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Book Name: Publish and Be Damned – Censorship and Intolerance in India
By Rajeev Dhavan
The essays collected in this volume explore the relationship between social censorship and political, and, more significantly, the rise of an insidious communal censorship that seeks to divide civil society and intimidate all those who value the gift of free speech as they burn books, destroy works of art, silence dissent, and intimidate the artist, researcher, film-maker, writer, actor, and free thinker.
The author Rajeev Dhavan reflects on how free speech in India has been compromised by state censorship through ‘slapp’ suits in court, and on issues of official secrecy, contempt of court, and censorship by intolerance in civil society and government.
More specifically he examines the uses and abuses of the law, the Danish ‘Toon’ controversy, the case of harassing Husain, and the right to strike.
Rajeev Dhavan argues, unrepentantly, that free speech has to be preserved in the overcrowded spaces of the media, on the streets and in the open spaces of our mind, against the onslaught of corporatism, doubtful governance and invidious divisiveness.
Freedom of the mind and the right to self-expression and argument can only survive if intolerance is met with tolerance, and tolerance is not seen as weakness.