Interview with Kobad Ghandy: Free Speech in Modi's India


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Welcome to the first of a short series on speech rights in different countries. This week's podcast looks at free speech and civil rights in India, the world’s most populous democracy. In July the Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Arundhati Roy wrote that India’s flawed fragile democracy is a "criminal, Hindu-fascist enterprise that has imprisoned many of her friends" after they spoke up for the oppressed.
Free Speech Union member Daphna Whitmore interviewed Kobad Ghandy about the state of free speech and democracy in India. He was a political prisoner for ten years under both Congress and BJP regimes and was just released in Oct 2019. He has written a book called Fractured Freedom – the book has been translated into six Indian languages, - and last month he published several in-depth essays on the state of the India's fragile democracy, 75 years after independence.
Daphna asks Kobad if a form of Hindu fascism that is impacting speech rights and other freedoms in India today. Ghandy agrees but the real question he contends is where did it come from and why is it tolerated?
What follows is a fascinating discussion, along with a crash course in the history of a complex country that may now be teetering on the edge under new strong-man rule. Enjoy

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