Reading comprehensions for LSAT are given below. Carefully read the comprehension and answer the questions that follow.
Long after Shaheen Bagh became a potent symbol of democratic resistance against a discriminatory law, the Supreme Court has ventured to hold that any such indefinite blockade of a public pathway is unacceptable.
And that the administration ought to take action to remove “encroachments and obstructions” placed during such protests. The Court’s assertion was made even while “appreciating the existence of the right to peaceful protest against legislation”.
On the face of it, the Court’s view arises from a straightforward balancing of two contrasting rights — the right to protest and the right to free movement. However, a moot question is whether the manner and content of a protest should always conform to forms deemed acceptable by the law.
Protests, by their very nature, are not always rooted in legality, but rather derive legitimacy from the rightness of the underlying cause and the extent of public support. In many cases, they are against laws and regulations perceived as unjust.
A flash strike, a spontaneous road block, a call for a complete shutdown, or a campaign to fill up jails by defying prohibitory orders — each of these is not, in a strict sense, legal; but, at the same time, it is an inevitable part of the culture of protest in a democracy. In this case, the Court rightly notes that the administration neither negotiated with the protesters in Shaheen Bagh nor tried to clear the scene.
Any finding that a peaceful protest had continued too long, or in a place deemed inconvenient to others, should not encourage the administration to seek early curbs on the freedom of assembly. After the pandemic led to the end of the protests, there was little left for adjudication, and the Court’s remarks might come across as a gratuitous offering to administrators looking to de-legitimise protests.
Following the earlier judgment that any ‘bandh’ is illegal, courts routinely stayed sector-wide strikes. Another aspect of the present ruling is the assertion that protests should be confined to “designated places”. Such judicial certitude may end up undermining the larger democratic need for public expression of dissent in a manner and place that would be most effective.
While notified demonstrations are subject to regulations regarding time and space, it may not be possible to extend the same to spontaneous, organic and leaderless protests driven by a cause. The ruling should not form the basis for suppression of such protests by the force of the state.
Both principles — the need for balance between the right to protest and the right to free movement, and the rule that protests should take place at designated spots — are salutary from an administrative point of view. But these cannot become unquestionable axioms to the point of rendering any and all protests that cause inconvenience to others the target of the strong arm of the state.
- “The Court has held that an indefinite blockade of the pathway is unacceptable.” Which of the following statement is correct as per the passage?
- Court has ignored the citizen’s right to protect legislation.
- Court has appreciated the existence of the right to peaceful protest against the legislation.
- No Protest against Government can ever be appreciated because it affects the public.
- None of these.
- An axiom refers to :
- a statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true.
- A contradictory statement.
- A statement that can never be true
- None of these.
- As per the passage, which of the following is an assertion with respect to the correct ruling?
- Bandh results in economic loss for the Country.
- Protest should confine to designated places.
- Both (b) and (a)
- Either (a) or (b)
- Which of the following has been discouraged by the Court as per the passage above?
- This ruling being used as the basis for suppression of such protests by the force of the state.
- Indefinite blocking of a public pathway in the name of the protest
- Either (b) or (a)
- Both (a) and (b)
- Which word in the passage means absolute certainty?
- Both (b) and (c)
The first US presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden saw both contenders trade insults and accusations. In cantankerous exchanges over 100 minutes, Trump kept hectoring and interrupting Biden – a total of 73 times — prompting the former vice-president at one point to call the current President a clown.
The debate is already being described as the worst in US political history and has prompted calls for changes in the format for the remaining two debates, including cutting off the microphones of the candidates if they break the rules.
That said, the big takeaway from the first debate was how polarised American politics has become with lots of bad blood between the supporters and opponents of Trump. We are not just looking at a fractured American polity, we are also looking at an America divided. To his credit, Biden during the debate did try to rise above the vitriol at certain points and make constructive arguments. But Trump tried to restrict him with constant badgering.
Amidst the din, two points that stood out were Trump’s refusal to categorically condemn white supremacist groups, and reluctance to pledge to honour the election result irrespective of the outcome. Trump even ominously said, “This isn’t going to end well”.
All of this suggests that American democracy is at a pivotal point. It can either go south and completely lose its moral and institutional sheen, or it can rise from the muck and regain its past glory.
And since the US is the most consequential country in the world, the outcome of the election will have a profound impact on the international community. We can either see the continued rise of populist nationalism eventually leading to more global chaos, or we can return to a saner path of global cooperation and order. This is an unprecedented US presidential poll. Hopefully, there is light at the end of this tunnel.
- Cantankerous exchange refers to:
- A friendly debate
- An exchange of thoughts
- A bad-tempered argument
- A debate with no conclusion.
- What did the author mean when he said ‘America Divided’?
- The Friction between the supporters and opponents of Trump.
- friction between supporters of Trump and supporters of Biden
- The friction between opponents of Trump and Biden
- friction between Trump and Biden
- Which word in the Paragraph refers to ‘important and capable of deciding the success or failure of a thing’?
- Why will the outcome of US Presidential elections will have a profound impact on the international community?
- The US is a significant country.
- Any other country is not significant.
- Both (a) and (b)
- American democracy is at a pivotal point.