India Insight

Moral brigade, media trials and law

In what is being seen as a significant judgement, India’s apex court recently dismissed all charges against south Indian actress Khushboo for her alleged remarks on pre-marital sex in a 2005 magazine interview.

KhushbooThe Supreme Court said her comments were her personal view and that she was entitled to express them.

Many in the country believe the verdict heralds a welcome but a difficult and slow change. Nevertheless, it reinforces our claim to democracy, secularism and above all freedom of speech and expression, of course with its riders.

But an offshoot of the same verdict also highlights prevalence of two active groups in the country which are substantially contributing to its brand and image.

One is media which drives to act as a facilitator of democracy, welcoming the evolution of society and bringing about changes. Other is the moral brigade which claims to be the preservers of rigid cultures and ethos and refuses to embrace any change.

INTERVIEW – Supreme Court lawyer on Khushboo case

Pinky Anand, counsel for actress Khushboo in the Supreme Court, spoke to Reuters about the case and how the verdict would have a far-reaching impact.

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