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Being Tolerant Does Not Mean Tolerating Hate Speech: Justice DY Chandrachud -by Ecork

Justice DY Chandrachud asked law students to be guided by “personality and common sense”


Acceptance and tolerance of others’ views does not mean that one should also accept hate speech, Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud said here on Saturday. In his convocation address at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) here, he urged the graduating students to be guided by their “own conscience and common sense”.

In the world of social media “with limited attention time,” it helps to remember that “a lot of the work we do will only have a long-term impact and we shouldn’t worry about the daily distraction,” he said in the speech, delivered via video link.

“The famous words attributed to Voltaire, ‘I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’ must be incorporated into our character. Making mistakes, acceptance and tolerance to ideas of others by no means means blind compliance, and does not mean that it does not stand against hate speech,” the judge said.

As students move into the modern world amid the “increasing noise and tumult of many political, social and moral disputes,” they must be guided by “their own conscience and common reasons,” he said at the 11th conference of the GNLU.

He also mentioned author Seth Godin’s metaphor of control and air.

“On the river, it is the current that will move the canoe farther than the wind will. But the wind distracts us… The current is us to perpetuate the systems of class and race and morality, and the economic powerhouses .And if I may add, in our community, caste as well,” Justice Chandrachud said, quoting the author.

The current may win, but it takes a “concentrated effort,” the judge said.

“On the other hand, the air is the breaking news of the time, the new social theory. And the thin layer of excitement that surrounds us. It can be a useful distraction, but our real work is in overcoming the current or change. it,” he added.

“It helps to see it first and to ignore the wind where we can. This quote is especially important to remember in today’s world with polarizing opinions and offensive actions,” the judge added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an integrated feed.)

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