Communal Far-Right Going All Out In The Name Of Majoritarianism To Attack Freedom Of Speech : N Ram

8th Feb,2021

Communal Far-Right Going All Out In The Name Of Majoritarianism To Attack Freedom Of Speech : N Ram

N.Ram, the former editor-in-chief of 'The Hindu,' raised concerns about the rise of 'far-right communities' that attack freedom of expression and trigger institutional subversion. He addressed the "elephant in the room" which he described as the "communal far right" which "going all out in the name of majoritarianism to attack the freedom of speech" and, in the process, causes "a subversion of institutions."
There was a time when it was thought that India was an enviable place relative to the other developing countries in terms of freedom of press and freedom of expression. This was about 40 years ago, when we came out of the emergency, when journalism was characterised by buoyancy, animal spirit, new possibilities. He clarified that it was called the 'revolution of the Indian newspaper.' He pointed to the recent arrests and criminal charges against journalists and other musicians. This has broadened and highlighted the fault lines in the Indian Constitution and the law, not only in terms of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, but also in terms of the rights to freedom of assembly and movement. The protection is not as strong as we think and there are several abuses made possible by escape clauses, executive overreach and the inability of the judiciary to protect. We need to develop a culture of values and equality. It's an ongoing process, it began with the fight for freedom and it needs to continue. There are barriers along the way-there are rules in modern democracy that have no position. But we have a strong constitution and system of laws. Secondly, we need to focus on young people.
These individuals respond well if you concentrate on values. But as they head into the newsroom, they get out of touch with what they've learned at the school of journalism. We need to launch education and training programs in journalism and bring in experts. "These young people are innocent of the world's ways, but it will go a long way if we teach them values like dissent," Mr. Ram said, signing off.