Social Scientist. v 28, no. 330-331 (Nov-Dec 2000) p. 4.

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a civil war. Approximately similar outcome had followed under the oligarchic authorities—against the coteries who had assumed unbridled power by taking advantage of the inadequacies of some existing constitutions, or by defying and going above these. Since their rights were flouted, and the channels of ventilating their grievance choked under the oligarchic regimes, the subjects had little alternative for righting the public wrongs except by taking recourse to counter-physical force, or armed resistance in the forms of mutinies, insurrections or rising and civil wars. In other words, in the by-gone pre-modern times of straight forward monarchic and oligarchic governmental set-ups, the only way perhaps the people could object to, and oppose what they believed to be a misrule was by opting for the use of counter-physical force, or by offering armed resistance.

Apparently, however, the offering of armed resistance or the

resorting to counter-physical force was no less bounteous in the days

of emergent modernism, despite its trumpeted reliance on popular

will, individual liberty, social justice, constitutional finesse and

administrative equipoise. It had been noticed, and is still being seen,

that even in the most skillfully devised democratic set-up the public

opinion on critical issues could be callously ignored, civil liberties

ruthlessly trumpled, and popular interests—affecting the lives of the

multitude or a large section of it—rudely thrown away. If a democracy

is overwhelmed by a coalesce of certain classes and categories, without

its being able to become genuinely people's democratic, and if it

operates in a society/societies whose exploitation-base has not been

substantially undermined either gradually or drastically, some public

wrongs of grave nature shall continue intermittently to take place,

and the quest for remedial actions, including armed resistance, whether

one likes it or not, may still be very much in vogue. But even after

conceding all this, one can hardly be indifferent to the great strength

of modern liberal democratic traditions—their ideals of the equality

and sovereignty of people, and their instrumentality in bringing about

such fundamental concepts of governance as the establishment of the

rule of law, the separation of the state powers, the introduction of

the universality of the suffrage, the guaranteeing of the civil rights,

the working out of the constitutional checks and balances. Although

the set of basic ills that is congenital to socially exploitative systems

still continues to plague the people, it seems that, under the liberal

democratic constitutions, the channels of ventillating popular

grievances has, to a certain extent, cleared, the methods of mobilising

public attention systematised, the means of pressurising the authorities

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