Freedom of speech and expression, a right guaranteed to every Indian citizen, has been open to wide interpretation under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rule at the Centre. On the one hand, as several recent court rulings have highlighted recently, critics of the state, from journalists and students to activists, have been incarcerated or threatened by the institutions of state. Many protestors against the Citizenship Amendment Act or the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A over the status of Jammu & Kashmir or supporters of the farmers’ agitation have discovered this the hard way. On the other hand, members of the wider Sangh Parivar appear to get away with impunity for insulting statements that they make against people or institutions in the crosshairs of their disapproval.
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