Evolution of right to freedom of speech and expression

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  • 1. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com EVOLUTION OF RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION KRISHNAVENI SIVAGNANAM HEAD RESEARCH
  • 2. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com
  • 3. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS Freedom of Speech and Expression has often been considered a fundamental benchmark for any liberal democracy and is inseparable element of a democratic society.. Freedom of speech (synonym Freedom of expression . Whether the society is democratic or not can be defined by the factor of independent press and mass media. The right to freedom of speech as one of the basic human rights is enshrined in main international human rights documents -The Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which guarantee the right to freedom of expression, both in Article 19. Freedom of expression is not only important in its own right but is also essential if other human rights are to be achieved.
  • 4. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT In India it has been enshrined by out Constitution makers in Article 19 (1) (a) which reads as Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc (1) All citizens shall have the right (a) to freedom of speech and expression; Nothing in sub clause (a) of clause ( 1 ) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence
  • 5. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Right to freedom of expression can be defined as “Right to express one's ideas and opinions freely through speech, writing, and other forms of communication but without deliberately causing harm to others' character and/or reputation by false or misleading statements. Freedom of press is part of freedom of expression. Some interesting quotes : “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” ― George Washington “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” ― John Milton, Areopagitica “This is slavery, not to speak one's thought.” ― Euripides,
  • 6. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Freedom of expression in India has come under threat on many occasions . We shall discuss in detail several occasions where this freedom was called under question namely the Ashis Nandy FIR, the smothering of Kashmir’s first all girls rock band’s music, and the removal of semi-nude paintings of Hindu deities from an art gallery upon the police’s ‘suggestion’ State government’s ban on Vishwaroopam, Fanna ,. Another Rushdie-banning controversy is upon us, and yet another Facebook user’s arrest has made the news and many more
  • 7. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Ashish Nandy, one of the finest scholars we have is caught in a mistaken identity of argument is not the real tragedy. Nandy’s remark , “It will be a very undignified and—how should I put it—almost vulgar statement on my part. It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from the O.B.C.s and the scheduled caste and now increasingly the scheduled tribes. And as long as this is the case, the Indian republic will survive.”’ What Ashis Nandy actually meant was that the corruption of the SC/STs and the OBCs are visible because they have not yet developed the mechanisms of effective social camouflage, which the elites are adept at, of course.
  • 8. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com “Satanic Verses” a novel written by Sir Salman Rushdie caused a huge controversy in the Islamic community. Numerous Muslim scholars around the world accused the book to contain blasphemous references. The novel basically comprises of a frame narrative and a series of sub-plots that are narrated as dreams seen by a protagonist. It also uses various elements of magical realism. It was honoured as the novel of the year in the 1988 Whitbread Awards and was the finalist in the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in the same year .Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a famous Shi’a Muslim scholar and the supreme leader of Iran at that time, issued a fatwa by calling out to all proper Muslims to murder the publishers of the book and Rushdie himself. Various people who were associated with the book were physically harmed while the Japanese translator of the book, Hitoshi Igarashi, was killed in the year 1991. However, Rushdie himself has not faced any sort of physical harm till date.
  • 9. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Artist M F Hussein has been referred by the Forbes magazine as the "Picasso of India". He was in fact one of the highest paid Painters of India. He attracted a lot of controversy and wrath after painting the nude images of Hindu Deities, .: The Kerala Government's announcement to award M F Husain with the prestigious Raja Ravi Varma award also led to a lot of controversy. A series of cases were brought against Hussain following the controversies and he was even issued a non-bailable warrant after he failed to respond to summons from the Court. He also received death threats. The opposition from Indian Public and Government resulted in the artist moving out of India and set his base in Dubai and London.
  • 10. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com In September, political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi was arrested and charged with sedition for depicting the national emblem and parliament in bad light.
