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Showing posts from January, 2012

The thing about free speech...

…is that it’s hard to draw lines in the sand and say, this is the extent, the limit to which free speech extends, and beyond this, you’ve got to pay for it, in blood and tears, in fatwas and apologies. You can draw a line in personal relationships and say this is it, the Lakshman Rekha beyond which lie discord and distress, pain or shame. But if we start doing it as a society, we are doomed.

Because there’s no thing anyone can say which offends no one else, except maybe the word yes. On the other hand, as Woody Allen said, ‘What if the question is “Does the queen have the clap?”’ So even ‘yes’ is ruled out. If we have to constantly censor and re-censor everything we say just because someone somewhere may be offended, we’ll become a mute society. Freedom of speech has to be a given in a civilized society, regardless of whether it offends someone or not. I may disagree or be offended by something someone says, but I will defend to the end the person’s right to not only have an opinion bu…