It is often advised that civil disobedience in the form of breaking a law must not be practiced under a democracy. It is because democracy by giving the space for open discussion prevents a situation wherein people are compelled to think of civil disobedience. Moreover, if citizens develop faith in civil disobedience then that only undermines the rule of law. Such an act doesn’t strengthen democracy but rather helps in diminishing its ethos. People must be discouraged to break laws because in a democracy, it is they who elect their representatives through free and fair elections. These representatives then make laws to which open disobedience must not be practiced. Citizens can also vote for change of leadership in the subsequent election cycle, if they feel their representatives have been incompetent. However, while these provisions fulfil the conditions of a well functioning procedural democracy, what recourse do citizens have, when their representatives don’t act in the interest of the governed continuously but function in an autocratic manner? What if laws are made without following the spirit of democracy? Does that really result in making a substantive democracy?
[ Between the 9th and 1oth day of the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed from the JNU campus, the JNU Vice Chancellor, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar decided to salvage his reputation on twitter, even as he squandered it on the grounds of the campus of the university he presides over. And so he let forth a volley of tweets, while sitting inside his office and his residence, even as he refused to meet or listen to the JNU students who have grown increasingly concerned and anxious at the university administrations callous laxity about the fate of Najeeb Ahmed, the missing students.
While students marched down the campus, forming a human chain that culminated at the gates of the VC’s residence near the university’s east gate, Mamidala90 (the handle with which the VC distinguishes himself in twitsville) began getting extremely active. While the students were peacefully assembled at the gates of the VC’s residence, very much not in ‘gherao’ or ‘blockade’ mode, Mamidala90 whined about being ‘blockaded’.