February 1, 2023

Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna is the winner of the 2016 Ramon Magsaysay award (File)


Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna has moved the Madras High Court difficult the centre’s new digital media guidelines – the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules of 2021 – as “unconstitutional” and in violation of the Information Technology Act of 2000.

A two-member bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy has given the centre three weeks to answer the plea, and adjourned the matter for 4 weeks.

“For me, privacy, like music, is an experience. When I think of privacy, I think of life, intimacy, discovery, security, happiness, lack of fear and freedom to create. I think of liberty, dignity and choice, as facets inherent in me, not just as an artist but as a human being,” Mr Krishna, who received the Ramon Magsaysay award in 2016, mentioned in his petition.

“Without privacy, it is impossible to create and perform. The new IT rules offend my rights as an artist and cultural commentator by both imposing a chilling effect on free speech and by impinging on my right to privacy,” he mentioned.

“These rules, which are vague and indeterminate, will thwart artists from raising difficult questions against existing aesthetic, gender and caste hierarchies in Carnatic music and will thwart dissenters who question prevailing cultural mores,” Mr Krishna argued.

He mentioned the foundations would quell creativity and make it unattainable for an individual to suppose imaginatively, or past standard boundaries, and create artwork that’s politically and socially salient.

The rule, which allows social media intermediaries to hint originators of knowledge on their platform, is “vaguely worded” and it will lead to these intermediaries adopting “tools that are unmindful of privacy” of their effort to adjust to the foundations, the petition added.

Mr Krishna additionally mentioned the Digital Media Ethics Code a part of the brand new guidelines, which concern OTT platforms and on-line information publishers will lead to “over-censorship and snuffing out dissenting and contrarian voices under pressured wielded by majoritarian groups”.

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