Abstract
Mall, Sangeeta The most popular Indian street food is the pani puri. The snack is a combination of solid and liquid, a watery bomb of sweet, sour and tangy flavours, a complete sensory delight, much like Indian society, though 'delight' might not be the right descriptor at times. Freedom of expression, individual rights, civil liberties, equality before law, all the cornerstones of a democracy, have been given to the Indian people by the founding fathers in the form of a robust Constitution. And yet, most disconcertingly, more often than not, these principles are threatened by the same entity appointed to protect them, the Indian state. So how does one manage this paradox? How does one survive in a context where one is free but also bound, where one's freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution yet threatened on a daily basis, where the Constitution is secular but the attitude distinctly parochial?
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