDOM OF DEMOCRACY? What you don’t seem to know is that, in autocratic countries people live with the same freedoms the people in democratic countries. They can go around their daily chores the same as the people in democratic countries do. Even frank criticism of government is also OK in the autocratic countries. The problem comes when one meddles in politics, and crosses certain “red” lines. But then even in a democratic India, how free one is to criticise the government? What are these sedition charges lawsuits being filed at the drop of a hat? Ask any journalist how free he/she feels criticising the government? How many of them have been dragged to courts? How low India’s place is on the press freedom index!

  2. This article is bullshit….comparing this Bhushan scenario to China shows immaturity of the writer..Print publishing it loose its standards. India is suffering with excess freedom and this article is an example of that..

  3. People who find fault with SC, ought to read the judgement; which is well reasoned and where PB has crossed the Lakshman Rekha.
    Moreover PB has arrogated to himself halo of being more righteous than SC; thereby belittling the institution. In his quest for being more righteous he has also attacked the Sovereignity of India. Such people can only be brought to sense by uncivil means; as was brought home to him by Kejriwal men.

  4. Comparing himself to Mahatma and Mandela, and getting the supporters to clap does not take away the fact that the free speech is only where the non- violent segment of the society is concerned.
    So long as the concept of blasphemy is recognized in some segments of the society , why should a similar concept not apply to the courts?

  5. Wow! What a convenient method to justify and coverup the wrong expressions by a motivated individual like Prashant Bhushan. You have to compare apple with an apple. Why compare India and China? Why not we compare India with the USA when it comes to the expression of dissent? It is a sorry state of an affair that the author while obliquely supporting the crossing of the line by the offender also does not understand the difference between a dissent and an arrogant demonstration of a rebellious attitude against the highest institution of justice on which the entire Nation unconditionally relies on. There could be some instances of corrupt practices by certain individuals in every institution but then to cite these instances as precedence and to paint the whole entity with the brush of corruption surely will call for a reprimand and that is what the Hon’ ble Supreme court has done in case of Prashant Bhushan.

  6. Prashant Bhushan is not an ordinary citizen, he is an officer of the court.
    He can not one day be a lawyer in the court and next day say that justices are corrupt.
    For example, Virat Kohli can not call the umpires corrupt.
    There has to be a sense of responsibility.
    If you want to be a revolutionary then be ready to pay the price.

  7. In my humble opinion, Prashant Bhushan needs to cool his heels in the clinck for a few months. This is not a case of dissent. This is a matter of sending a strong signal that the lawyers can’t behave like mafiasco in front of the court. Just because these mafiascos have foreign funded NGOs and political muscle behind them does not mean that they can demand benches of their choices and disrespect the judges in open court. Scum like Bhushan deserve to taste the jail life for a few months. I hope the SC gives him the maximum jail time permitted under the law.

  8. At the same time people at higher positions should exercise a sense of responsibility before shooting their mouth off like Prashant Bhushan. Just you have a democratic right to speak garbage you do not speak garbage. Prashant has largely compromised his reputation through this incident. Responsible folks do not wag their tongue on all sides. It need be like China or Singapore monochromtic but it does not have to free for all either. He was part of the legal institutions and he spitting on his own plate. Then what is his contribution to this system so far? His character and contribution to the system is questionable. Only in India you can enjoy the privileges of deep rooted in the same system, be an elite, enjoy all the privileges of the system also be critical about it when it is convenient. No skin in the game, but only games.

  9. Really? We are going to compare a democracy to China and Singapore? This alone should ring alarm bells about the state of our nation. Let’s compare to UK, France, Germany and other such mature democracies and see how we fare against them.

  10. Congratulations on your transformation “The Print” for your true colour and following the footprints of godi media. You are no more hidden. Keep publishing such articles from bigots. True courage makes real heroes but not savarkars. Hope you got what I m referring to.

  11. Real News is at Risk. You mean for years the nonsense that Burkha fed us is at risk. You are unable to peddle that nonsense anymore. You manged to get an Entire generation hate thier motherland instead working with government and solving the country problems. You were sleeping with enemy to make a few fist full of dollars. Pathetic free loaders. And you are at Risk. You should be.

