Free Speech absolutism does not exist | Thoughts #35

For the past week a lot of ‘stop insulting’ and ‘freedom of speech’ has been going on. There are two observations that are not so conspicuous, first is that what does one mean by ‘freedom of speech’ and second why shouldn’t insults be allowed. Now I’m going to talk about this issue in-line with the recent French controversies, which I’m sure most of you are aware of. I won’t go into the religiosity of it, but will elaborate on the secular premise.

Most people talk about concepts such as ‘Freedom of Speech’ and or ‘Freedom of Expression’ like its a Divine law, as if some deity (with the connotation that a deity is the ultimate source of knowledge) came chanting its song. “Human rights are considered the offspring of natural rights, which themselves evolved from the concept of natural law. Natural law, which has played a dominant role in Western political theory for centuries, is that standard of higher-order morality against which all other laws are adjudged. To contest the injustice of human-made law, one was to appeal to the greater authority of God or natural law.” The reason why you must understand the roots of Human Rights is so that you put on your critical lenses, and not take those laws for granted, as they themselves aren’t free from ideologues.

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Why internet is still not a fundamental right | Thoughts #24

…It makes it clear that without internet the full effect of human rights especially freedom of expression and opinion isn’t fully possible, which is obvious given that most of the opinions and expressing of the same is done online now. Even right to education, economic, social and cultural rights come into it.

In India after 10 months of the reading down (which people falsely title as ‘revocation’) of Article 370 the Supreme court finally had some sympathy after delaying the hearing for so long. It declared the access to internet a fundamental right referring to Article 19 (1) (a) in the Indian constitution, which is that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression. As noted by the UN internet is an important factor in the facilitation of this right. But what nothing in neither Indian Supreme Court’s statement or UN’s report clarifies is what exactly is internet.

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