The court assured that it would safeguard the free flow of ideas in a democracy by quoting Voltaire’s “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Protecting the Freedom – Supreme Court:
- SC said creativity and imagination of an author cannot be held hostage to the vagaries of subjective perceptions, whims or fancies of individuals.
- The judiciary should remain committed to keeping the flag of democratic values and ideals of freedom and liberty flying high.
- “We live not in a totalitarian regime but in a democratic nation, which permits free exchange of ideas and liberty”
- “A writer should have free play with words, like a painter has it with colours. The passion of imagination cannot be directed.”
- Voltaire was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on Christianity as a whole, especially the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech and separation of church and state.
- The greatest among the literary figures of Europe in the Eighteenth century. The French began to describe the eighteenth century as the “Age of Voltaire.”
- France became quiet unsafe for him, and he had to go into exile. In England he continued to write many articles which championed the cause of freedom of the individual.
- His views:
- He mocked at the nobles and the clergy for their eccentricities and corruption.
- He had harsh things to say about the Church. He talked about corruption in the Church.
- He did not even spare the state for its corrupt bureaucracy and high handedness.
- He took up the cause of the aggrieved who were denied justice at hands of the mighty.
- Voltaire dedicated his entire life to expose “the abuses and inequalities of the laws and the judicial system, of arbitrary imprisonment, of torture.”