When True Speech is Truely Free Summary Notes

When True Speech is Truely Free Author

He is a philosopher and currently, Professor of philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru. He was the founding director of the Manipal Cemtre for Philosophy and Humanities, Manipal University, from 2010 -2015.

He has a Masters in Physics from lit, Madras. An extremely versatile and talented academician trained n Physics and Philosophy, he has earned his doctoral degree in Particle Physics, from Purdue University, USA. He shifted to the discipline of Core Philosophy after pursuing it as a course at Purdue. He has had the distinction of working with the eminent sociologist Prof M.N. Srinivas and Gopal Guru.

He has authored many books of which ‘What is Science?’ has been published by NBT, India. Sarukkai is a member of the Indian Council for Philosophical Research and is the Editorial Board Member of Leanardo Book Series on Science and Art Published by the prestigious MIT Press, USA. He is also the series editor for Science and Technology Studies, Routledge. He has many other laurels to his credit like being a Homi Bhabha fellow of HAS, Shimla, and PHISPC Associate Fellow. His work has largely revolved around some central and many peripheral themes on Philosophy of nature and Social Science.

This article, taken from The Hindu (22/03/2019) discusses a very important constituent of Democracy namely, freedom of speech, its roles, responsibilities, and its manifestations.

When True Speech is Truely Free Summary

The given essay ‘When Free Speech is truly free’ is written by Shri. Sundar Sarukkai.

SundarJSarukkai is a Professor of Philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru: This article was published in the ‘The Hindu’ (22/03/2019). It discusses a very important constituent of Democracy i.e. ‘Freedom of Speech’ its roles responsibilities and its manifestations.

Sarukkai begins the essay by broaching up the theme of ‘Freedom’. He says that he is sure that the theme of freedom will be constantly raised throughout the 2019 Lok-sabha Elections. Freedom and truth have become important issues all over the world, nowadays. Both freedom and truth are abstract ideas (concepts) and difficult to interpret perfectly, that too in public political discourse (Debate). Firstly, there are different kinds of freedom such as freedom to speak, to write, to think, to imagine, to live our lives, to eat what we want etc. We are prone to appeal (invoke) the term ‘freedom’ with great alacrity (quickly and easily). Even little children say that they have the freedom to have ice cream. Hence it is of great importance to interpret, analyze and understand the various meanings of the term ‘freedom’. The author wants us to understand that the most important expressions of freedom are ‘Free Speech’. He goes on to analyze the meaning of ‘Free speech’.

Freedom to hold forth? Freedom to talk elaborately about a subject.

Here the author makes an interrogative statement. The question mark is sure to raise curiosity among the readers. The author may be implying that “Do we have the liberty to talk elaborately about a subject?”

Hence the author tries to lead us to an understanding. He says that we, in general, think that the main elements of democracy are the holding of elections and free media. In general, we believe elections and free media are important means of free speech and free expression. Hence a ‘Secret Ballot’ – casting an e anonymously with one’s own free will is a free expression and can be broadly understood as ‘free speech. The media which is free to express its views truly and fairly can be deemed 9s ‘free speech’. The author now poses more questions for us to ponder, “But is free speech really the essence of democracy? Is it really so important for an effective democracy?”

On the contrary (Paradoxically) and controversially there is an in-grown (inherent) tension between free speech and democracy. If we think ‘free speech’ gives us the right to say whatever we want then it will certainly not contribute to or help to bring about meaningful social behavior. ‘Free speech’ does not give us the right to spread falsehood about another person. Such Falsehood can be termed as rumor and gossip, disguised as free speech, made with a hidden agenda. Rumor, gossip, fake news, and deliberate lying cannot be deemed as free speech.

