When Benito Mussolini marched on Rome with his ragtag bunch of Blackshirts, the Government and the Army expressed confidence before King Victor Emmanuel that they will be able to crush Mussolini and end the menace once and for all. The king feared a riot on the roads and allowed Mussolini to march on Rome unmolested. The rest is history.

The question is this. Did the king try to uphold Law or did he try to uphold Order? This raises an even pertinent question – for a ruler, what takes a precedence? Law or Order? Make no mistake. There is no law and order. One of them have to take a backseat for the other to thrive.

Supreme Court of India’s observations over the Farm Laws raises the same questions yet again. Don’t take me wrong by picking on one particular issue – this is happening everywhere and all over the world – whoever rules the roads gets the justice. Kashmir problem dragged on for 75 years because India preferred the one who controlled the roads in Srinagar and not the Prajamandal which was legally elected by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. In other words, if law has the potential to disrupt order, what will you do – will you still go and implement the law and crush any dissent to order, or will you shelve the law to appease those threatening order? Can order be established at the expense of law?

A look at the observations from today’s hearings over the Farm Protests spells out this problem again. In fact, there are two different strains in this – a struggle for supremacy between Judiciary and Legislature, and on the other side, a desperation to preserve order even at the expense of law. The Judiciary-Legislature tussle can be sorted out. But the other one – desperation to preserve order even at the expense of law is something which ailed all governments all history.

The desperation to uphold peace is clearly visible even in this case. This is further exacerbated by the attack on the Chief Minister of Haryana yesterday when he tried to negotiate with the farmers.

In fact, the Supreme Court knew what it’s saying is not completely correct.

And sadly, the writing on the wall is clear – you don’t have a voice because you are not a thug.

In an interesting turn of events, while Supreme Court was hoping for it’s arbitration will fix the protests,

it has now surfaced that the protestors have rejected Supreme Court intervention even!! A true case of My Way or Highway it is.

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The real question would be, where do you draw the line? What level of thuggery will you tolerate for calm and order? Refusal to draw a line once led to Munich Pact and Second World War. Khalistan troubles were also a consequence of this decision freeze. And many others both in India and outside. If Democracy is used to subvert Democracy, should Democracy become a Hegemony to save itself? Though Gramsci was a Communist, what he said on this context is absolutely clear – if intellectual hegemony doesn’t solve the problems, the strong arm of law should take it’s place to crush dissent.

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