  12. Mr Prashant Bhushan did not produce a shred of evidence nor direct evidence or circumstancial evidence to prove his allegations. So, his alligations are proved to be mal-intentioned and as he is a learned man of the law, deserves the full force of the law… mercy or mitigation of punishment is justified for him….expect and desire the honorable SC sentence him to the max prescribed punishment of six months rigorous imprisonment without any bail or appeal.

  13. Since when false accusation equald to decent. Bhushan should be sent to jail for making frivolous claims without any substance. This should be set as a lesson for everyone who spreads false information and later try to hide behind article 19. You can have decent but cannot malign others image without any evidence. And remember Bhushan is a repeated offender in since 2000’s, I would say court has been rather forgiving towards him.

  14. Since when false accusation equald to decent. Bhushan should be sent to jail for making frivolous claims without any substance. This should be set as a lesson for everyone who spreads false information and later try to hide behind article 19. You can have decent but cannot malign others image without any evidence. And remember Bhushan is a repeated offender in since 2000’s, I would say court has been rather forgiving towards him.

  15. Mr,PB IN MY OPINION THINKS HE IS Above everything under the sun and can abuse I repeat abuse anybody who does not tow his way?

  16. Those in power can not claim to be very pure and have done no wrong in their lives. As everyone knows no body has risen in power ladder without following a path of lot of wrongs and their some the deeds may be criminal in nature.

  17. Are you justifying the recent activities by comparing our nation with some other conveniently chosen nations, everybody knows we are better than Pakistan, Libiya, North Korea falana dhimkana. You’re a kind of passive godi media, and the role of Mr. Shekhar Gupta is clearly seen in the national media, he boards two boats together conveniently. You don’t have the guts for a alternative media we should subscribe for.

  18. Punish this moron Prashant bhushan
    I feel he may be not guilty now but in past he has wasted court time and tax payers money to satisfy his ego.

  19. Thoughts and energy of all people should be focused to one direction like China to become a superpower.

  20. Simultaneously why the author could not analyse with so much of controls on freedom of people how China has become most powerful country in manufacturing, n exports, Technology n research , Infrastructure, productivity n Fx reserves in the world n why India is limping in all above parameters despite its open democracy peoples freedom for speech occupation, criticism n argumentation. Where things r going wrong in a country where freedom is unfettered.

  21. Let us cherish our freedom of speech but then it is not a license to show at every violation … someone has to draw a line somewhere and say enough… whether he will be a hero or zero … only time will tell but it should not be a threat to the judiciary to fall in his line of thinking . At times I wonder .. do we really deserve this kind of democracy?

  22. Anything in excess is addictive. Any addiction is bad. There is just no purpose in boiling the ocean!

  23. Nice to know that some people who inhabit the right-wing political spectrum have a positive view towards dissent! After all, you guys were the ones who jailed people for sedition for saying ‘No to war!’ after the Pulwama terrorist attack!

    But it’s surprising that you cannot see the writing on the wall as far as India and Hinduism is concerned! ‘Kiya toh sahi kiya hoga.. Nahi toh Modi ne kuch toh soch liya hoga’, is already the dominant view in the Hindi heartland. ‘Modi is working so hard for us. You must not doubt him!’ ‘Modi only wants to make India a great nation.. how can you even question him?!’ Aren’t these current opinions very much like the Chinese?! Modi has crushed dissent with rape threats by the IT Cell, a lap-dog media, drying up ads for the few vestiges of independent media remaining, and the open sycophanty of democratic institutions! Arun Mishra is after all Amit Shah’s ex-lawyer, and has become infamous for passing unjust verdicts that blatantly favour the Modi government!

    The BJP’s aim is to run a China-like system, where they are the only party existing. They will justify it by banking on religious majoritarianism. After all, the 80% Hindus in India are under an existential threat by the remaining 20%, and only BJP can protect their religious interests.

    And coming to Hinduism, there’s a sentence in the article that stands out – ‘Homogeneity of opinion is soul-killing.’ This homogeneity of religious views, language, and culture is killing the plural soul of Hinduism, and India with it!!

  24. Democracy needs dissent, but here it is organized, pathological , repetitive , destructive, may be financially induced & time consuming for higher court.

