We asked a few of you to define your freedom with words. Drawing a line and erasing it aren’t easy choices. But we’ve got to live true and for every bit it’s worth, together…
Should there be any limits to free speech?
“Well, I hope the one-word answer is unanimously NO. But it isn’t surprising that a question like this is raised in a society that is dealing with primeval issues like racial/religious discrimination, polarised media agencies, police brutality and a world that is literally building walls around itself. But if we go down this road, we are threatening the very existence of a democracy and are putting society back a hundred years to the times when leaders like Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini controlled societal functions to suit their own selfish needs. The only way society can prosper, in my opinion, is under an inclusive structural framework where basic human rights are not restricted but rather are used as tools to not only foster progressive dialogue but also discourage the spreading of hate, violence and discrimination. The current social and economic challenges need us to INCREASE our focus on the right to freedom, equality and liberty for every individual, not limit these rights!”
– Kushal Mirpury
“Even though the concept of freedom of speech apparently seems simple, there are complex lines that can be drawn around what kinds of speech are protected and in what setting. Some speech might be bad, this line of thinking goes, but censorship is always worse. Free speech is a basic right of society today. But it cannot be exercised in isolation. Like all values, it must be seen in cohesion with others, such as equality, safety and democratic participation. Speech should be protected, all things being equal.”
– Parul Sheth
“Free speech should be free in the real sense, without any restrictions or limits or fears of sedition or defamation.
To let people say whatever they want is one of the most basic freedoms that is required for a democracy to function.
In our democracy, free speech is hijacked by the ruling elite, while dissenters are fettered with “reasonable restrictions”.
In a way, free speech is also the basic equality.
An equaliser of some sort.”
– Daniyal Khan
“In one word, no. The right to express yourself freely is a fundamental right in any democracy. Without free speech, we would be confined to the status quo indefinitely and would lose the most effective tool to educate and inform.
Furthermore, policing free speech compounds problems for those without representation. Control over what can be said and not allows those making the rules to shape any narrative in their favour.
That being said, there should be consequences for misuse of free speech. It cannot be used as a tool to spread hate and misinformation.”
– Aditya Patwari
“Fundamentally, rights exist between government and the citizen and not between two citizens. I cannot ask someone to shut up, but the government can. Problem: what if the government starts deciding what is reasonable? Are we heading towards a ‘Police state’ by not clearly defining what ‘reasoned limits’ are and aren’t? What if everything critical of the government becomes sedition? Isn’t it dangerous?!”
– Praachi Shah
“There should be no limits to free speech because limits are always set by the state. So this means that the limits can be used by the state to clamp down on any form of dissent. Free speech ensures that there is a clash of ideas and that new perspectives can always emerge. To tackle the abuse of free speech, we need a robust and fair system of justice.”
– Rahul Bhandare
“A huge section of our society is not educated when it comes to freedom of expression. A lot of people are impressionable and will follow the herd. Sometimes, such Freedom of Expression causes havoc and very few quite understand its true purpose. What should be taught is mindful Freedom of Expression rather than noisy vessels rattling.”
– Megharanjani Chandu
With a country of 1.4b people, we don’t need to listen to everyone with a smartphone.
With any kind of expression, the law should he upheld. There is a difference between a personal opinion and an attack.
Anything remotely defamatory to an individual, or derogatory to her/his/their caste, class, religion or sexuality should be censored.
No one should be able to “opine” without repercussions.
Also, understanding context. The media; our fourth pillar, should not be allowed to present or report any news without an informed geo-political and cultural context.
Subsequently, not provide judgement of any kind either.”
– Shiv Rohira
So, if you’ve found your answer,
That’s all from THE QUESTION.
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