  • 11. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com All Girls Band Muzzled   The 10th-class students – vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir, drummer Farah Deeba and guitarist Aneeka Khalid — had formed a rock group called Pragash Band and rose to fame in December 2012 after their performance at the annual Battle of the Bands competition. – Their music was silenced by the grandmufti’s declaring it ‘un-Islamic’, Bowing to social pressure and fear for life , Kashmir’s first all girl rock band decided to quit after a fatwa was issued against them by the head Grand Mufti, despite assurances from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as well as other civil society organizations
  • 12. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Actor Aamir Khan whose is a social activist invited the wrath of the Gujarat Govt. It all began with people protesting against raising the height of the Narmada Dam which we in India supposedly need to meet our insatiable demand for energy particularly in this case – electricity. The protestors are demanding proper rehabilitation for the thousands of people that have been displaced because of this mammoth project. Aamir Khan joined in to give their demands a louder voice. Due to this expression of opinion. the right wing ruling Hindu party in Gujarat the BJP has banned all products endorsed by the actor including Coca Cola and Toyota cars and also his latest film release Fanaa..
  • 13. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com For years, Shivsena has intimidated Bollywood with threats to disrupt movie openings. Eager to excite its base of supporters it pounced on a recent comment by Mr.Shah Khan about Pakistani cricket players. A controversy erupted after no Pakistani players were selected in the recent draft of the Indian Premier League. Mr. Khan, who owns a team in the league, said some should have been included, a sentiment expressed by others, including India’s home minister. This comment resulted in the rising against the film My name is
  • 14. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com India's commitment to free speech has been cast into the spotlight yet again after two women were arrested over a Facebook post this weekend.. Two girls from nearby Thane district were arrested by the Mumbai Police for posting a Facebook comment that questioned the bandh in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's death While 21-year-old Shaheen Dhadha was arrested for Facebook status update which reportedly read: ‘People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a bandh for that.’ The arrests of Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan sparked public outrage across the country, and drew criticism from civi society, media ,and the government.
  • 15. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com In April 2012, Ambikesh  Mahapatra  a university professor was arrested in West Bengal for circulating an email with pictures that poked fun at the state’s chief minister.
  • 16. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Malala Yousafzai, the educational campaigner from Swat Valley, Pakistan, came to public attention by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban. Using the pen name Gul Makai, she often spoke about her family's fight for girls' education in her community. In October 2012, Malala was targeted by the Taliban and shot in the head as she was returning from school on a bus. She miraculously survived and continues her campaign for education. ACROSS THE BORDER The recent arrest of Chiranuch Prem chaiporn, the director and editor of Prachatai, a popular online newspaper in Thailand, is a cause celebre in which lèse-majesté laws ( Comments against the royal family) She was later charged with an additional nine counts under the CCA on April 7, 2010 from the information she provided to the Royal Thai Police, and faced up to fifty-years imprisonment for comments she did not even make
  • 17. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com In the above incidents the government initiated action either by authorisation given under Article 19 (1) (a) or Section 66A of the Information Technology Act – which deals with information that is “grossly offensive” or “has menacing character,” or causes annoyance or inconvenience . They have been used repeatedly to arrest critics of the government. The law allows for up to three years in prison under this section. The Department of Information Technology promulgated vague implementing rules in 2011 that further required online service providers to restrict a range of information, including content that is “grossly harmful,” “disparaging,” “harm[ful to] minors in any way,” or that “threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security, or sovereignty of India.”
  • 18. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com THE SUPREME COURT HELD In 2011, when Prakash Jha took a few state governments to Supreme Court for banning his film Aarakshan he won the case. A Hindu editorial supporting Jha that time quoted these lines from an earlier judgement: “freedom of expression cannot be suppressed on account of threat of demonstration and processions or threats of violence.” Rangarajan v. P. Jagjivan Ram (1989
  • 19. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE BB1, Park Avenue, # 48, Race Course Road, Coimbatore - 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 – 6552921 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com CONCLUSION Our legal system needs to take a firm, consistent stand during such exigencies . We need to stop mirroring the evils of outdated law in fresh legislations like the Information Technology Act, and work instead to remove law and practices that institutionalise intolerance.