Business Standard

What India doesn't get about free speech

In calling for Vir Das and Kangana Ranaut's arrest, Indians are repeating the blunder of choosing knee-jerk responses over matters of principle


Illustration: Binay Sinha

Vir Sanghvi
When it comes to freedom of speech, there are some things that should be self-evident. But sadly, they are not — at least in the current political climate. And so they may be worth repeating.

The first is that there is no constitutional or moral right to not be offended. In fact, without the right to offend, free speech is meaningless. If I say something and nobody minds, then I don’t need my right to free speech to be protected. Why would I need any constitutional guarantees to be allowed to say what I want if everyone likes what I say?

Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Nov 24 2021 | 11:38 PM IST

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