“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter.” –George Washington
The importance of the freedom of speech is underestimated by most people.
George Washington stressed the instrumental role of the freedom of speech — as a defense against oppression. But freedom of speech, like the right to be left alone, is also something of value in and of itself, even if there was no possibility of being oppressed.
I wrote this piece for India Current (June 2016 issue). I reproduce it here, for the record. Continue reading
But that’s too generic a description. Besides being too general a description, democracy is hardly a comprehensive description of the Indian government. Surely, the democracy found in say Switzerland is quite different from what’s in India. We need better descriptors of Indian governance. Here’s a partial list, offered in the hope that you will add your own favorite.
Kapil Sibal’s uncivilized behavior has to have the backing and protection of the Queen Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi. As @vinod_sharma pointed out, “Sibal can’t be head of Gestapo unless there is a Hitler who wants him to do whatever it takes promote & protect him. Why silence about that?” Kanchan Gupta writing in Mid-Day, “A brazen attempt at political censorship” notes that censorship is nothing new: the Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi family have a history of trying to dictate to the press and muzzle free expression.
The August 2009 issue of Pragati is out. I have a contribution in there. My perspective is that the Indian government must stop subsidizing Muslims who go on haj, and the more general case that the government must stop meddling in private religious affairs of the citizens. The text of my article is below the fold, for the record.
India is very widely celebrated as having a democratic government. India’s government can also be accurately described another way. A kakistocracy is defined as government by the most corrupt and the least principled. As India’s case clearly demonstrates, the two are not mutually incompatible.