Demonstrations and protests are a good element of democracy because they allow individuals and members of civil society to express their concerns and dissatisfaction with government actions.
Many social-political mobilizations, however, end in violence, riots, and arson, resulting in the destruction of public property and the loss of human lives. Such incidents represent a serious law and order issue, posing a threat to our country’s internal security.
A variety of circumstances contribute to democratic protests becoming undemocratic or anarchic.
Internet and social media have resulted in a proliferation of information sources and increased accessibility. These platforms, on the other hand, have become a conduit for misinformation, fake news, and malevolent content intended to instil fear in users.
Large-scale communal or ethnic mobilization can be sparked by online posts and content. For example, in 2020, there will be riots in Delhi and violence in Bengaluru as a result of a communal post on Facebook.
The presence of radical ideologies: India continues to fight extreme concepts such as naxalism, terrorism, and ideology-based separatist groups.
Because mass support for these beliefs is essentially non-existent, radical ideologies frequently try to exploit and hijack civic protests in order to create social rifts. Civic protests in Kashmir, which are exploited by rebels and terrorists, are one famous example of this.
Techniques of policing and force training:
The state has jurisdiction over “public order” and “police,” according to Article 246 of the Constitution. On the ground, the police forces are found wanting due to a lack of training in dealing with large-scale protests.
They have employed disproportionate force or failed to intervene at all in some cases due to administrative failure, as the Prakash Singh Committee report on Haryana agitations in 2016 pointed out.
Media independence has become a critical issue in our country. Many media outlets are said to be ideologically linked, with reporting based on convenience rather than journalistic criteria.
Even the United States Supreme Court has expressed concern about media trials and practises.
The digital media problem has created a space for rumours and false assumptions, worsening the law and order situation during protests and political movements since people are unable to assess the true nature of the issue and are motivated by emotions.
Our country’s internal security is based on a number of social, political, administrative, and technological pillars.
India has a long history of peaceful civic protests that have never devolved into violence because they were founded on the realisation of democratic ideals by both protestors and government agencies. Take, for example, the anti-corruption movement in India.
To avert violence, it is necessary to combat bogus news and prepare staff to respond effectively to a variety of situations. Despite the mob’s provocation, the Delhi Police handled the tractor rally with restraint, which could serve as an example for police forces across India.