Question: Dissent against authority strengthens democratic values and promotes pluralism. Explain.
Answer: Dissent can be defined as possession of views that is against to that of the majority. Even though the state is opposed to such views, it is termed as necessary for existence of multiple and differentiated values in a democracy.
Need for dissent
- Improvement of governance
Dissent involves taking a stance against the views expressed by the government. During this time, it also involves criticising the government for its shortcomings. This measure will keep the government on its toes and will help in improvement of governance system.
- Raise voices for depressed section
There are certain sections of society that do not get support from the government due to various factors. Dissent will involve raising voice for those sections and ensure that core values of the nation such as non-partisanship exists in true sense.
- Maintains balance between majority and minority views
Dissent also promotes minority views that is different from majority of section. This prevents the nation from taking a majoritarian form. Minority views will also be protected through expression of dissent.
Issues in dissent
- Instigation of masses
Dissent as a form of expression is acceptable. But there are cases when dissenters promote violence in the name of freedom of expression. Masses are instigated to carry out riots through use of force. This is dangerous for a democratic nation.
- Politicisation of issues
Dissent in form of difference of opinion as well as political views are necessary but using a certain issue to promote political agenda is not qualified to be novel feature. Instead, issues have to be taken on case basis without attaching a personal grudge.
Dissent is not always beneficial. There are cases where excessive dissent has created political instability. During such time, the real issues get buried under the weight of political benefits. This does not have any significance for contributing towards a better nation.
Thus, dissent is a tool that has to be used in right situation and right measure. Misuse of this provision will degrade existing values.