India Backs ‘Free Speech’ at G7, But Calls It ‘Sedition’ at Home – By Karan Tripathi
On June 13, the Indian government signed a joint statement at the G7 Summit to promote “open societies” that reaffirm and encourage the values of “freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression”….
However, the signing of the joint statement foregrounds the Indian government’s hypocrisy on civil liberties. While at global forums it trumpets democratic values, at home, the Modi-led central government has laid a politically motivated siege on the freedom of speech and expression by criminalising dissent.
‘Internet shutdown’, ‘UAPA’, ‘sedition’ – these serious punitive measures have become part of the ‘anti-democracy folklore’ of the present government’s rule. They have shifted from being serious penal offences to be used only rarely, to become tools of everyday governance to quell “too much democracy”….