Policy Briefs Books Journals

Policy Brief  No.102 - February, 2021

“They Called Us Illegal. How Is It Possible?” Dissent As A Tool For Navigating Citizenship in Democratic India

What does citizenship mean in contemporary democratic societies as they become increasingly multicultural? Can dissent be used constructively to redefine the terms of engagement of minority groups with the state? This paper begins by recalling the grounds for political obedience in terms of the distinction between law and legitimacy. In the context of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it then briefly sketches the assertion of Hindu primacy in the 2014–19 years before examining the seminal events of 2019 and 2020, when protestors issued a clarion call on the conscience of the state to engage in dialogue with its citizens.