Sarukkai thinks that if we understand the meaning of the word ‘free’ in the term ‘free speech, we will be able to overcome the problem of defining what the constituents of free speech are. Again he poses a few rhethoric questions to the reader -‘ What is really free in free speech? The freedom to say what one wants? I free speech, freedom to say what one wants? So to understand what is ‘free’ in free speech the author explains that one cannot say what one wants all the time because all speech is constrained – artificial or forced. The constraints are language, words, concepts and grammar and also the physical contours – shapes and moulds; of our mouth. Speech is again subject to the limitations of the biological and cognitive knowledge gained through experiences and senses, and its expression through language. In human society, an individual does not have the freedom to say what one wants, because it may offend somebody else. The author cites an example of a cricket commentator. He or she has to stick to commenting on the game of cricket. He or she cannot suddenly give a lecture on philosophy in the name of free speech. It would appear absurd in the situation.

Speech isn’t free it comes with a cost, in addition to the other * constraints already discussed. Speech, either good or bad, exacts its own price. One is not free to say what we want, even in personal relationships. If we are honest and outspoken, we have a price to pay. Relationships get broken. It may also lead to wars between people or nations.

Hence the author thinks that the essence of free speech is not really about the freedom to say what we want but it is more about the speech which is free. Thus the ‘free’ in ‘free speech is which comes with a cost or price’.

But the onus of paying the price of free speech is not in the hands of the speaker but with the listener. The listener may take offense at what the speaker has said. Hence it can be said that ‘free speech can be described as one in which the listener is not allowed to take offence and intimidate – threaten the speaker.

Hence the author ironically says that the real freedom in ‘free speech is not in the freedom of the speaker to say what he/she wants but is limited (constrained) by what the listener allows the speaker to say. Thus, the demand of the ‘right to speak’ comes along with the listener to demand the ‘right to stop’ us from speaking what we want. Consequently, the notion of free speech’ shifts the responsibility of free speech from the speaker to the listener. Here the author implies that ‘free speech does not give us the right to say what we want.

We cannot slander – (damage a person’s reputation) through falsehood claiming our ‘right to free speech. The writer again asks us if slandering a person is the same as criticizing the government or the nation. He implies that one cannot exercise their right to free speech to ‘ slander ’ a person because the person may take offense to it and take us to court for defaming his reputation. Similarly, isn’t it ironical that we cannot exercise our ‘Right to free speech’ bestowed upon us by democracy to criticize our governments, because, irrespective of which party is in power, they arrest the criticizer under the draconian Taw of sedition’ and imprison him. Sundar Sarukkai insists that in a democracy criticizing our government is our duty. Slandering a person is not an expression of free speech but criticizing our government is not only our right but also our duty because it is our democratic right.

Hence in a true democracy, criticizing is an expression of free speech’. It is a tool to make democratic government accountable to its people. It is a tool to make it work for the betterment of the country and its citizens. Criticizing shouldn’t be mistaken for individual freedom to say what one wants.

Democracy is ‘for the people, of the people and by the people’ of a country. It is a social and public system of responsibility of governance. Democracy is collective action. It gives us the right to choose our potential rulers, to rule, to govern, on behalfofus. Hence ‘free speech’ is the mechanism to make sure our elected representatives govern correctly on our behalf. Hence free speech can be used effectively to rein in our errant politicians.

The author imperatively states that hue free speech covers those acts of speech which speak against power to keep them accountable to the people of a nation. So it protects the most cherished (loved) democratic principle. Democracy thrives on ‘free speech. Anybody who opposes criticizing of the government or its representative can be said to be undemocratic. The author warns us that we will dilute the importance of free speech, when we use it for our personal benefit.

Sarukkai, concludes the essay hoping that people in power will subsidize ‘ free speech’, so that every citizen will be able to use it without fear of retaliation, for the betterment of the country and its people.

When True Speech is Truely Free Glossary

discourse           : talk; dialogue; written or spoken communication/debate
hold forth          : talk at length about a subject.
anonymously     : in a way that does not reveal identity or name of person.
paradoxically     : self contradictory, opposite of
inherent            : inborm; built-in, existing within something.
conducive         : good for, helpful
guise                 : Concealing the true nature of something
ulterior              : hidden, undisclosed
constitutes        : be apart of a whole; makes up
constrained       : artificial, forced
contours            : shapes, moulds
congnitive         : relation to cognition (the mental process of acquiring knowledge through thought experience and senses)
intimidate         : threaten; frighten
slander             : action of making false statements damaging a person’s reputation
sedition            : conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against authority.
safeguard         : protect
cherished         : loved dearly
subsidised        : support financially by giving grants.

