Free Speech


Free Speech


Recent incidents of bans

  • A K Ramanujan’s essay ‘Three Hundred Ramayanas’ was dropped from the DU syllabus
  • Rohinton Mistry’s ‘Such a long journey’ was dropped from the Mumbai University syllabus
  • Movies like Aarakshan, Bandit Queen, Water etc have been banned by some state governments
  • India was the first country to ban Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’


Why protect freedom of Speech?

  • Self government argument: For a robust democratic process. It is essential for people to communicate on political matters, which in turn enables them to fully participate in democratic affairs
  • Laissez faire argument: in a marketplace of ideas, the better ideas eventually prevail through competition. It is essential in a society’s search for truth, which will ultimately emerge after a competition of all ideas in the marketplace
  • Freedom of speech as promotion of every individual’s self-fulfillment and autonomy. This rationale posits that protection of free speech is essential for human identity. To be fully human, it is essential to protect thoughts.
  • India’s constitutional tradition strongly supports freedom of speech.
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