JLF 2015: It's time India too discussed curbs on freedom of expression

  • Danish Raza, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Jan 23, 2015 13:15 IST

Panelists on the session 'Against the Grain' at JLF 2015 said that while journalists and authors in India have sternly condemned the killings of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in France, it is high time that they discussed curbs on freedom of expression here in India too.

Sharing his experience from the 1990s on writing an editorial about the Babri Masjid demolition, which argued that it was one of the biggest mass movements in India, senior journalist and author Swapan Dasgupta said the piece had offended Delhi's academia.

"People from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, whom we call eminent historians, were furious. They said, 'Why this man should be given a platform?" he said.

Columnist Akar Patel, who was also on the panel, agreed saying he could not write on certain subjects in Gujarati and Urdu newspapers, which regularly feature his views: "They will not want me to tweak the column or dilute it a bit. They will just drop it," he said.

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