Sunday, December 19, 2010

Editorial, 'WikiLeaks and Radia Tapes' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 December 2010 issue

WikiLeaks and Radia Tapes

Two sensational and crucial developments in two different spheres of the globe we are witnessing today in Julian Assange’s Wikileaks which revealed the dastardly secret diplomacy as also the inhuman atrocities of American imperialism in collusion with many so-called democracies of the world, and in the tapes of secretly tapped conversations of Nira Radia, an upstart corporate NRI businesswoman playing a key role in the now Parliament-paralyzing multi-billion dollar 2-G scam in India. The former involves serious questions of principle and policy concerning the freedom of speech and expression, of diplomatic delicacies and confidentialities and charges of treason and betrayal of a nation, etc. Julian Assange is now the centre of whole world attention, hailed by the young and activists in civil rights movements as a hero but denigrated by the hurt and angered governmental and political leaders of America and elsewhere as a villain, so much so that the famous Life magazine displays a slideshow: ‘Julian Assange: Hero or Villain?’, and circles from the Russian Presidential office hint at his nomination for the Nobel Prize even. The latter is certainly not a heroine but may not be a vamp or foreign spy either though there are serious allegations against her on those counts. The point is, in the all pervading corruption in Indian society she was able to manipulate the highest circles of administration and political fields to her quick advantage and build up a multi-crore business barely in nine years. Also she damaged the reputation of many a famous figure including Ratan Tata who is now praying the Supreme Court for protection of his privacy. Here also the question of freedom of speech and information is involved and as the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frak LaRue, has rightly stated, one should not face legal accountability for any information they disseminated and “if there is a responsibility by leaking information it is exclusively of the person that made the leak and not of the media that publish it. And this is the way that transparency works and corruption … confronted in many cases.” §§§

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