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

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Countering Their Negative Image

Free Speech and Media Freedom in Corporate India

Freedom, Civility, Commerce: Contemporary Media and the Public by Sukumar Muralidharan, Gurgaon: Three Essays Collective, 2018; pp 491, 950.


There would, perhaps, be no better time in which Sukumar Murali­dharan could write a book reflecting on the political implications of the right to free speech in India. At a time when citizens, activists and intellectuals are being put behind bars because they spoke against the government, against the draconian laws from the colonial ­period, and against the exploitative ­economic policies of the state, Murali­dharan asks the right questions, at the right time. Can freedom of speech survive in a market-driven society where civil liberty is overridden by consumer choices? What kind of journalistic practice protects free speech and journalistic freedom in a fascist state? And, lastly, can social media save the civil society from fake news?

Muralidharan’s book offers an insider’s perspective but from a distance. Although having been a journalist all his life, he is a practising academic. This discursive interface is manifested in the manner he handles intertwined contexts like nationalism, public, civility, state, and media with clinical detachment on the one hand and absolute care on the other.

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Updated On : 13th Oct, 2020


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