  25. Prashant Bhushan will be hero for those who want to make him hero. He is blue eyed boy of leftists liberals known for hypocrisy and dichotomy.

  26. Democracy needs dissent, but here it is organized,pathological ,repetitive , destructive, may be financially induced & time consuming for higher court.

  27. Prashant Bhushan comments were not dissent at all. It was an attack on judges and judiciary for not giving a judgement to their liking. It is a fact people started having doubt about the impartiality of the supreme Court due to constant attack on judiciary in a malicious rather than constructive legal attack. Due to high tolerance and patience of supreme Court in the name of freedom of speech, the attack was becoming contemptuous.

    • Which judgement are you talking about?! There are a lot of people criticizing the judiciary.. that the court is hand in glove with the govt is a well-known fact. Even the right-wingers acknowledge this.. they openly claim that Modi fixed the Ram temple verdict.. did the court file any contempt case against them?!

      Arun Mishra is only picking on PB to curb the wide criticism of his own judgements.. The way he has interfered in multiple cases where the High Courts were seized of the matter.. his blatantly biased judgements.. and his sycophantic praise of Modi are all black marks on the judiciary.. this contempt case is just to scare people into becoming silent!

  28. It’s nice to know that people who in general support the Indian right-wing viewpoint have a positive view towards dissent. It was after all the right-wingers who jailed people for sedition for saying ‘No to war’ after the Pulwama terrorist attack!!

    But I’m very surprised you don’t see the writing on the wall as far as India, as well as Hinduism is concerned! ‘Kiya toh sahi kiya hoga.. nahi toh Modi ne kuch toh soch liya hoga!’ is already being bandied about by right wingers to justify any unjustifiable move by Modi! This is already the dominant, unquestioning view in the Hindi heartland. ‘Modi works day and night for us. Trust him!’ ‘Modi only has the interests of India at heart. He wants to make us a great nation. He is working ceaselessly for that. We must not question him!’ These current views are very much like like China, no?! The BJP wants to have a China-like system here, where they are the only party in existence. And they will justify it by using the majoritarianism of being part of the dominant religion. After all, 80% of Indians are Hindus, and only BJP can take care of the religious interests of majority, who are under an existential threat by the 20%!! Do note that economy, security, jobs, etc., are not even a factor to consider!

    And coming to Hinduism, a sentence definitely strikes a chord – ‘Homogeneity of opinion is soul-killing.’ And the BJP’s attempt at homogeneity of religious views, languages, political opinions and so on is killing the soul of not just India, but Hinduism too!

  29. Prashant Bhushan is being compared to Mandela amd Gandhi not because he is like one of them. That is, ridiculous, intellectually lazy, far fetched and rhetorical to say the least. He is being compared so as to pressurise the courts to let him off the hook so that he carries on with his misdemeanours. Ever since the courts took up this space the Left liberals in the media have been writing one article after the other as to how justice will be crucified at the alter of SC’s pride and ego if Bhushan is punished. Never mind if Bhushan has hurled baseless and reckless charges against the highest court of the land without backing it up with evidence. He is doing hit and run since 2014 because since then Bhushan has not been able to fix the bench, select the bench and get the verdict as per his choice. So in a way what Bhushan is saying is if you listen to me and agree with me then he agrees and respects the judiciary , otherwise the judges are corrupt, biased and it is end of democracy in India. This is my way or highway attitude which cant be tolerated. Let this man go to jail. No one ia going to hail him as a hero except the “do kuaudike patrakars” and some NGOs whose foreign remittances have been blocked and the congress and Left ecosystem. Let them be cry babies. Just ignore them and keep Tihar ready for Bhushan.

  30. Authoritarian Governments dampen the spirit of its people the writer says. Both Singapore and China have a track record on infrastructure development and welfare measures to the underprivileged , much better than ours. It is time we stop bemoaning the ills of growing authoritarianism and focus on creating the checks and balances through legislation for regulatory institutions. High Nett Worth politically motivated advocates are not worth the tax payers resources.

  31. India is no longer a democracy. It is actually more authoritarian today than Singapore. I came to India from Singapore 10 years back and I find Singapore more democratic and the govt far more open to listen to criticism from its people than India.

