Sudharshan News Case: Need Self-Regulations Over Blanket Bans?
The Big StorySeptember 22, 2020
00:19:1817.71 MB

Sudharshan News Case: Need Self-Regulations Over Blanket Bans?

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 21st September, it has also expressed its 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?

Producer and Host: Shorbori Purkayastha
Vakasha Sachev, Legal Editor, The Quint
Salman Khurshid, Senior Advocate, Congress Party Leader and Former Minister of External Affairs 
Editor: Shelly Walia

Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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