Freedom of the press in India
The constitution of India gives us the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a). Unlike the U.S constitution, there is no specific mention of liberty of the press in India but it has been enforced by the courts in India in various judgments making it a well-settled law that the right to freedom of speech and expression includes liberty of the press. The press assumes an extremely certain and useful part in a majority rule government. It keeps individuals educated regarding the public and global news and happenings. It brings to the notification of individuals the projects, arrangements, and exercises of the public authority.
Also, it keeps the Government up to date on individuals’ issues, challenges, expectations, and desires. Consequently, the press assumes a double part. It fills in as an extension between the Government from one perspective and individuals on the other. Freedom of the press includes circulation, publication, and access to information, However, freedom of the press is not absolute in India. The constitution under article 19(2) allows the state to impose reasonable restrictions on grounds such as public order, decency morality, contempt of court, sovereignty, and integrity of India, etc.
It is observed that freedom of speech also includes the ability to speak freely and articulation incorporates the opportunity of proliferation of thoughts which is guaranteed by the opportunity of the flow of a distribution, for, without dissemination, distribution is of little worth. In the famous case of Romesh Thappar v. the State of Madras, AIR 1950 SC 124, the petitioner had challenged a ban put by the state of Madras under which circulation and transmission of the journal were banned. It was ruled by the court that the ban imposed on circulation of the journal was beyond the scope of reasonable restrictions as provided in the constitution.
In another case, odyssey Communications Pvt. Ltd. v. Lokvidayan Sanghatana the petitioner filed a writ claiming that the telecast of a show will result in the spreading of superstitious beliefs, blind faith in the society which can hamper the society in negative ways. The high court had put a stay on the telecast of episodes. Aggrieved by this decision the producers of the show moved the supreme court by special leave petition opposing the claims. It was in this case where it was ruled that people have the freedom to exhibit film on Doordarshan subject to restrictions imposed by the constitution of India Freedom of the press is not limited to newspaper and magazines but are extended to circulars, pamphlets, brochures, journals. Radio, podcasts, OTT platforms, etc. India stands at 142nd position out of 180 countries in the world freedom of press Index which is published by reporters without borders organization. Norway was in the first position followed by Finland. India retained the same position as that of 2020 which signifies no improvement in the freedom provided to the press in India. Journalists in our country face all forms of threats and danger in our country. They are being accused of sedition and being booked under the Indian penal code 1860. Criminal defamation suits by legislators and corporate houses have likewise been bounty, and hatred charges have been ascending to control free discourse.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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