    Unlike a China or a Russia where people do not really have a choice about their govt, people of India have actually chosen a govt which has systematically destroyed every democratic institutions in the country – the last bastions of which were the army and the judiciary. India will go down in history as the only country that went from being a vibrant functioning democracy to a completely authoritarian state very soon. And Indians, fed on the continuous stream of fake news from the BJP propaganda machinery will continue to believe they live in a democracy.

  32. Those who wrote against SC, and in support of Prashant B., have not done it for PB or for the sake of democracy. They all have done it in their own defense, for what they are going to do by making haphazard statements, worse than that of PB. No one of them cares whether PB goes to jail or not. They want unlimited liberties of abusing every top authority.

  33. The honourable apex court has, with profound respect, erred, and erred grievously. It would be wise, for the health and credibility of the institution, to step back, not allow false prestige to dictate the next step. Many Indians now feel deep misgivings. Millions of them cannot be jailed for contempt.

  34. First of all stop comparing. Secondly, democracy dosen’t mean you utter shit and that too againt Judiciary, when decision not in your favour, and expect no punishment.
    Mr. Bhushan wud file PIL after PIL n that too in front of those judges who were his favourite. Now things not working his way so he utters rubbish. Well punishment is must as he has taken liberty or free speech for granted.

  35. Bhushan is Gandhi or Mandela. What type of bullshit is this. Right to speak does not give the right to slander. If he has left unpunished, tomorrow he will malign anyone under the guise of right to speak in democracy. Your right ends where my nose starts.

  36. Accusing and abusing without any substance that LIBRANDUS indulge in is not criticism but a deliberate attempt to challenge the law. Prashant Bhushan must be jailed and his right to practice law cancelled. LIBRANDUS are a nuisance in democracies. They add nothing but obstructions.

  37. In democracy you should not criticise the ‘ultimate pillar’ i.e. judiciary system, or otherwise to whom a citizen will believe. If he would criticise all, then how the law and order will be maintained? I am personally not at all convinced with the article.

  38. Unlike the US, it is not possible to stand up to the government and have your business survive.” One if them said. “A Ben and Jerry’s can be openly anti Trump and still not be hit-with crazy lawsuits or have their CEO arrested. However broken that country might be, the rule of law there is still strong. Facebook won’t be allowed to function in India if they stand up to the government.”

    From the media copied above. This speaks about present trend..

    One should not be under false impression that our democracy allows dissent and in one article it is seen that there are diametrically opposite decisions.

  39. But not too long ago, many of the “so called liberal” journalists, watched silently when Justice C.S. Karnan was sent to jail for six months for calling out corrupt judges. Justice Karnan was a sitting High Court Judge and not an Advocate/ lawyer. Be reminded that Justice Karnan was the 1st Dalit judge in India’s judicial history.

    Also Justice Karnan had not made any public allegation of corruption against any judge. Rather, he had sent his complaint to the Prime Minister in a sealed envelope. Bhushan’s allegations is on social media and thus in the public domain.

    Ironically, in 2017, Bhushan had hailed the Supreme Court judgment against Justice Karnan and tweeted how he was “Glad SC finally jailed Karnan for gross contempt of court.” One cannot fail to observe that in his tweet Bhushan did not address the sitting judge of the Kolkata High Court as ‘justice’. Glad SC finally jailed Karnan for gross contempt of court.He made reckless charges on judges &then passed absurd ‘orders’ against SC judges! — Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) May 9, 2017

    In this article, this journalist does not even talk of Justice Karnan or Mr Prashant Bhushan’s tweet on that issue.

  40. Some sane view after a long time.
    When 95 percentage of us indians don’t even know who prashant bhushan is .

    Good lawyer wasted in needless blogs which are read by about .05% of population

    God bless this author

  41. Prashant bhushan is a fixer who abused judges for not toeing his line of thought.Punishment would serve as example to people who think they cant bend courts to their line while giving judgements.

