A rights-based approach to Indian speech laws

Authored by: Raadhika Gupta

Routledge Handbook of Human Rights in Asia

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138855700
eBook ISBN: 9781315720180
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315720180-23

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Abstract

Worldwide, divergent feminist positions have developed on the issue of legality of sexual expression—often pitting the right to equality against the right to freedom of expression. This chapter examines the Indian legal discourse on sexual expression, and uncovers the absence of the right to equality within this discussion, noting that it is instead largely dominated by notions of morality. This reliance on dominant morality to examine the legality of sexual speech adversely affects both sexual liberty and freedom of expression. It is recommended that a shift from ‘dominant morality’ to ‘constitutional morality’ can enable a human rights-based discourse on sexual expression

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