Ensouth is in our eleventh year of publication yet the issues we butt heads with have not changed very much. Is it because as a society, we do not change very much? I would like to think not. More likely, the core issues that humanity faces remain the same, regardless of epochs, cultures, language or religion. Among these core issues is the one of personal liberty. How far do you really want your individual to be free? Free to follow a profession of his choice, live where he likes or marries who he likes? And free to think what he likes, say what he likes and abuse who he likes? Maybe even be free to murder who he dislikes?
Yes, we can all agree that there are limits to individual freedom because at some point, the cost to society far outweighs the benefit to the individual.
In India's Silenced Daughters, we examine the limits to free speech in the context of the documentary on the Nirbhaya rape case and argue that whatever the else the criterion may be, the limit to free speech cannot be defined by the reaction of the audience to that piece of free speech.
Next, since Justice Nariman of the Supreme Court so sagaciously struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, we ask ourselves if our Freedom to Offend is any the wider for the judgment.
This brings us to another core issue confronting our society: institutions that promote the interests of the service providers, rather than the consumers. The Government is of course a brilliant example. In Striking Disservice, we examine how this is equally true of the lawyer community.
Ranjeev C Dubey