On Saturday, Justice DY Chandrachud spoke at 6th Chief Justice MC Chagla Memorial. While telling the SC judge stated importance to hold governments responsible and guard against falsehoods, false narratives and fake news in a democratic country.
Justice DY Chandrachud: Highlights
- SC judge gave a lecture at 6th Chief Justice MC Chagla Memorial.
- While speaking, the judge stressed various vital aspects of a democratic country.
- He said, “Public intellectuals have a duty to expose the lies of the State.”
- The judge further stressed on false narratives and fake news.
Justice DY Chandrachud: 6th Chief Justice MC Chagla Memorial lecture
While speaking at the 6th Chief Justice MC Chagla Memorial, the Judge focused on vital aspects of democracy. He stressed the importance of holding governments responsible and guard against falsehoods, false narratives, and fake news in a democratic country.
The Justice further stated that public intellectuals have “a duty to expose the lies of the State.”
Justice DY Chandrachud: Over-reliance on government
He even cautioned against overreliance on the government to get socio-political, economic and cultural truths. Additionally, in the current context, Justice mentioned medical facts and manipulation of covid data.
SC Justice said, “One cannot rely only on the State for truth. Totalitarian governments are known for their constant reliance on falsehoods to consolidate power… we see there is an increasing trend among countries around the world to manipulate COVID-19 data.”
Justice DY Chandrachud: On fake news and false narratives
The Justice, moreover, mentioned fake news that was spreading worldwide at the beginning of the pandemic.
He said, “The phenomenon of fake news is on the rise. The WHO (World Health Organization) recognized this during the COVID pandemic… calling it ‘infodemic’. Human beings have a tendency to get attracted to sensational news… which are often based on falsehoods.”
Justice DY Chandrachud further acknowledged that social media platforms must be held accountable for false and fake content.
Justice said, “We live in a post-truth world. Social media platforms are responsible… but citizens are also responsible. We incline towards echo chambers and don’t like opposing beliefs… we live in a world that is increasingly divided along social, economic and religious lines.”
Justice DY Chandrachud: “Post-truth” world we live in.
He further explained that we live in a “post-truth” world where there is “our truth” vs “your truth.” The Justice also expressed people’s tendency to ignore a truth that doesn’t align with their views.
The judge said, “We only read newspapers that align with our beliefs… we ignore books written by people who do not belong to our stream… we mute the TV when someone has a different opinion… we do not truly care about the ‘truth’ as much as we do about being right.”
Justice DY Chandrachud: Need to counter fake news
Justice DY Chandrachud further expressed the need to counter fake news. Additionally, he highlighted the necessity of a free press from any kind of influence, whether political or economic.
Justice said, “To counter fake news, we need to strengthen our public institutions. We must ensure that we have a press that is free from the influence of any kind… political or economic. We need a press that will provide us information in an unbiased manner.”
Justice DY Chandrachud: Positive environment
Justice also called for a positive environment at school and college. So that “students can learn to differentiate truth from falsehood (and) question those in power.”
In conclusion, Justice said, “We should not be quick to judge others for their opinions. We need to remove barriers based on gender. caste, religion, language or economic status.”