Letter to BS: Govt should engage with protesters, address real concerns

New Delhi: Shattered glass from a damaged vehicle spreads across a roadway after protest against Citizenship Act turned violent at Mathura Road, in New Delhi, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist) (
With students out on the streets in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the best recourse available to the government at the Centre in a democracy is to engage with them through talks. Violence has no place in a civilised society guided by liberal and democratic ethos and it needs to be condemned in the strongest terms. Any attempt to quell the protests by dubbing them as being orchestrated or politically motivated or through disproportionate use of force would do more harm than good to our standing as one of the most vibrant democracies of the world. The despicable trend of stifling dissent and calling the critics of the government anti-nationals is in dissonance with free and liberal values defining our democracy.


However, the assertion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that no vested interest group would be allowed to divide us and create disturbances is encouraging. It is time the Modi-led dispensation reaches out to the restive voices over CAA and addresses their legitimate concerns with all the seriousness it deserves.


M Jeyaraman, Chennai Letters can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to: 
The Editor, Business Standard
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