ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Siddharth Narrain

Dangerous Speech in Real Time: Social Media, Policing, and Communal Violence


The article examines how a set of key actors—the police, civil society and social media platforms responded to a series of violent incidents in Pune in 2014 that resulted in the death of Mohsin Sheikh. The hate speech by the Hindu Rashtra Sena leaders; the murder of Sheikh; violence and arson against Muslims; the circulation of morphed images; the actions of the police and civil society groups, were all part of an ecosystem of events that occurred at the time. What is new here, when compared to earlier incidents of communal violence is the technology being used—social media through internet enabled mobile phones. This in turn raises a number of legal and technological questions that need to be investigated further. 

'Disaffection' and the Law: The Chilling Effect of Sedition Laws in India

What place does a colonial legacy which, in its logic, believes that people are bound to feel affection for the state, and should not show any enmity, contempt, hatred or hostility towards the government established by law, have in a modern democratic state like India? This question lies at the heart of this essay, which examines how these laws impact the ability of citizens to freely express themselves and limit the ability to constructively criticise or express dissent against governments.