The 'F' Word - Exploring Freedom of the Self, State, and Society
About the Program
"If individual liberty goes, then surely all is lost, for if the individual ceases to count, what is left of society? ….No society can possibly be built on a denial of individual freedom. It is contrary to the very nature of man" - M. K. Gandhi in Harijan
In pursuit of advocating for unfettered individual freedom that Gandhi, Tagore, Rajaji and the likes promulgated, Centre for Civil Society's CCS Academy has launched its newest certificate course in individual freedom and public policy. The 'F' Word - Exploring Freedom of the Self, State, and Society is a two day certificate course in personal freedom and public policy. The course will explore the finer intricacies of individual liberty and its interaction with the state. It will delve deeper into the aspects of being, expression and movement, and question the notion of reasonable restrictions on free speech and expression.
Course's vision is realized by answering the following question - "what would I want be, do and live (in terms of values) two years from the completion of the course?
Be - a sentient individual, aware of their rights, responsibilities and healthy differences with the other.
Do - create safe spaces for fostering conversations around issues of socio-cultural and political importance.
Live - by practicing tolerance with an active belief in pluralism.
- Student will demonstrate clear understanding of personal freedom vis-a-vis its interaction with the state and society.
- Student will produce original content after the completion of the course (a 800 words essay on a matter of personal freedom - submissions to go online on Spontaneous Order blog with two best entries to be sent for publication in media).
- Student will ask specific questions around and appreciate the intricacies of being, expression and movement under the larger ambit of individual liberty.
Day 1 (9 a.m. - 6p.m.)
Freedom to be (right to total self-definition, self discovery and self determination)
- Session 1 - 2h | What is freedom and what constitutes my personal freedom?
The session will explore the philosophical, socio-cultural and political journey that the concept of freedom has undergone through our history, with emphasis on India and the subcontinent.
- Session 2 - 2h | My Caste and Identity
- Can I cross-dress and come to your house? - Issues of identity in urban India
- Does my caste liberate me or bind me
- What now after 377?
- Session 3 - 1h30m | Why do the courts and the people talk in different languages?
The session will explore the role of judiciary in social reforms in India, primarily drawing experiences from the prominent judgments passed in the last three to four years (for example - Perumal Murugan Case, Sabarimala Case, etc.)
Day 2 (9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) | Freedom to express
- Session 1 - 2h |
- "Let the author be resurrected to what he is best at. Write" - How many Perumal Murugans do we have? || A case for upholding free speech in the country
- Censorship in India - who decides what and how?
- What stops my unadulterated expression of speech and actions in daily life?
- Session 2 - 1h30m | Internet freedom and data privacy
Freedom to move
- Session 3 - 1h30m |
- Safety and security for all - who is really responsible here?
- Open borders and migration
Peer Discussion - What's reasonable in the reasonable restrictions? (panel/open discussion with the students on Article 19(2)) - 45m
There is one challenge in discussing freedom of speech in our country, which is that we actually have, unlike western democracies, the provision of Article 19 (2), that specifically imposes reasonable restrictions in the interest of various things including public order, decency, morality and so on.
Therefore, freedom of speech is not absolute in our country. This discussion will also serve as an interactive Q&A session.
The program is NON RESIDENTIAL and the program fee covers food and course materials for the entire duration of the program.