ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Where Does India Stand on the Right to Self-determination?

Demands for right to self-determination leading to secession cannot be prohibited and criminalised in India as the Supreme Court considers acquisition and cession of territory as a sovereign right outside the Constitution.

Recent incidents at the Jawaharlal Nehru University attracted national and international attention when a few students were arrested and charged with sedition. One of the allegations was that these students organised a cultural event where certain slogans about India’s disintegration and the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people were raised. In relation to this incident, some students were charged under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code for the crime of sedition. It is important to know whether the slogans chanted would amount to sedition or not, and this would be decided by the courts of law. However, the larger question is, what constitutes nation and nationalism, particularly in the context of the demand for the right to self-determination? At the international level, the understanding of the right to self-determination passed through several historical phases that enriched and determined its constituent elements. All along, it has been a contested concept and its relevance and application in a particular context has always been the outcome of political processes. Thus, its assertion as a claimable right is of legal significance. However, demands for its application remain in the political realm.

At the International Level

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