When words lose their meaning, and meanings their import

What does it mean to have the right to #FreedomOfExpression?  Is it simply to say whatever comes into your head? Is it to flirt with the scurrilous to ensure your media outfit gets all the ears and eyeballs?  Or is it to simply follow the flock so that you may not get left behind trying to tread a path less trodden?

No doubt it is important to question a policeman’s public rage at his daughter’s personal choice of spouse.  But as a father, was he given the media space to freely express his opinion about why he considers the choice of partner less wise?  When students having a party at a bar or getting intimate in a park are bashed up the media is right to call the vigilantes retrograde.  But the media should not shy away from using their right to also ask where the line should be drawn, especially when a young life is lost because a juvenile drove a car into a tree in the wee morning hours, killing the minor girl he was with.   A thali can be considered as much a regressive hangover of a patriarchal conservative society as a burqa.  Equally, the agents of choice are the individuals concerned and their voices have the right to be heard undiluted by scepticism.

The right to freedom of expression – whether on social or other media – should not be more for some than for others. The right to express freely on some topics is not more, and, equally, it is not less so if you take certain positions.


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