As India celebrates her 65th Independence Day, a potential spat between the government and members of so-called “civil society” raises important questions about the dichotomy in a democracy.

It is a tough balance between giving citizens the right to protest and making sure those protests don’t impinge upon the very rights a democracy guarantees.

Police on Monday denied permission for veteran social activist Anna Hazare to renew a fast to the death in New Delhi. Police say Hazare, who is campaigning for tougher laws against corruption, failed to meet certain conditions to conduct a mass fast.

While police conditions include ending the fast in three days and limiting the number of Hazare’s supporters to 5000, Team Hazare is relentless.

Kiran Bedi, a former police officer and an activist with Hazare, has said on local television the group is ready to court arrest, but will press on with the fast even if permission is denied.