“Historically respectable personalities”: The Supreme Court invents a new exception to free speech

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Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy

When the Supreme Court struck down S. 66A of the IT Act in Shreya Singhal vs Union of India two months ago, the verdict was hailed as a landmark milestone in Indian free speech jurisprudence, for two reasons. First, for once, the Supreme Court followed up its platitudes about the value of free speech in a democracy not with a sentence beginning with “but...”, but rather with actual concrete action – striking down a speech-restricting provision. And secondly, it was a judgement in which the Supreme Court began with the text of Article 19(1)(a) and 19(2), proceeded to rigorously examine that text in light of constitutional history, purpose and precedent, and analysed the impugned law on the touchstone of the Constitution, as understood and interpreted over the years.

Today, in Devidas Ramachandra Tuljapurkar vs State of Maharashtra, the Supreme Court reversed the slight gains…

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Pay it Forward

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“You can always spot a Carmelite in a crowd” a phrase not so uncommon to my ears during my stint as a student of Carmel Higher Secondary School primarily in reference to our striking and prominent yellow and black uniform. At times the phrase came as a relief to parents and teachers in case their children wandered away while at other times the phrase was nothing more than a warning akin to ‘I see you’ or ‘I got my eyes on you’. Albeit the wide implications of the phrase, it is true that a Carmelite indeed always stands out in a crowd.

Having passed out from a single sex school, my ‘college’ life began in a most desolate and friendless manner to say the least, not because I hated the ‘college’ I was joining or the stream I chose to pursue but solely for the reason that my school friends chose to part ways with me to embark on a fun filled journey to various co-ed or popularly codified as ‘happening’ colleges whereas I on the other hand chose the ‘studious’ mostly known as boring path to Carmel Higher Secondary. But with age comes wisdom and with years gone by, I realized it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey and I cannot even once, ever regret my decision of joining the warm and convivial family of Carmelites.

So what is it that lets my Alma Mater carve out a niche for herself? Is it just the uncompromising attention and motivational drive to let the students excel in academics and sports or is it just a little something more? My years at Carmel’s made me realize that the answer is that Carmel’s has an almost magical way of encouraging students to be fearless, curious, to be enthusiastic – in short, to just be themselves. We as students could think out of the box, not fearing others would judge us…more importantly we were assured that no one would. Exploring our talents, our thoughts, and values was what Carmel’s was all about! Our confidence was nurtured not only by the teaching staff but the non teaching staff as well. It was as if they were oblivious to the words ‘IMPOSSIBLE’, ‘NO’, ‘UNATTAINABLE’ and many other words with negative connotations. I clearly recollect how the staff used to raise our spirits during Annual Day rehearsals, various other events that were organized during class hours, most importantly even during exams when things were going rough. We were never allowed to give up! We were made to believe and it was literally drilled into our young impressionable minds that we could do and could get done anything so long as we put our minds to it.  And the learning dispensed with prime importance was that as girls growing to be women we mattered, our opinion mattered and we were independent, intelligent and we could take on the world.

Its no wonder thus, that passing out from Carmel’s I am pursuing a career that I have dreamed of since I was a teen – a career in law. The disguised praises sung to lawyers are not unknown to most, however, I had made a choice and I knew I would achieve it… Carmel’s taught me that I could. The reason I chose to pursue a career in law is indeed a simple one since as opposed to various other professions, law provided me a platform to fight for justice. More significantly in the process of imparting justice, I had the opportunity to inculcate in the minds of my clients principles and virtues that my Alma Mater had so generously instilled in me.

In my daily routine at work I am constantly faced with women and children who are victims of difficult and arduous situations most often leaving them lost, lonely, dejected and worst of all vulnerable. It is the tragedy of life that most people today find life unbearable and unworthy but opposed to the abyssal misconception and erroneous perception, I truly believe that through my profession I am able to save lives of people, restore faith in humanity and allow people to see life in a different spectrum, a spectrum that gives them hope, belief and a desire to give back to the very world that took so much away from them.  

So as it is told “when someone does you a big favor, don’t pay it back… Pay It Forward”. I would like to believe that Carmel’s taught me and thousands of girls that lesson and it is not because of some uniform that we are known or for our excellence in academics or sports. You see the real reason why Carmelites are SPOTTED ANYWHERE IN A CROWD is because in the spirit of their Alma Mater they always ‘PAY IT FORWARD’. 

