Sunday, January 29, 2012

At the crossroads of mediaphobia

At the crossroads of mediaphobia:

There is a concerted move to curb freedom of expression. The Govt manipulates media through advertisements, giving journalists several benefits, awarding Padma awards, putting them on various govt bodies, cajoling them, threatening them and through various other means. The countervailing force to Paid Media is social sites like the Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo etc. ,where citizen journalists freely express their opinion. This hurts the intolerant government. The Indian Constitution under Art 19 grants its citizens certain civic freedoms including Freedom of Speech and Expression. The First Amendment to the Constitution in 1951 widened the grounds of restrictions on the Freedom, but mercifully added the word "reasonable" before restriction making judicial review of restriction possible. The Courts in India have generally acted as the guardians of Fundamental Rights, but in the present case the role of a court has been against the spirit of the Constitution. The Court wanted to make India like China. Criticizing Sonia Gandhi may be blasphemy for the Congress, but for others it is not. Besides, in India blasphemy is not a ground for restricting the freedom of expression.

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