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

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Misreading Speech

The present problem of speech in the public sphere truly reflects, beyond the question of tolerance and intolerance, our inability to receive “speech-acts” in a proper manner.

Another Quit India Movement, it seems, has now started in the country—of course, with a difference. It appears, more or less, to be a parody of the 1942 movement. Gandhi’s call to Quit India had a proper ethical object while the present one wholly lacks it. This is, no doubt, a repetition of history, albeit in a ridiculous fashion.

Writers and celebrities are being asked to quit India, for no other reason than for voicing their opinions. It all began with the 2014 speech of U R Ananthamurthy, who was then asked to quit India for expressing his views about the political future of the India of his day. Along with an air ticket, he received humiliating calls on his telephone, the worst sufferers being his family members.

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