When True Speech is Truely Free Questions & Answers

Guided Reading

Question 1.
Which theme is as important as freedom, according to Sarukkai, in a global context?
Answer:
According to Sundar Sarukkai, ‘Truth’ is as important as freedom, in a global context.

Question 2.
The author says that elections and free media are expressions of free speech and free expressions.

Question 3.
What do you mean by “casting a vote anonymously”?
Answer:
‘Casting a vote anonymously’ is freedom of choice to vote for a candidate who we think is best among the others, without anybody knowing our choice. It is called ‘Secret Ballot’. It is an ex¬pression of ‘freespeech’.

Question 4.
People think that the most important elements of democracy are holding of elections and a free media

Question 5.
How would you qualify rumour and gossip? Is it right to categorize them as free speech?
Answer:
Rumour, gossip, fake news, and deliberate lying can be hidden under the guise of free speech. It is spoken with an ulterior motive. To call this as free speech is a mistake.

Question 6.
What example does the writer use to describe how we cannot have complete social freeedom to say what we want? Whant would be its effect?
Answer:
Sundar Sarukkai uses the example of a commenterator comnenting on a game of cricket. The writer states that the commenterator cannot suddenly give a lecture on philosophy, saying that he is protected by freespeech.

Relationships get broken, wars are declared between people because somebody spoke freely.

Question 7.
What is the hearer’s role in free speech?
Answer:
Hearers have the right to stop or allow the speaker to say what he wants. The idea of free speech shifts the responsibility of free speech from the speaker to the hearer. A hearer has the right to stop a person from slandering anyone including himself in the name of free speech.

Question 8.
According to the author, the impact of free speech is played out more through the listener than the speaker. True/False.
Answer:
True.

Question 9.
Criticising a government is:

  1. Equal to falsely criticizing an individual.
  2. Wrong and not acceptable
  3. Equal to sedition
  4. Not free speech
  5. An instrument to strengthen democracy.

Answer:
5. An instrument to strengthen democracy.

Question 10.
The foundation of democracy is collective action. True / False
Answer:
True.

Question 11.
What are the different expressions of freedom that Sarrukai talks about?
Answer:
The different expressions of freedom that Sarukkai talks about are

  • Freedom to speak.
  • Freedom to write
  • Freedom to think.
  • Freedom to imagine
  • Freedom to live our lives
  • Freedom to eat what we want
  • Free Media
  • Freedom to caste vote anonymously
  • Freedom of choice
  • Freedom to speak the truth, without any recuperations
  • Freedom to stop any person who spreads falsehood.
  • Freedom to criticize constructively
  • Freedom to speak against power.
  • Freedom to uphold democracy.
  • Rumour, gossip, and slander.

Question 12.
How would you justify that anonymous voting is a broader expression than free speech?
Answer:
Anonymous voting is truely a broader expression than free speech. We can exercise franchises with our own free will. We are at the liberty to vote for a candidate of our own choice, without any compulsions. In a ‘secret ballot, we can vote our favourite candidate without our choice being disclosed publicity. Thus we can vote without fear of retaliation. The real freedom in a democracy is the freedom to choose who will govern on our behalf without fear of retaliation

Question 13.
How do free speech and democracy create an inherent tension?
Answer:
Free speech is the real essence of democracy. Free speech is very important for an effective democracy. Free speech and free media is essential to criticize the government or nation. Our government, irrespective of which party is in power have effectively used the charge of sedition (speech which encourage rebellion against the state) to stop certain criticism of the government or the nation. Thus there is an inherent tension between free speech and de-mocracy.

