The article “Chilling effects and frozen words” (April 30) makes a strong case for a re-look at the vague terminologies that have found entry in the Information Technology Act. Fast expanding cyber sphere and uncontrollable explosion in information technology have inflicted bouts of nervousness in the political class. This finds expression in the escapist and protective usage of vague epithets in the process of law-making, in the name of giving effect to reasonable restrictions. If liberty is anything at all, it is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Right to free speech and expression is not absolute. The law regulates what can and cannot be said — libel, obscenity and indecency are just a few examples of some limitations. Social networking sites should observe standards of decency and morality. We see many wall posts filled with hatred, intolerance, and bias, and abusive comments on politicians posted by those who hate some of them. Even a writer who expresses his or her views in a balanced manner invites intolerant reactions just because some do not agree with him or her. Frozen words are less lethal but no less dirty than the war of weapons.
K. Suresh Babu,