No decency in news, opinions nowadays: Madras HC on oped remarks on Periyar

The court was hearing a petition by Abhijit Majumder challenging an FIR against him in Tamil Nadu.

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There is no decency in expressing news and opinions nowadays, the Madras High Court orally observed on Monday while hearing a petition by journalist and earshot co-founder Abhijit Majumder, LiveLaw reported. Majumder had moved the court against an FIR filed against him in Tamil Nadu over an opinion piece criticising Tamil Nadu minister Udayanidhi Stalin’s Sanatana Dharma remark.

Majumder had called Periyar “an intellectual thug who did not just marry his own adopted daughter 40 years younger, but reportedly incited local goons to sexually harass his wife to stop her from visiting a temple.”

“Nowadays it's all about personal vandalising. There is no decency in expressing news, opinions. It's all verbal violence,” the court said, according to LiveLaw.

The court said such Periyar had a stature in the society and such comments could lead to violence. “Why did you make an allegation like that? Having different ideologies is okay. One person can have a certain ideology and another can oppose it. But how can you make these allegations? If you want to criticise a person's politics, ideology, it's all okay. But you cannot make personal allegations,” the court said, according to LiveLaw.

Majumder’s counsel told the court that the information for the piece was based on other articles. The court directed Majumder to remove the derogatory portion and express regret for publishing the same. It adjourned the matter to January 23.


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