Dissent in Indian Territory: Against Sedition and Censorship
"We shall fight, we shall win" is the rallying cry of dissenters and protesters in India against the repressive measures of the State. India is the second largest democracy and freedom of speech and expression is protected under the Indian Constitution. There has always been a strong presence of the press and of investigative journalism, of local arts, cinema and television that has been satirical and critical of the government, and a nascent yet growing online space for expression of dissent. Social movements, activism and organizations or groups often face the brunt of repression of free speech. Free speech is policed through use of marital law in conflict regions like Kashmir, North-east, Chattisgarh and other parts of India. Even legal mechanisms such as contempt of court, defamation, intellectual property have been used to silence critics of environmental and human rights policies of the State. Often the State has exercised control by banning SMS, mobile phones, policing cybercafes and blocking websites without undertaking due process. Blocking dissent is still impossible as countless student movements, protests and online campaigns continue to get support from people.