Manuraj Shunmugasundaram

Speaking Without Sedition: A Solution

On 30 October, the government of Tamil Nadu sent plainclothes policemen to arrest a folk artiste from his house around 2am. His crime: singing songs and organising street plays criticising the government's policy on sale of alcohol. Charged with sedition, folk artiste Kovan joins a long list of cases such as Aseem Trivedi and Senthil Mallar. The State's fondness for slapping sedition charges is evident from these cases. But, there is a larger academic question around the fine line separating freedom of speech and the State's powers to restrict it.