Resource centre on India's rural distress

The cost of stifling voices -Rohini Somanathan

-The Hindu

In doing so, we risk the disengagement of those most invested in preserving our democratic institutions

Ethical explorations often begin with emotional injury. Something simply feels wrong, and you ask yourself whether you are missing an important bit of information or the right perspective. This happened when I read the Supreme Court judgment pronouncing senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for his two “scurrilous” tweets. I have known the Bhushan family for over three decades, a family of lawyers defined by their commitment to preserving and strengthening the judicial system and using it in the public interest. How could Mr. Bhushan be accused of malice against the system? How did we get here? I searched for the tweets, and the discussion around them. The court took a position on an important ethical question: Do we strengthen or weaken institutions by criticising some of the actions of those holding public office? The judgment sets a worrying precedent and affects all of us who raise our voices within public institutions and hope to improve them.

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