Present Landscape of Freedom of Speech & Expression and Related Laws in India
Chanakya National Law University, Patna
The paper deals with one of the most debatable topics of the country, that is the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression, a number of rising cases of hate speech in politics and the role of media in this context. The Indian Constitution makes the “right to freedom of speech and expression” a Fundamental Right under Article 19(1)(a) . The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right of freedom of speech and expression but not the right to offend anyone’s sentiments. With various examples of recent instances, it is proven in the paper that there is a rise in hate speech during elections. Many political leaders are accused of giving hate speeches during elections just to gain the sympathy of their vote bank. But they forget that it may end up in apathy in the society. In many cases, people get involved just to get the limelight. Instances where hate speeches do not get noticed and punished are a greater threat to the social and religious harmony of the country than that which is covered by mainstream media.