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The Big Picture – Freedom of Expression Vs Expression of Hate


Indian constitution through Article 19(1) guarantees the right of freedom of speech and expression.  It also imposes some restrictions.

No freedom comes in absolute terms.

Freedom of expression should be carried on with some responsibilities by media.

Voice of majority should be the determining factor in democracies.

The law and order problem is caused by the individuals who do not know how to respond in a democratic and peaceful manner to the things they do not like in society.

All of us live in a society where there are rules. These rules prescribe ways of protesting. Anybody who violates these rules pose a threat to law and order.

This is an issue of civilization and democracy. Sometimes they are in consonance with each other. When they are in dissonance society faces many problems. They usually go hand in hand.

Democracy has helped unequals to voice their expression of hate against unequal system.

Looking at the growing number of protests, experts say that India is becoming intolerant society.

Three stakeholders have equal responsibilities in exercising these democratic rights. They are

  • The one who makes provocative statement.
  • People who oppose it.
  • Liberal elements, like media, involved in interpretation.

In our society the law or the cultural milieu of the society provides ample scope for individuals and collectives to ventilate their grievances to show their opposition.

Hate is also expressed using freedom of expression.

Democratic rights of civilization and civilization norms have been expanding.

The kind of society we are creating, where zones of engagement are becoming drawn in a different manner, may not be civilizational. It is a threat to democracy.

The role of media and liberals is very much important in these issues because it is the liberals who come with different interpretations which create conflicting situations.

Hate speeches should be discouraged. They are usually made for some political gains.