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1/D-85
Aug 25, 2009
10:39 PM
>>why we do not have any such body of progressives in India who are willing to take a principled and uncompromising stand on free speech?

Because Indian progressives aren't very principled. They like ambiguity so they can simultaneously denounce a principle with maximum sanctimony but also take advantage of it when it benefits them.

The deeper cause is free speech is simply not part of our core bedrock political beliefs nor are we convinced of its actual merit for democracy. Nobody will suffer a personal slight or lose a night's sleep over it; leave alone one's life, limb or freedom. It is merely an ornament of modern democracy; very useful in diverting attention from the regressive character of our actual thoughts and beliefs in publicly discussing ideas.
Augustus AAA
Pune, India
2/D-1
Aug 26, 2009
12:07 AM
The First Amendment is sacrosanct in the U.S. It is however a generally accepted practice in most countries, particularly in the surface media if not on the internet, that offending people's religious feelings is not kosher. To extend this "prohibition" to political figures such as Patel or Shivaji sould be considered an unacceptable assault on free speech.
Anwaar
Dallas, United States
3/D-9
Aug 26, 2009
01:48 AM
If India had something akin to ACLU, it would be a big villain in the eyes of our pseudo Seculars as they would have defended Varun Gandhi.
P.B. Joshipura
Suffolk, Virginia, United States
4/D-21
Aug 26, 2009
06:37 AM
Good to see a discussion on this. Mr Anwaar's point about religion is a slippery slope. Let's not forget that creationists use the same bogey against evolution. Zealots are always ready to stoke communal passions on the grounds that their religious feelings have been hurt -- be they against Danish cartoons or against MF Husain. The very purpose of defending free speech is the right to give offence. I would like to back any efforts to start such an organisation in India. Its task is clearly cut out for even moderates would oppose it, but that does not mean that the effort should not be made to spread awareness about why in the end only free speech would ensure our freedom and make it in "full measure".
Yashodhara
New York, United States
5/D-61
Aug 26, 2009
06:55 PM
Our dear PM's daughter works for ACLU. She might want to take on her dad now that Bush isn't around :-)

The US founders started with a principle of more weightage to individuals than the state. It came from their experience with the "old" world and escaping to the "new" world for a better life.

The founders of modern India, started with the principle that to create a strong state the state has to have more weightage over individuals (also consistent with our history of collective over individual). Strong state was desired based on our experience of conquests and colonialism.
Arun Maheshwari
Bangalore, India
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