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Constitutional Issues on Civic Space Legal Framework

Civil society uses universal suffrage to elect their representatives who when put together in the parliament are the lawmakers. They can make, remove, and edit laws via a two-third majority in the lower and the upper house of the parliament.

This change in the Constitution is called an amendment and is made possible through a just provided in the bill of rights of the Indian Constitution known as our right to constitutional remedies which rule the guidelines related to policy formulation and implementation.

The elemental structure of the Constitution cannot be changed. The final interpretation of the Constitution lies with the supreme court of India, which allows laws passed by two-third of the majority of the parliament to be challenged and scrutinized by any individual in India. This whole circle defines the collective will of the country and the individual might of a citizen in the Republic of India. The part of Civil society is crucial towards policy formation and implementation. Civil society is a chunk of the governance mechanism since they are engaged with the grass-roots.

The perception of civil society has to convert historically. Occasionally the term civil society is used in the more wide sense of “the elements such as freedom of speech and independent judiciary that make up a democratic society”. Especially in the conversation among thinkers of Eastern and Central Europe, civil society is seen also as a normative concept of civic values.

In totalitarian societies, the state tends to supplant, or fully control through party cells together with secret operatives of all other organizations. The modern civil society is a baby of the middle classes. They need a tight network of interest groups to enforce together to maintain the principles of liberal democracy.

The balance between the state-managed system of social security together with private health care, education, together with retirement funds can also tell a lot about the strength of civil society. In Russia, where the nation is often viewed as almost an equivalent to a state, the civil society is weak. The state contemplates independent groups and mass media as competing centers of power. They are subject to multiple restrictions, mandatory registration, together heavily monitored and infiltrated by the police. The cartoon below from the government propaganda channel in Russia visualizes how independent (i.e. government-critical) civil groups are viewed in our country. A group of opposition activists protests against the war in Ukraine, led by an American who throws around US dollar bills.

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This article is written by Shaily Garg, a Fourth year B.Com. LLB (Hons.) Student of University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh.