Home Opinions AIB - All India Bhagodas? Why avoiding legal battles makes it worse for Free Speech

AIB – All India Bhagodas? Why avoiding legal battles makes it worse for Free Speech

India is not a country known for its laws on Free Speech. It began in 1950 when the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, brought in the First Amendment to the Indian Constitution against “abuse of freedom of speech and expression”. This was in response to an article which was critical on Nehruvian policies.

The Indian Penal Code makes matters worse. Section 294 of the IPC mandates that any kind of public obscenity can be punished with upto 3 months in jail.

The only to change a law in our country is to wait for our MPs to sit up and take notice. Unfortunately that is not quite in our hands. Free Speech is hardly a priority for our lawmakers. In fact, they would want more curbs on speech!

- Ad - - article resumes -

The next best thing is to make the courts hear your plea and force them into getting a favourable opinion on a draconian law through logical debates. This can spur the Parliament into changing the law itself.

A classic example of this was Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalised sexual activities “against the order of nature”, arguably including homosexual acts. The section was declared unconstitutional by the Delhi High Court in 2009. This judgement was later overturned by the Supreme Court, but it was a moment which made everyone sit up and question a colonial law. The battle continues there.

But in the case of Freedom of Speech, many of “activists” often take the easy route and don’t prefer to fight for their case. Even stalwarts like MF Hussain did not stand up to the ones who he “offended” but chose to run away to another country instead of fighting his court battles.

AIB had a golden chance to set it right. They had the financial might, backing from the big guns of Bollywood, and support of the people. AIB are arguably the most successful stand-up comedians in India. Even though some people found their jokes offensive, unfunny or repetitive, most people defended their right to say those jokes. If not them, who else will stand up for their fraternity? and for Freedom of Speech as a whole?

As we have said earlier, laws in the case of Freedom of Expression can never be precise and objective. This is where precedents help. A court ruling in the AIB issue could have served as a source of support to numerous artistes who are bullied by people who take “offense”.

But running away doesn’t help. It only worsens the case and makes interpretations of the law even more unfriendly to Freedom of Speech. AIB still have time to buck up and make a difference and go into the History books. Lets see if they bite the bullet!

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

After abrogation of Article 370 by the Modi government, Congress and Pakistan seem to have found an ideological soulmate in each other

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

To Advertise on Opindia.com Click here

Barkha Dutt’s strange coincidences with a Kashmiri who wished death upon PM Modi and Amit Shah

Idrees ul Haq, with whom Barkha Dutt had a series of ‘coincidences’ is a known separatist sympathiser

Deplorable ‘journalists’ further Pakistan propaganda and undermine India: Why should their patriotism not be questioned

Indian 'journalists' and 'intellectuals' have taken up the mantle of peddling the Pakistan narrative on Kashmir it appears.
Shah Faesal was reportedly planning to approach ICJ over India’s decision to abrogate Article 370

IAS-turned-politician Shah Faesal was travelling to file case against India in the ICJ over Kashmir issue: Report

Shah Faesal was nabbed at the New Delhi International Airport on August 14 when he was trying to leave the country, reportedly, to Turkey

Here is why Shobhaa De could be first in a long list to be exposed by Pakistan

India’s stand on abrogation of Article 370 and 35A and dilution of Jammu and Kashmir from a state to a Union Territory has dropped the baby of pretence.

Purported email screenshots of Kavita Krishnan’s team show them discussing use of retired judges and ex-military officers for Kashmir propaganda

Purported screenshots of internal emails of urban naxals are being circulated on social media
PM Modi's debut on Man vs Wild becomes most viewed show worldwide with 3.6 billion impressions, leaving Super Bowl behind

PM Modi’s debut on Man vs Wild becomes most trending show worldwide with 3.6 billion impressions, leaving Super Bowl behind

The appearance of PM Modi on Discovery’s ‘Man vs Wild’ show with survivalist and adventurer Bear Grylls has garnered 3.6 billion impressions and counting.

After the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan Minister expresses angst over Rahul Gandhi not winning 2019 elections

After abrogation of Article 370 by the Modi government, Congress and Pakistan seem to have found an ideological soulmate in each other
Shehla Rashid bats for Armed insurgency in Kashmir

Career-protester-turned-politician Shehla Rashid downplays terrorism in Kashmir, calls legitimate action by India ‘state terrorism’ instead

According to Shehla Rashid, India has been inflicting atrocities on Kashmiris since 1953
Actor R Madhavan was trolled on social media by many 'liberals' as he had posted the pictures of himself and his son wearing the Yajnopaveetham

Actor R Madhavan hounded on social media for sharing pictures of himself wearing the Poonal or Yajnopaveetham

Madhavan posted pictures of himself with his son wearing the Poonal or Yajnopaveetham, the sacred thread of Brahmins.
Syed Akbaruddin addressed the media yesterday at the UN, affirmed that any decisions regarding Jammu and Kashmir is India's internal matter and if Pakistan wants any talks with India, it has to stop promoting terrorism first.

We do not need international busybodies to tell us how to run our lives, Pakistan using Jihad to promote violence: Syed Akbaruddin

"India is a vibrant democracy, we do not need international busybodies to tell us how to run our lives", India's ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
[newsletter_form type="minimal"]
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

180,620FansLike
169,976FollowersFollow
88,972SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post