Recently someone posted a few comments to a post on this blog which were held in moderation. I decide which comments get approved as this my blog and I reserve the right to do so. The person was unhappy that his comments did not get approved and took his quarrel with me to another site which posted his comments. This matter touches on an issue that is broader than the trivial matter of comments on a blog. It’s the distinction between rights and freedoms, a distinction that appears to be lost on too many people, and indeed tragically on some people who make policies that affect millions of people. I address the trivial matter in this post and the important matter in the next post.
The post in question was about government censorship, and one person posted a comment that was abusive to me and far off the mark. It did not advance the discussion and I justifiably decided to ignore it. It began with an idiotic objection (that I had misspelled the URL of my blog — and therefore I did not know Hindi.) Then it went off on a tangent. The writer later posted his comment to Rajesh Akkineni’s blog where it was published.
The guy posted a few more comments (not approved) to my blog claiming that I was censoring him. I absolutely did that. He feels that I have somehow violated his right to say whatever he wants to say on my blog. That is not so. I believe the freedom of expression is absolute but that does not automatically confer any rights to anyone to say what they want on my blog.
Freedom of speech means that you are free to say whatever you want but it does not give you the right to a forum or an audience. You can choose to exercise it on your blog or your radio station or your newspaper or on your soapbox in the public square. But you cannot demand that the New York Times publish your gibberish just because you have freedom of speech. You have the right to speak or write but demanding to be heard or read is ridiculously stupid. Your freedom of expression does not confer a right on you to come into my living room and abuse me, nor does it impose a corresponding obligation on me to allow you to disturb the peace in my home with your rants. I will defend your freedom of speech but I will be damned if I let you violate my property rights. I will politely tell you to get the foxtrot off my property. Which is what I did by not approving that idiot’s (yes, he has to be an idiot if he has not figured out this simple truth) comment.
 The URL of this blog “deeshaa.org” is a compromise. You take what is available and cannot choose what is already registered by others.
 I have written at length on the freedom of expression and speech on this blog. See these posts.