Urban Naxals and Anti-Nationals: What’s a Democracy Without Its Dissenters?

Politics

Urban Naxals and Anti-Nationals: What’s a Democracy Without Its Dissenters?

Illustration: Ahmed Sikander

T

he arrests of eminent human rights activists and lawyers – Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, and Gautam Navalakha – last month has left the nation divided. It’s the same old fight between liberals and the hyper-nationalists with a new epithet – the #MeToo Urban Naxals vs anti-Urban Naxal brigade who believe that the gang of five “intellectual” men and women was plotting to assassinate the PM and overthrow the government.   

Urban Naxalism seems the latest “threat” to the nation today, yet another iteration of “tukde tukde” politics. Still the meaning of the phrase remains a mystery.

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