Amidst the ongoing debate on religious intolerance in the country, the findings of the Pew Global Attitude Survey 2015 that "India is among the top supporters of religious freedom" comes as a breath of fresh air. This is a cue to the government to clamp down on rabble-rousing leaders that are fuelling the (mis)perception that there is implicit support from the top for those who are creating an atmosphere of religious divisiveness.
In a free society, we enjoy both, the right to offend and the right to get offended. It is exasperating that any expression that causes discomfort or displeasure to a section of society is met with increasingly vehement censure. For those who don't have the muscle power, the financial bandwidth and/or the legal firepower to deal with such threats, freely speaking your mind will always mean being prepared to pay a huge cost.
I'm sure someone out there won't like this article, or will ﬁnd it annoying, but it doesn't give them the right to have me arrested. I have a right to voice my opinion, and that is why I challenged Section 66A. People have the right to speak up, without fear.
The internet has become an invaluable space for speech, especially in times when fear and intimidation have become a pervasive mode of governance, and increased surveillance a technique for monitoring the citizen's speech and behaviour. The Supreme Court has played a historic role in ensuring that speech should and must be used to halt the increasingly untrammelled power by the State and its representatives.