The government ought to take a more re conciliatory approach

The Modi government has perhaps calculated that its majority in Parliament, its dominance of public discourse, its control of the law-enforcement machinery, and the popularity of its agenda among large sections of the people will allow it to prevail over the protesting citizens. After all, how long can disparate, politically unorganized groups of students, young people, urban middle classes and members of the Muslim community afford to protest? Yet, so far, attempts to deter protesters with prohibitory orders, detentions and police actions have triggered more protests. As more news trickles out of Uttar Pradesh, the world would probably recoil in horror at the manner in which the BJP government there appears to have used disproportionate force in quelling protests by Muslims in the state. In the coming days and weeks, at least, more consciences are likely to be pricked. The protests will grow and spread.

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