20 September 2016
The space for free speech in India’s public sphere is shrinking. A climate of online harassment threatens to silence critical voices, particularly those of minorities and women. Proposed changes to the Information Technology Act, incorporating overbroad provisions of the penal code, threaten online speech. A culture of self-censorship born out of the fear of reprisals is growing, and vexatious and groundless trials against authors, journalists, and artists are eroding the principle of free speech. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for urgent reform to prevent further abuses and a call for the protection of free expression in the world’s largest democracy.