By – Suraj Kumar, @ersurajkumar
Anurag Kashyap’s Sacred Games is already a mega hit on Netflix but Nawazuddin’s dialogue that “Rajiv Gandhi fattu tha” had re opened debate between freedom of speech and expression vs reasonable restriction on them .
Our constitution guarantees freedom of speech under Article 19(1) (a), which includes the right to express one’s views and opinions at any issue through any medium, e.g. by words of mouth, writing, printing, picture, film, movie etc.
It thus includes the freedom of communication and the right to propagate or publish opinion, but this right is subject to reasonable restrictions being imposed under Article 19(2), which includes interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
Since above two articles are contradictory in nature, so every time, such issue comes out for disscusion, Supreme Court has to pass judgement on a case to case basis, In Romesh Thappar vs Union of India case, Justice Patanjali has rightfully held that freedom of speech and expression is the basis and essence of the constitution, also he mentioned reasonable restrictions should be such that others rights should not be hindered or affected by the acts of one man, but in the case of Menaka Gandhi vs Union of India case, Supreme Court has upheld the reasonable restrictions over the freedom of speech and expression.
Overall it’s a never ending discussion, but as a democracy we hope a day will come when we will move from reasonable restriction to no restriction, which will make freedom of speech and expression as absolute fundamental right.
Let’s get back to Sacred Games controversy ….
Does Rajiv Gandhi really deserves to be called a fattu ?
Well his tenure started with Sikh massacre and he silently let that happened with his speech “Jab ek bada ped girta hai to dahrti hilti hai”, later on he corrected his mistakes by stringent action on rioters but by then enough damage has already been done. Next big incident of his tenure was Shah Banu case, when Rajiv Gandhi (A Prime Minister with absolute Majority) bowed down to Mullah pressure and Let Shah Banu and other Muslim women live on mercy of Mullahs, against whom they won battle in Suprrme Court.
Another immature decision was sending peace keeping force to Sri Lanka against Sri Lankan Tamils (our own people, who were ethnically Indians), this was the first case in world, when army been sent to another country to kill their own people. On North eastern, front he brought All Assam Students Union (AASU) and the now defunct All Aasam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) on table of discussion with GOI and signed Assam Accord.
According to it, all foreigners who entered Assam illegally on or after March 25, 1971, would be detected and their names will be deleted from the electoral rolls and then deported under the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946, though the accord was signed on August 15, 1985, but his government had never shown any interest to implement Assam accord, which was major threat to culture, identity and economic future of the indigenous people of Assam. Another black spot on his govt to let Anderson (accused of Bhopal Gas Tragedy ) go free in exchange of his personal friend Adil Shahryar (who was serving 35 years of punishment in US Jail).
As every coin has two sides, it was Rajiv Gandhi who brought computers to India and built roadmap for telecom revolution , so the ground for today’s IT revolution and digital India has been prepared by his government. On governance front he strengthened Panchayti Raj and local self governance, although his dream of Panchyati Raj got fulfilled only after his death on 24 April 1993, by 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act 1992, which provided constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions.
Biggest achievement of his government was to pass Anti defection law by 52nd constitution Amendment in 1985, which laid down the process by which legislators can be disqualified on grounds of defection, this was the biggest electoral reform till date. He is the man who introduced computer to India.
By – Suraj Kumar, @ersurajkumar