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Protecting unpopular speech
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I felt I should link to this article, Don’t blame the human rights defenders, by Maja Daruwala (who happens to be the daughter of Sam Manekshaw) as it is topical. It is also brilliant in its simplicity.

"A state by its very definition is the embodiment of lawful behaviour. It demands legal behaviour from citizens and itself always acts only through law and as a sentinel of human rights. This is the fundamental difference between state action and the acts of terrorists."

"In their frustration with the state’s inability to assure them a peaceful life, the public too is often tempted into wanting its government to forget the niceties of legal process and just go and blast those damned people into perdition. It is understandable that people, suffering the effects of evil doing, ask why terrorists should be given a fair trial and not just killed or locked away forever.

The answer lies in our right to make a defence for ourselves against our accusers. Our Constitution requires that we don’t do what terrorists do, kill or deprive people of liberty without a fair process."

"This is the process we would all want if our sons were suddenly declared ‘terrorist’. We don’t want the police or the para-militaries to decide in their own secret wisdom that you and I are terrorists and shoot us in our beds or take us into secret hideouts to question us for days on end without ever telling our families or the court where we are or what is being done to us, all in the name of law and order!"

Read the rest of it. And kudos to The Hindu for publishing it today.

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Absolutely agree.

But its such a deadlock situation. Such large population, economically deprived society for long time, democracy with certain bad policy makers. I guess given these conditions, the current state of affair/progress is the best which can be done.

Yeah, I'd say India is doing fairly well. We shouldn't overdose on strong laws though.

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