Question 14.
Explain “It is speech with an ulterior motive”
Answer:
If free speech is understood Merely as the freedom to say what one wants, then that is obviously not conducive to meaningful social behaviour. For eg : one can spread fulsehood lord about another in the name of free speech, One can insult, lie, create harm and hatred through free speech. In these cases, free speech should rightfully be called rumour and gossip. Rumour, gossip, fake news and delibrate lying can be hidden under the guise of free speech. Such speech is speech with an unterior motive. To call these as freespeech is a mistake. These ‘free spech’ are made to malign the reputation of a person for our own hidden agenda.

Question 15.
Analyse how all speech is restricted or constrained.
Answer:
We must understand the meaning of freedom in free speech before we define what really constitutes free speech. ‘Free speech’ means freedom to say what one wants. But we can really say what we want all the time since all speech is constrained (artificial or forced). We can be constrained by language, words, concepts, and grammar and even by the physical contours of our mouth. We are constrained by the biological and cognitive structures related to thought and its expression through language. Socially, we are not folly free to say what we want. We cannot make certain utterances in certain places. A commentator commenting on a game of cricket suddenly give a lecture on philosophy saying that he is protected by free speech.

Question 16.
What is the price one has to pay for saying what we want?
Answer:
Speech isn’t free it comes with a cost, in addition to the other constraints already discussed. Speech, either good or bad, exacts its own price. One is not free to say what we want, even in personal relationships. If we are honest and outspoken, we have a price to pay. Relationships get broken. It may also lead to wars between people or nations.

Question 17.
According to Sarrukai, what are the true conditions of free speech?
Answer:
The essence of free speech is not really about the freedom to say what we want but it is more about the speech which is free. Thus the ‘free’ in ‘free speech is which comes with a cost or price’.

But the onus of paying the price of free speech is not in the hands of the speaker but with the listener. The listener may take offense at what the speaker has said. Hence it can be said that ‘free speech’ can be described as one in which the listener is not allowed to take offense and intimidate – threaten the speaker.

Hence the author ironically says that the real freedom in ‘ free speech’ is not in the freedom of the speaker to say what he/she wants but is limited (constrained) by what the listener allows the speaker to say. Thus, the demand of the ‘right to speak’ comes along with the listener to demand the ‘right to stop’ us from speaking what we want. Consequently, the notion of‘free speech’ shifts the responsibility of free speech from the speaker to the listener. Here the author implies that ‘free speech’ does not give us the right to say what we want. We cannot slander- (damage a person’s reputation) through falsehood claiming our ‘right to free speech’.

Question 18.
Describe Democracy as Sarrukai sees it.
Answer:
Sundar Sarukkai insists that in a democracy criticizing our government is our duty. Slandering a person is not an expression of free speech but criticizing our government is not only our right but also Our duty because it is our democratic right.

Hence in a true democracy, criticizing is an expression of ‘ free speech’. It is a tool to make democratic government accountable to its people. It is a tool to make it work for the betterment of the country and its citizens. Criticizing shouldn’t be mistaken for individual freedom to say what one wants.
Democracy is ‘for the people, of the people and by the people’ of a country. It is a social and public system of responsibility of governance. Democracy is collective action. It gives us the right to choose our potential rulers, to rule, to govern, on behalf of us. Hence ‘free speech’ is the mechanism to make sure our elected representatives govern correctly on our behalf. Hence free speech can be used effectively to rein in our errant politicians.

Question 19.
What is the true power of free speech?
Answer:
‘Free speech’ is the mechanism to make sure our elected representatives govern correctly on our behalf. Hence free speech can be used effectively to rein in our errant politicians. The author imperatively states that true free speech covers those acts of speech that speak against power to keep them accountable to the people of a nation. So it protects the most cherished (loved) democratic principle. Democracy thrives on ‘free speech. Anybody who opposes criticizing the government or its representative can be said to be undemocratic. The author warns us that we will dilute the importance of free speech when we use it for our personal benefit.

Question 20.
How would you describe criticism as a duty?
Answer:
Sundar Sarukkai insists that in a democracy criticizing our government is our duty. Slandering a person is not an expression of free speech but criticizing our government is not only our right but also our duty because it is our democratic right.

