Making of ‘Excluded-citizens’ in a ‘Democracy’

Arup Kumar Sen

While commenting on Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (1966), Lillian Carson made some seminal observations: “Arendt argues that human rights only become meaningful when they are recognised in a political society…Those excluded from political communities do not have citizenship rights to protect them, so are in reality left with no rights at all…Excluded-citizens may enjoy some human rights, but they ultimately remain the most vulnerable to persecution and expulsion”. (See Lillian Carson, “Human Rights and Democracy: An Incompatible or Complementary Relationship?”, E- International Relations, May 7, 2017)

The recent publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, and passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) bear testimony to unmaking of citizenship of a large number of people and making of “Excluded-citizens” in India, which is characterized in mainstream political thought as the world’s largest democracy.

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sep 26, 2020

Arup Kumar Sen

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