Combating Casteism when free Speech Enables Hate Speech

  • Dr. Nitin


I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Voltaires principle is a clear statement of the attitude to tolerance and free speech that characterized the enlightenment. It recognizes that free speech is something more than a personal opinion. Free speech is quintessential for maintaining democracy because it facilitates the exchange of diverse opinions. Free speech is essential to the enjoyment of personal autonomy. Free speech is too important to be restricted; however, it might be used and abused. Hate speech is the darker side of free speech. Hate speech that is now become a fashion and a short cut to get publicity, poses vexing and complex problems for contemporary constitutional rights to freedom of expression. It is true that the caste system is a stumbling block in attaining the material and spiritual prosperity or in the social and national development. It is internally contradictory to say that casteist speech contains no idea and has no value because it is false. It is clear that casteist speech in some volatile situations may incite violence against its targets or provoke its targets to react violently.  This paper is proposed to discuss the notion of hate speech against the Scheduled Caste and challenged posed by that for law and society. It further discuss that what legal and judicial attempts have been made at international and national level to restrict this kind of hate speech and further to protect individual freedom of speech and expression.