Magasaysay winner T M Krishna on Monday said there was a pervading climate of fear in the country alluding to the recent demands of ban on Pakistan iartistes, which he termed as "ridiculous".
The carnatic vocalist made the remarks in his key note address at the second edition of Kumaon Literary Festival which kick started in Rampur, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. Krishna said these are times when everyone is "scared" and stressed the need to change the semantics of the discourse of freedom of expression.
"I think we are living in times where everybody is scared. People in the cinema are told who can act in their cinema. People are told who should not act and why not. Therecannot be anything more ridiculous than that. "Ideology is a market. When one says you have a majoritarian ideology, it is creating a majoritarian market space. It is about nurturing and expanding that space. It is about more market share," he said. He referred to freedom of expression as an act of "sharing" and said that the constitutional right was a "natural" way of life for any individual.
"We are told not to share. We are being told what we should share. We are being told how we should share. We arebeing told why we should not share," he said. Referring to events such as the ban on a book of Tamil author Perumal Murugan which was subsequently lifted, he said any move to curb free speech was "dangerous".
"We must change the semantics of how we are talking about freedom of expression as I think it is the freedom to be who we are as natural human beings. Unless we can change the waythis discourse is happening, we are destroying the process of intellection in this country," he said.