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.