'The right move at the right time'
Following the publication of the MiD DAY People's Freedom Charter on Tuesday, the initiative has received rousing support from intellectuals, media persons and the public at large
The MiD DAY initiative is an excellent step forward. I am surprised no one thought of it earlier. We are steadily eroding our freedoms because we do not care enough to protect them.
We are constantly allowing governments, fringe groups, moral brigades, insurgents of different kinds to redraw the boundaries of our political, artistic, creative and sexual freedoms, not realising that every time they do so, we lose one more territory of our own.
Every vendor of power, every pressure group, every nut case, every vandal is inflicting wounds on the freedoms that this great nation had fought so hard for and unless we all swear to protect them, we will soon discover they have gone. Like our wildlife. Like our environment. Like so many dialects. Like our roads and rivers, our forests and tribes. Like so much of our history and traditions. We must learn to preserve, protect and nurture our freedoms. It is these freedoms that make India, India.
— Pritish Nandy
Author, former MP, filmmaker
I think MiD-DAY’s initiative is commendable and I pledged my support to it yesterday. Having been subject to much legal offensive in the early days of blogging in 2005, it is crucial that we don’t forget that it’s also important for people to know that with freedom comes a lot of responsibility. Comments should not amount to slander, and shouldn’t appear as if a ‘campaign’ is being run against any entity. It’s just not the government or law-enforcers who take advantage of the law. We have had private enterprises and individuals who have also used the provisions of the rulebooks to come down heavily on individuals who damn them online. The concern is that the public at large is ill-informed of its basic rights, which is why the two young ladies had to face the wrath of the police.
— Pradyuman Maheshwari
Senior journalist and convergence evangelist
Editor-in-Chief and CEO, MxMIndia
Amnesty International India is concerned about the Indian authorities’ efforts to curb freedom of expression on the internet and elsewhere. MiD DAY’s campaign is an excellent campaign initiative. It will go a long way in informing its readers that the Indian state has an obligation to protect its citizens against unlawful actions aimed at silencing the Right to Freedom of Expression.
Indian citizens must be aware that the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to Freedom of Speech and Expression. India must ensure that its citizens are not subject to criminal prosecution for peaceful criticism, even if what they say is perceived to be offensive.
— Shashikumar Velath
Director — Programs
Amnesty International India
I feel it is the right move at the right time and not only do I support the MiD DAY charter, I will also offer my organisation’s support and would like to participate in safeguarding freedom of expression and speech in India. I would also like to advise the public at large that it is time to stop being a spectator and speak up for the rights of those whose voices are being suppressed, because if we do not speak up for them now, it will be our turn next.
— Nikhil Pahwa
Editor of MediaNama.com
I think it is a great initiative taken by the paper and that people need some media backing like this. I think the public should stand by what is right and they should not be afraid of knowing the law, because the law is being used against them for expressing their views on a public platform or a social media network. People need to raise their concern over such misuse of power. The irony is that nobody is questioning the abuse of the law or even the bad laws. Just because a law is a law, it doesn’t make it a just law. In other words, bad laws need to be questioned and if not, nothing will change.
— Ashwin Mushran
(As told to Vinod Kumar Menon)