July 15, 2020
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Beyond Arundhati Roy

Beyond Arundhati Roy

Vir Sanghvi in the Hindustan Times;

It does not matter how we feel about Arundhati Roy herself. The principle of freedom of expression is far more important than any individual. It is true that free speech can be curtailed on grounds of sedition. But we should restrict such curtailment of freedom of expression to those times when there is a real threat to the unity and integrity of India.

In this case, I would argue, Arundhati Roy’s statements pose no threat to us at all. Some years ago, she wrote a very long article for The Guardian and Outlook, demanding Azaadi for Kashmir. The consequences of that article were hardly damaging or dangerous. India did not collapse. Kashmir did not secede. And the piece itself was quickly forgotten.

There is no reason to believe that these statements will have consequences that are any more serious. In fact, they would have faded from the news in hours had the TV channels not continued fuelling public outrage.

Read the full piece here

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