A bad law is a democracy’s greatest threat (“An arresting Act,” May 15). No matter what the safeguards against its misuse are, a politically subservient police cannot be expected to defend the constitutional rights of citizens. The wide reach of the digital media has scared sections of our political class which are under the illusion that intimidation of dissenters can silence criticism.
Little do they realise that the digital highways of information cannot be blocked by foisting cases on social media users. The government must shed its reluctance to remove Section 66A of the IT Act.
The manner in which law-enforcers interpret the freedom of expression is hilarious. You can exercise your right, but you should not offend others is the general interpretation. But if you do not offend others or if the things you say or write do not deviate from the widely accepted ideas, no one will ever try to silence you. In which case, the right to freedom need not be guaranteed by the Constitution. The right essentially means the right to disagree and displease.
This is not to say indecent and immoral content should be allowed to be propagated through any medium. But slapping a criminal case on a citizen for expressing views which displease others is detrimental to democracy.