Freedom Of Speech In India: A Myth?

Publication Information

Journal Title: Indian Politics & Law Review
Author(s): Malini Mukherjee
Published On: 06/04/2021
Volume: 6
First Page: 117
Last Page: 132
ISSN: 2581-7086
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Cite this Article

Malini Mukherjee, Freedom Of Speech In India: A Myth?, Volume 6, Indian Politics & Law Review, 117-132, Published on 06/04/2021, Available at https://iplr.thelawbrigade.com/article/freedom-of-speech-in-india-a-myth/

Abstract

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967 is one which was created to ‘curb’ the growing secessionist and terrorist tendencies of the citizens back at the time of its birth. But is that how it is being used?

This article seeks to map how this Act came to be – the reasons behind its culmination, how it has grown over the years and most significantly, its use in today’s society by the administration or executive. It aims to reveal how it has been used to quell dissent- a fundamental pillar of democracy- in terms of use and subsequent treatment of those arrested.

This has been done by taking into account recent examples of arrests, which have primarily included social activists- such as Umar Khalid, Binayak Sen and Anand Teltumbde or activists who have dared to speak against the nefarious activities of ruling parties. This quashing of dissent is very problematic- for as aforementioned- it is a fundamental pillar of democracy.

The Fundamental Freedom of Speech and Expression has been provided to each and every citizen of the nation, subject to reasonable restrictions, but are these restrictions reasonable, are they for the safety of the nation or simply- to put it in George Orwell’s words: the defence of the indefensible? Today, to challenge the operations of those in power takes years of struggle, of bravery and perseverance but that is not how it was meant to be – those in power have today come to overstep their thresholds and is what this paper seeks to highlight.

Keywords: Freedom Of Speech, Fundamental Rights, Constitution of India, UAPA, NSA, National Security

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