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Nalsar University of Law, Justice City, Shamirpet, Telangana
Nalsar University of Law, Justice City, Shamirpet, Telangana

Courts and corporations sans free speech

There’s least free speech in corporate workplace and court premises, said two experts while decoding the concept of free speech before law students in a literary event at Nalsar University of Law.

The court is a hierarchical space with least scope for free speech, noted Andhra Pradesh High Court lawyer Vasudha Nagaraj as a one of the panelists of discussion on ‘Free Speech in Campuses’.

She informed students that free speech is enabling for democracy and it gives sense of empowerment to them. “There’s sense of empowerment you attain”, she remarked in the event held at SAARC Law Center on July 30.

Speaking to over 150 law students as another panelist, novelist Sriram Karri said those who want to talk about free speech in campuses seem to ignore ground reality of primary and secondary schools.

“I advocate least free speech in campuses so that you can have successful career in corporate world after you pass out,” emphasized the author of ‘Autobiography of Mad Nation’.

A student asked Adv. Vasudha about how to deal with a situation where the faculty censors something within the campus. She offered two solutions to students, apart from pressing for debate on disciplinary policies of universities.

The Hyderabad based lawyer said students may either confront or debate censoring. She said if the faculty has problem with how girl students dress, then there should be a debate on feminism in the campus.

Novelist Sriram Karri in panel discussion on Free Speech at Nalsar University
Novelist Sriram Karri in panel discussion on Free Speech at Nalsar University

Another student asked Karri about self-censoring. The novelist replied that authority always wants to frighten them and try to censor them.

“You must speak up your mind”, he advised students while adding that you also have to prepare yourself to face consequences of what you speak.

Akhil Bharathan, a former student of IIT Madras who was part of Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, also spoke at length about his first hand experience of free speech in the campus.

Asst. professor Sidharth Chauhan, who teaches political philosophy at Sharmirpet based Nalsar University, moderated the panel discussion.

About SM Fasiullah

A writer by choice, learner by nature, and social servant by passion. "Woods are lovely, dark and deep; But I have promises to keep; Miles to go before I sleep; Miles to go before I sleep" - Robert Frost

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