We need to strongly condemn changes being proposed to our laws and protest the mal-handling by the police as regards to our freedom of speech. This is not just related to the freedom of speech in the internet, but elsewhere as well. It would almost appear that our government and bureaucrats have taken a cue from the Arab Spring, have realized the viral potential of messages on the Internet, and are trying their level best to curb it. Interestingly enough they have allowed, in central Delhi, processions by political parties, but have declined to allow a peaceful protest against the lack of safety in Delhi’s streets (see Nirbhaya). Perhaps this is due to the fact that political parties are powerful entities in their own right, while the women’s’ movement was being led by no-one in particular, it was being led by good conscience and not a political personality and therefore curbed.
Facebook and Cartoons
As per the current law, even an innocent complaint in Facebook of the nuisance cause by politicians can have you thrown in Jail (e.g. Palghar) – with the inspectors who help in perpetrating such a crime probably potentially being invited to become an office bearer of a political party. A cartoon ridiculing powerful people/institutions can have you thrown in Jail (Jadavpur University, etc.) – where is the end to this? On the flip side people having committing scams of thousands of crores go scot free as the legal process takes a few decades?
Legal Process Tilted Towards Politicians
We are in a system where the legal process seems to be tilted towards the rich and powerful – the only correcting factor to this is our freedom of speech. The ability to question and point out that something is amiss and to spread it among other concerned civilians. This is not about intrusion into someone private affairs. I mention private affairs as politicians use this as a ploy to deflect accusations, to keep family members out of the accusations. There are a lot of questions that one can ask these days, some more obvious than the others?
Are We allowed to Question Censorship & Corruption?
Are we allowed to ask these questions? Are we allowed to question corruption? Are we able to make constructive suggestions as to the course of the economy, education, and industry – this is why we need our freedom of speech today more than any other time.
- Internet Censorship–Information Technology Act 2000
- Our right to freedom of speech and expression is under attack !
- United Nations Arms Treaty–India’s View
- Language And Civil Society
- Freedom Of Speech
- Freedom Of Speech For Terrorists
- Internet censorship: Censor Kapil Sibal and a government that gags
Related Sections of the Law