The film explores the idea of individual and collective freedom of speech and expression in contemporary India and tries to negotiate the construct of reason in restriction, understand some of the major threats to free speech in India and bring to light the people who have refused to allow their voices to be silenced in the face of either persecution from the state or when it has been extra-legal. Freedom Song is an attempt to keep the discussion on expression alive by also bringing into sharp focus some of the key faultlines in the country where this fundamental right has been violated or attempts have been made to dilute it. With proliferation of media in India there has been reason to celebrate the many voices but the film also seeks multiplicity and plurality in those voices. Though discussions and arguments on freedom of expression are as old as civilization itself with the growth of mass media, these debates have acquired new dimensions, especially with regard to the internet. The film raises questions about the levels of intolerance in India and the contradictions between an individual’s right to offend and her/ his ‘obligations’ towards maintenance of social harmony.
[With Subi Chaturvedi]