The burden of upholding democracy rests on three pillars: government, institutions and civil society. In India, while the former two have received attention from researchers and the media, the third pillar is scantily discussed. In recent years, civil society organisations have increasingly come under attack.
Posts tagged as “free speech”
The Constituent Assembly had excluded the sedition law from the original Constitution, since several members were deeply concerned by how vague and unrestrained it is. Even other countries that used to have a sedition law have since repealed it. India's continued use is a betrayal of the freedom struggle.
Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore enjoyed lively debates about nationalism, cultural identity and much more. Their debates have lessons for India on policy and governance, but they also show that if leaders can disagree with mutual respect, they can broaden and enlighten public discourse.
A furtive finger is placed on the lips of dissent in India. The government does this through malicious FIRs for sedition and defamation. In the Supreme Court, the government called its critics "prophets of doom". But such censorship is also done by fellow citizens.