Thursday, September 10, 2009

Signposts and Whose-space?

1. The theme of ‘the reshaping of history through the rewriting of signposts’ brought out in this op-ed piece in the New York Times yesterday in the context of changes made to road signs in Israel, evoked memories of similar activity back home. However, I often wonder if the preamble to the Indian constitution was one such signpost, and if the amendment of 1976 did anything more than try to alter a historic landmark?

A federal court recently threw out Lori Drew’s misdemeanor convictions under a federal law which, according to this piece, criminalized a website’s terms of service. ‘Void-for-vagueness’, a product of ‘procedural due process’, has been applied by the Indian Supreme Court as well. The case, in which the accused allegedly created a false MySpace profile (“Josh Evans”) in order to harass her daughter’s thirteen year old classmate (Megan Meier), resulted in suicide when the fictitious “Josh Evans” allegedly told Megan that ‘the world would be a better place without (her) in it’. A tragic story, which has serious speech implications.
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