  42. AGREED but Judiciary, being the ultimate protector of that freedom of speech through the Constitution , must be spared otherwise other Pillars of our democracy will leave none as independent as required pl

  43. I went through it and found not very interesting and convincing. We need not visit to China and Singapore to understand about freedom of expression. We have it and we don’t require to learn from it what happened with this lawyer and so called activist Prasant Bhushan case. There is always a Laxman Rekha to everything and activity. Crossing that invites trouble and loss of balance of the social norms. He should have learnt that. There are arguments that in US and UK judges are ripped apart for judgments. But, India is India. WE have our own norms and rules. Let that be adhered and not disturbed.
    Raja Mohanty

  44. We revere or value something when it is lost. We Indians are more obedient and law-compliant abroad than in our country.

  45. There are many different opinions about latest happenings in India. People even at high levels like legal luminaries ,intellectuals ,well known scholars not expressing their views ,anguish because of multi reasons ,to say afew probable reasons ,why to get into murky slightly , any issue may be considered as anti STATE where STATE became synonymous with nation. Now good or bad Sri Prasanth Bhushan stirred the honest nest. There are many issues lingering in the heats of many unspoken. The human rights are at stake. People are slammed with various sections like sedition etc and NSA. SC should review these archaic laws in view of human rights.

  46. Really Word Librandu…………………….Blank Black Minds Trace a pic with gandi-mandella and bhushan?????????????????????? this is the problem, the product of these universities are Librandu……………and politics run by nepos.
    Farmer and seed, both are fail, then you all are produced, government servant, the dump your ideology, persons in civil practices your ideo, they failed to do something better without power and became Librandu………………….
    Thanks Pro, perhaps you distroyed 3 gens of country,

    • Well, incoherence is a well-known trait of Modiandus!! You guys never had a problem when Modi clicked a picture posing just like Gandhi, even though his entire political career has been based on violence!!

      There’s a reason why Savarkar is not compared to Gandhi, while Prashant Bhushan is. The former said sorry to get out of jail. The latter, like the Mahatma, refused to say it, and stuck to his principles!

      • “even though his entire political career has been based on violence!! ” !!
        When it is the rule of earlier corrupt dispensation, you do not see no violence, forgetting
        emergency, sikh geocide and terror attacks on almost weekly basis.
        People can judge things better than you pseudo intellectual rags !

    • You’re straying away from the topic Prashant Bhushan and his contempt of court.I was caught sleeping halfway through the chineese and whatnot please be specific what are you trying to say we shouldn’t test our limits 🤣 mind you

    • And you are a righthole! I am sure the perforated brain can find some sense of Vikas in demonitization, falling sales of automobiles, highest unemployment in 45 years, GST mess, lockdown with a notice of few hours trashing what was left of the economy and creating a huge humanitarian crisis, a series of acronyms and slogans the initial ones of which even you won’t remember – do you recall smart city? Is your city now smart?

    • Are you a WhatsApp University professor. Wait for something you may be one of the victims of authoritarian rule, who knows. Only 3.5% Brahmins can’t transform this country from a democracy to a fascist country. SC ST OBC and Minorities can be cheated for sometime but not for ever.

  47. One trip to some other democracy and this is much worse. Lets not make convinient comparison with Chaina or Singapore. I did it in my 20s I have grown since then.

  48. The danger here is in believing that we can never become an authoritarian society, when the fact is that we are already on the road there. Comparing India with China is not the same as comparing India with other democracies.

    • Lol, what’s the use of democracy or freedom if it can’t grant us the 1st world status, we have tried the western way then why shouldn’t we try China’s way, left or right doesn’t matter authoritarian government is the only way for india

  49. It is my humble opinion that the Apex Court should not have taken up this case. It amounted to according undue importance to the criticism made by Mr.Prashant Bhushan. Defamation or no defamation, the SC could have simply ignored the twits and the country would have forgotten about them. So, the very premise the such comments bring the institution of the judiciary into disrepute is highly exaggerated. No such thing would have happened had the twists been ignored. Now, after castigating Mr. Bhushan and holding him guilty of defamation, the SC has walked into a trap. The Apex Court cannot escape from the trap without awarding a punishment. Whatever might be the nature of punishment- notional or substantial, Mr. Bhushan becomes a hero- a 21st Century Avatar of Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela, notwithstanding the fact that he hardly deserves such accolades.

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