Hence in a true democracy, criticizing is an expression of ‘free speech’. It is a tool to make democratic government accountable to its people. It is a tool to make it work for the betterment of the country and its citizens. Criticizing shouldn’t be mistaken for individual freedom to say what one wants. Democracy is ‘for the people, of the people and by the people’ of a country. It is a social and public system of responsibility of governance. Democracy is collective action. It gives us the right to choose our potential rulers, to rule, to govern, on behalf of us. Hence ‘free speech’ is the mechanism to make sure our elected representatives govern correctly on our behalf. Hence free speech can be used effectively to rein in our errant politicians.

‘Free speech’ is the mechanism to make sure our elected representatives govern correctly on our behalf. Hence free speech can be used effectively to rein in our errant politicians. The author imperatively states that true free speech covers those acts of speech that speak against power to keep them accountable to the people of a nation. So it protects the most cherished (loved) democratic principle. Democracy thrives on ‘free speech. Anybody who opposes criticizing the government or its representative can be said to be undemocratic. The author warns us that we will dilute the importance of free speech when we use it for our personal benefit.

Question 21.
How does free speech maintain the power equation?
Answer:
In general, we believe elections and free media are important means of free speech and free expression. Hence a ‘Secret Ballot’ – casting a vote anonymously with one’s own free will is a free expression and can be broadly understood as ‘free speech’. The media which is free to express its views truly and fairly can be deemed as ‘free speech’. The author now poses more questions for us to ponder, “But is free speech really the essence of democracy? Is it really so important for an effective democracy?”

On the contrary (Paradoxically) and controversially there is an in-grown (inherent) tension between free speech and democracy. If we think ‘free speech’ gives us the right to say whatever we want then it will certainly not contribute to or help to bring about meaning&l social behavior. ‘Free speech’ does not give us the right to spread falsehood about another person. Such Falsehood can be termed as rumor and gossip, disguised as free speech, made with a hidden agenda. Rumor, gossip, fake news, and deliberate lying cannot be deemed as free speech.

Sarukkai thinks that if we understand the meaning of the word ‘free’ in the term ‘free speech, we will be able to overcome the problem of defining what the constituents of free speech are. Again he poses a few rhetorical questions to the reader-1 What is really free in free speech? The freedom to say what one wants? Is free speech, freedom to say what one wants? So to understand what is ‘free’ in free speech the author explains that one cannot say what one wants all the time because all speech is constrained – artificial or forced. The constraints are language, words, concepts, and grammar, and also the physical contours – shapes and molds; of our mouth. Speech is again subject to the limitations of the biological and cognitive knowledge gained through experiences and senses, and its expression through language. In human society, an individual does not have the freedom to say what one wants, because it may offend somebody else. The author cites an example of a cricket commentator. He or she has to stick to commenting on the game of cricket. He or she cannot suddenly give a lecture on philosophy in the name of free speech. It would appear absurd in the situation.

Speech isn’t free it comes with a cost, in addition to the other constraints already discussed. Speech, either good or bad, exacts its own price. One is not free to say what we want, even in personal relationships. If we are honest and outspoken, we have a price to pay. Relationships get broken. It may also lead to wars between people or nations.

Hence the author thinks that the essence of free speech is not really about the freedom to say what we want but it is more about the speech which is free. Thus the ‘free’ in ‘free speech is which comes with a cost or price’.

But the onus of paying the price of free speech is not in the hands of the speaker but with the listener. The listener may take offense at what the speaker has said. Hence it can be said that ‘free speech’ can be described as one in which the listener is not allowed to take offense and intimidate – threaten the speaker.

Hence the author ironically says that the real freedom in ‘free speech’ is not in the freedom of the speaker to say what he/she wants hut is limited (constrained) by what the listener allows the speaker to say. Thus, the demand of the ‘right to speak’ comes along with the listener to demand the ‘right to stop’ us from speaking what we want. Consequently, the notion of‘free speech’ shifts-the responsibility of free speech from the speaker to the listener. Here the author implies that ‘free speech’ does not give us the right to say what we want. We cannot slander – (damage a person’s reputation) through falsehood claiming our ‘right to free speech’.

