Where does freedom of speech end and hate speech begin? Does self-regulation of media need to be scrutinised and strengthened?
The ongoing Sudarshan News case, that is centred around its controversial 'UPSC Jihad' show, has been attracting a lot of media attention. This is no longer just about Suresh Chavhanke’s show, with the Supreme Court hearings on the matter also seeking more clarity on how to define hate speech, especially in mainstream media and how to regulate it without ending up with a dangerous censorship regime.
Even as the court acknowledged that, prima facie, the contents of the show vilifies the entire Muslim community and "spreads venomous hatred", in its recent hearing on 21 September, it also expressed concerns about how its injunction order on the show is not the ideal regulatory method, as it could lead to chilling of speech, and may go beyond the court's remit.
At a time when what any reasonable person would call hate speech is spreading like wildfire on mainstream media, without any accountability, this case has also revived important questions about the self-regulatory mechanisms for electronic broadcast channels.
Are they as effective as the government repeatedly claims? If not, how do we strengthen its mechanisms?
What steps need to be taken to ensure that freedom of speech doesn't turn into an unrestricted licence for hate speech on media? And how do we regulate hate speech without interfering with free speech?
. Read more on Podcast by The Quint.Sudarshan News Case: Need Self-Regulations Over Blanket Bans?RR vs CSK: Umpire ‘Reviews’ Own Out Decision, Sparks Controversy . Read more on Podcast by The Quint.