Thursday 17 April 2014
News updated at 6:00 PM IST
Weather
Max: 34.6°C
Min : 22.4°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Impractical ban

July 16, 2013

A court-imposed ban on caste-based rallies may not be a legal or effective idea to counter the influence of caste in politics. But the Lucknow  bench of the Allahabad high court has pronounced such a stay with immediate effect on the basis of a PIL filed in the court. The court has not taken into consideration the views of central or state governments, political parties or the Election Commission on the matter.

It has sought their views but has passed its stay order in a hurry. The order may have been prompted by the court’s concern over the domination of politics by caste. This may be true to a greater extent in UP than in some other states and regions. But that does not make a judicial ban on caste rallies sound.

However undesirable it may be, caste has remained a reality in social life all over the country.  It has also been a tool of social and political mobilisation. This has been a part of the changing and expanding democratic process. Entire political philosophies have been formulated on the basis of the aspirations of suppressed social groups, and parties have been formed on their basis. The existence of such parties has been recognised and accepted, though some of them would not claim that they represent only a  particular caste or castes. This has  also resulted  in the empowerment of many  groups and sections  of people who were on the margins of mainstream politics. It would be discriminatory to ban their activity.  The holding of rallies could only be considered a legitimate political activity.  If there is a reasonable ground to believe that a rally can be a threat to peace and public order, there may be a case for a ban. The political executive actually does that on many occasions. But a blanket ban on all rallies may violate the fundamental right to freedom of association. The electoral code of conduct forbids parties from appealing to caste or communal feelings to secure votes but this cannot be extended to the holding of rallies in support of a cause or demand at all times.
It is also practically difficult to implement such a ban.  A caste-based rally may be able to evade the ban if it presents itself as a congregation under some other banner or with some other label. In any case a ban on caste rallies will not drive caste away from politics.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
India's new Naval Chief, Admiral Robin K Dhowan inspects a Guard of Honour at Defence...

India's new Naval Chief, Admiral Robin K Dhowan inspects a Guard of Honour at Defence...

Vikramaditya Motwane, Karan Johar, Vikas Bhal, actor Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap during a ...

Vikramaditya Motwane, Karan Johar, Vikas Bhal, actor Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap during a ...

A 109-yr-old voter shows her identity card after casting her vote for Lok Sabha elections at a ...

A 109-yr-old voter shows her identity card after casting her vote for Lok Sabha elections at a ...

Voters stand in a queue to cast their votes for 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections in Jalpaiguri...

Voters stand in a queue to cast their votes for 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections in Jalpaiguri...

Senior citizens being carried on a bullock cart for casting votes for Lok Sabha polls near ...

Senior citizens being carried on a bullock cart for casting votes for Lok Sabha polls near ...

Muslim women show their inked fingers after casting votes for Lok Sabha elections in Moradabad on...

Muslim women show their inked fingers after casting votes for Lok Sabha elections in Moradabad on...

First times voters showing their inked fingers after casting votes at a polling station during...

First times voters showing their inked fingers after casting votes at a polling station during...

An anti-government protester with her face painted in the colors of Venezuela's flag with the...

An anti-government protester with her face painted in the colors of Venezuela's flag with the...

Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship 'Sewol' which sank, during their rescue...

Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship 'Sewol' which sank, during their rescue...

A masked penitent takes part in the procession of the 'Santa Veracruz'' brotherhood, during Holy...

A masked penitent takes part in the procession of the 'Santa Veracruz'' brotherhood, during Holy...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523