The writer again asks us if slandering a person is the same as criticizing the government or the nation. He implies that one cannot exercise their right to free speech to ‘slander ’ a person because the person may take offence of it and take us to court for defaming his reputation. Similary, isn’t it ironical that we cannot exercise our ‘Right to free speech’ bestowed upon us by democracy to criticize our governments, because, irrespective of which party is in power, they arrest the criticizer under the draconian Taw of sedition’ and inprison him Sundar Sarukkai insists that in a democracy criticizing our government is our duty. Slandering a person is not an expression of free speech but criticizing our government is not only our right but also our duty, because it is our democratic right.

Hence in a true democracy, criticizing is an expression of ‘ free speech’. It is a tool to make democratic government accountable to its people. It is a tool to make it work for the betterment of the country and its citizens. Criticizing shouldn’t be mistaken for individual freedom to say what one wants.

Democracy is ‘for the people, of the people and by the people’ of a country. It is a social and public system of responsibility of governance. Democracy is collective action. It gives us the right to choose our potential rulers, to rule, to govern, on behalf ofus. Hence ‘free speech’ is the mechanism to make sure our elected representatives govern correctly on our behalf. Hence free speech can be used effectively to rein in our errant politicians.

The author imperatively states that true free speech covers those acts of speech that speak against power to keep them accountable to the people of a nation. So it protects the most cherished (loved) democratic principle. Democracy thrives on ‘free speech. Anybody who Opposes criticizing the government or its representative can be said to be undemocratic. The author warns us that we will dilute the importance of free speech when we use it for our personal benefit.

Question 22.
Is free speech truly free?
Answer:
No, Free speech is not truly free, it is constrained. We do not have the freedom to hold forth and the freedom to talk elaborately about a subject. If we think ‘free speech’ givfrs us the right to say whatever we want than it is certainly no contribution to or help to bring about meaningful social behaviour. Freespeach does not give us the right to spread falsehood about another person. Such falsehood can be termed as rumour and gossip, disguised as free speech, made with a hidden agenda (ulterior motive). Rumour, gossip, fake news and deliberate lying cannot be deemed as free speech. Free speech does not give an individual the right to say whatever he wants. One cannot say what one wants all the time because all speech is constrained – artificial or forced. The constraints are language, words, concepts and grammar and also the physical contours – shapes and moulds if our mouth speech is again subject to the limitations of the biological and cogitative – knowledge gained through language. In human society, an individual does not have the freedom to say what one wants, because it may offend somebody else.

A cricket commentator needs to stick to commenting on the game of cricket. He / she cannot suddenly give a lecture on philosophy in the name of free speech. It would appear absurd in the situation.

Speech isn’t free, it comes with a cost, in addition to the other constraints already discussed. Speech, either good or bad, exacts its own price. One is not free to say what we want, even in personal relationships. If we are honest and outspoken, we have a price to pay. Relationships get broken. It may also lead to wars between people or nations.

The essence of free speech is not really about the freedom to say what we want but it is more about the speech which is free. Thus the ‘free’ in ‘free speech is which comes with a cost or price’.

But the onus of paying the price of free speech is not in the hands of the speaker but with the listener. The listener may take offence at what the speaker has said. Hence it can be said that ‘free speech’ can be described as one in which the listener is not allowed to take offence and intimidate – threaten the speaker.

Hence the author ironically says that the real freedom in ‘free speech’ is not in the freedom of the speaker to say what he/she wants but is limited (constrained) by what the listener allows the speaker to say. Thus, the demand of the ‘right to speak’ comes along with the listener to demand the ‘right to stop’ us from speaking what we want. Consequently, the notion of‘free speech’ shifts the responsibility of free speech from the speaker to the listener. Here the author implies that ‘free speech’ does not give us the right to say what we want. We cannot slander – (damage a person’s reputation) through falsehood claiming our ‘right to free speech’.