A year gone by…

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I gotta admit 2012 was not my BEST YEAR- not even close! 25th year of my life actually! It came in quick and passed by even quicker – a good thing? MAY BE! But nevertheless painful!

However 2012 had loads of memories created for me – some good, some bad, some really bad and some ugly…extremely ugly! But I know I am gonna treasure each and every memory simply because I have had the opportunity to learn a lot from them…priceless wisdom some would say!

The good memories made me realise I am worthy of happiness, joy and peace just like every other human being…that life is a gift given to us to enjoy every breath we take (please don’t sing Every breath you take), every moment is precious and can never be brought back so avoid and spare me the fretting and grumbling please!! Don’t just exist, LIVE!!!

The bad made me realise there can be no good without the bad. You gotta feel pain to truly appreciate pleasure. More importantly it made me empathetic, made me check every word that comes outta my mouth, made me think before I act carelessly as I now I knew and could feel the pain that another would/could feel in a given similar situation.

And of course the ugly, the ugly that made me fall to the bottom of the deepest pit and at the same taught me that nothing…ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can keep you down unless and until you wanted to remain there!! I know now I can survive anything and move on. The human mind is a magnificent thing.

I met a lot of people in 2012. I developed several relationships with  people of varying levels…levels I never knew existed! Some continue to exist, some just phased off, some required me to deliberately shut them off! Interesting! Two things however stood out to me:

  1. If someone cares about you and is kind to you… BEWARE!! Be prudent and alert. If the person still continues to care…Never NEVER let that person go…Cherish him/her always! On the other hand If you care about someone and that person is suspicious at first…let him/her be…continue to care and be kind. Despite such caring and kindness, however, if that person does not seem grateful…let him/her go….do not look back!!
  2. Do not trust easily. However if you did and this trust was broken..don’t lose hope it only makes you stronger.

Bottom line is that 2012 did manage to make me older, wiser and smarter (some of my friends thought that was not possible –in your face guys) and I am thoroughly grateful for that! 

Now for the wishes:

  • To all the people I have known before 2012 started and have continued to be a part of my life – Thanks for being there for me…know you are treasured and cherished. 
  • To all those who I met in 2012 and continue to want to be in my life – Thanks and beware I only get crazier.
  • To those who are no longer want me around – Thanks for the memories and for teaching me at such an early age that there exist D**kheads like yourself that I have to keep away from.

On this beautiful note I welcome 2013…you can’t be worse than 2012 and even if you are BRING IT ON..I can deal with you…I know I can!!

Happy New Year!!

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A brand new year!
A clean slate on which to write
our hopes and dreams.
This year:
Less time and energy on things;
More time and energy on people.
All of life’s best rewards,
deepest and finest feelings,
greatest satisfactions,
come from people–
people like you.

Beneath Your Beautiful <3

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You tell all the boys no
Makes you feel good, yeah
I know you’re out of my league
But that won’t scare me away oh no
You’ve carried on so long
You couldn’t stop if you tried it
You’ve built your wall so high
That no one could climb it
But i’m gonna try

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful
Would you let me see beneath your perfect
Take it off now girl, take it off now girl
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight

You let all the girls go
Makes you feel good, don’t it?
Behind your Broadway show
I heard a voice say please don’t hurt me
You’ve carried on so long
You couldn’t stop if you tried it
You’ve built your wall so high
That no one could climb it
But i’m gonna try

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful
Would you let me see beneath your perfect
Take it off now boy, take it off now boy
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight
Ohhh, Tonight

See beneath, See beneath,
I…Tonight
I…

I’m gonna climb on top of your ivory tower
I’ll hold your hand and then we’ll jump right out
We’ll be falling, falling
But that’s okay
Cause I’ll be right here
I just wanna know

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful
Would you let me see beneath your perfect
Take it off now girl, take it off now girl
Cause I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight
Oh oh oh oh oh ooh Tonight, see beneath your beautiful
Ooh tonight, we ain’t perfect, we ain’t perfect
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight

Free advice : Take it or Leave it!!!

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Hmmm …. Soooo here is free advice for those who care… My life experiences have taught me thus:

If someone cares about you and is kind to you… BEWARE!! Be prudent and alert.
If the person still continues to care.. Never NEVER let that person go.. Cherish him/her  always!

On the other hand
If you care about someone.. And that person is suspicious at first…let him/her be…continue to care and be kind. Despite such caring and kindness, however, if that person does not seem grateful…let him/her go….do not look back!!