'Merely because we find it disagreeable'

Defending free speech, an Oct 26 editorial in the Hindu calls IPC Section 124-A (sedition) an 'archaic section' of law, and urges the Government of India to explicitly deny that it is considering pressing sedition charges against Arundhati Roy and others:
Do we lock up or threaten to silence our writers and thinkers with an archaic section of the law that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, merely because they speak their minds?
Also, here's some learning material from the same editorial, especially for those who are not prepared to apply their minds in these matters:
In his classic defence of free speech, On Liberty, John Stuart Mill laid down what is known as the ‘harm principle.' It postulates that the only justification for silencing a person against his will is to prevent him from causing harm to others. It is to this powerful libertarian mid-19th century principle that we owe the idea that free speech cannot be proscribed merely because we find it disagreeable, and that curbs may be imposed only if such expression constitutes a direct, explicit, and unequivocal incitement to violence.
One half of my heart despairs that there are so many in India who don't understand the basics of democracy, but the other jumps with joy that India is not devoid of those who do.


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