The writer again asks us if slandering a person is the same as criticizing the government or the nation. He implies that one cannot exercise their right to free speech to ‘slander ’ a person because the person may take offence of it and take us to court for defaming his reputatioa Similaiy, isn’t it ironical that we cannot exercise our ‘Right to free speech’ bestowed upon us by democracy to criticize our governments, because, irrespective of which party is in power, they arrest the criticizer under the draconian Taw of sedition’ and imprison him.

Question 23.
Justify and explain how Democracy and Free Speech are connected.
Answer:
Elections are the examples of free speech and free expressions. Hence ‘Casting a vote anonymously’ – secret ballest with one’s own free will is a free expression and can be breadly understood as ‘free speech’.

Speech isn’t free it comes with a cost, in addition to the other constraints already discussed. Speech, either good or bad, exacts its own price. One is not free to say what we want, even in personal relationships. If we are honest and outspoken, we have a price to pay. Relationships get broken. It may also lead to wars between people or nations.

‘Free speech’ is the mechanism to make sure Our elected representatives govern correctly on our behalf Hence free speech can be used effectively to rein in our errant politicians. The author imperatively states that true free speech covers those acts of speech which speak against power to keep them accountable to the people of a nation. So it protects the most cherished (loved) democratic principle. Democracy thrives on ‘free speech. Anybody who opposes criticizing of the government or its representative can be said to be undemocratic. The author warns us that we will dilute the importance of free speech, when we use it for our personal benefit.

Question 24.
Can you strengthen or maintain democracy through free speech? Is it workable, according to the author?
Answer:
Yes, we can struengthen or maintain Democracy through Free speech. Yes, according to sundar sarukkai it is workable. Elections are the examples of free speech and free expressions. Hence ‘Casting a vote anonymously’ – secret ballest with one’s own free will is a free expression and can be breadly understood as ‘free speech’.

Speech isn’t free it comes with a cost, in addition to the other constraints already discussed. Speech, either good or bad, exacts its Own price. One is not free to say what we want, even in personal relationships. If we are honest and outspoken, we have a price to pay. Relationships get broken. Iftmay also lead to wars between people or nations.

‘Free speech’ is the mechanism to make sure our elected representatives govern correctly on our behalf. Hence free speech can be used effectively to rein in our errant politicians. The author imperatively states that true free speech covers those acts of speech which speak against power to keep them accountable to the people of a nation. So it protects the most cherished (loved) democratic principle. Democracy thrives on ‘free speech. Anybody who opposes criticizing of the government or its representative can be said to be undemocratic. The author warns us that we will dilute the importance of free speech, when we use it for our personal benefit.

Question 25.
How does free speech relate to the listener?
Answer:
Free speech does not give as the right to say whatever we want. If we think free speech give us the right to say whatever we want then it is certainly not contribute to or help to bring about meaningful social behaviour.

In human society, an individual does not have the right or freedom to say what one wants, because it may offened someone else. A Cricket commentator cannot suddenly switch to a lecture on philosophy in the name of freespech. It will offened the listeners. Speech isn’t free it comes with a cost, in addition to the other constraints already discussed. Speech, either good or bad, exacts its own price. One is not free to say what we want, even in personal relationships. If we are honest and outspoken, we have a price to pay. Relationships get broken. Iftmay also lead to wars between people or nations. The essence of free speech is not really about the freedom to say what we want but it is more about speech which is free. Thus the ‘free’ in ‘free speech is which comes with a cost or price’.

But the onus of paying the price of free speech is not in the hands of the speaker but with the listener. The listener may take offence at what the speaker has said. Hence it can be said that ‘free speech’ can be described as one in which the listener is not allowed to take offence and intimidate – threaten the speaker.

Hence the author ironically says that the real freedom in ‘ free speech’ is not in the freedom of the speaker to say what he/she wants but is limited (constrained) by what the listener allows the speaker to say. Thus, the demand of the ‘right to speak’ comes along with the listener to demand the ‘right to stop’ us from speaking what we want. Consequently, the notion of‘free speech’ shifts the responsibility of free speech from the speaker to the listener. Here the author implies that ‘free speech’ does not give us the right to say what we want. We cannot slander- (damage a person’s reputation) through falsehood claiming our ‘right to free speech’.

English Summary

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