How to curb hate speech while protecting the right to free speech


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In light of cases against Nupur Sharma for her comments about Prophet Mohammed on Times Now and against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair for his comments about Hindu seers, we look at how to define the right to free speech in our current political climate. As hate speech is becoming increasingly common, so are threats to free speech and press freedom. In the 2022 World Press Freedom index, India ranks at 150 out of 180 countries, falling several places over the years.

In this episode of TSIS, host Suryatapa Mukherjee speaks to V. Krishna Ananth. A former lawyer and a journalist, he now teaches history at the Sikkim University, Gangtok. Last year, he wrote a book called ‘Between Freedom and Unfreedom: The Press in Independent India’ which chronicles the history of the Indian press. We look at what the law says about free speech and how our understanding of it has changed through history.

Kashmir is ground zero of press freedom clampdowns across India - Suno India
Pegasus: Understanding the super spy that controls your phone - Suno India
Nav-nirman Andolan of Gujarat, 1973-74: A new awakening | India Today
Why the 1974 All-India Railway Strike Is Relevant Even Today | The Wire
Article 19 in The Constitution Of India 1949
Section 124A in The Indian Penal Code
Report of the Press Commission Part 1 1954

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1. Recent events (00:00:16)

2. Limits to freedom of speech (00:02:55)

3. TV news’ role in rising hate speech (00:07:49)

4. Nupur and Zubair’s case (00:12:40)

5. How business models affect press freedom (00:21:29)

6. Political challenges to press freedom (00:31:17)

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