The Right to Offend - Independence Day Special News - Issue Date: Aug 20,
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This has led activists to object to Election Day being on a Tuesday on the grounds that it decreases voter turnout. They advocate either making Election Day a federal holiday or allowing voters to cast their ballots over two or more days. Activists also encourage workplaces to allow their employees paid time off in lieu of such mandates and encourage voters to make use of early voting and postal voting facilities when available and convenient.
Several commentators have noted the irony of Election Day being a regular working day, while Veterans Daywhich typically falls on November 11, is a federal holiday. Many have called for the holidays to be merged, so citizens can have a day off to vote. This would be seen as a way to honor veterans by exercising the democratic right to vote.
Some other states require that workers be permitted to take time off from employment without loss of pay. California Elections Code Section and New York State Election Law  provide that employees without sufficient time to vote must be allowed two hours off with pay, at the beginning or end of a shift. Democracy Day, a planned federal holiday to coincide with Election Day, was unsuccessfully proposed in the U.
House of Representatives and the U.
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Perry did poorly in the debates, however, and Herman Cain and then Newt Gingrich came into the fore in October and November. Due to a number of scandals, Cain withdrew just before the end of the year, after having gotten on the ballot in several states. A number of candidates dropped out at this point in the nomination process. Bachmann withdrew after finishing sixth in the Iowa caucuses,  Huntsman withdrew after coming in third in New Hampshire, and Perry withdrew when polls showed him drawing low numbers in South Carolina.
He unexpectedly carried three states in a row on February 7 and overtook Romney in nationwide opinion polls, becoming the only candidate in the race to effectively challenge the notion that Romney was the inevitable nominee. The Super Tuesday primaries took place on March 6.
- 2012 United States presidential election
- Election Day (United States)
- The Right to Offend
He'd just proven Varun's point. One man's stuck-up morality was enough to override the will of 1, students that day. But he was a professor, which is a position of authority -- and Indians hesitate to question authority.
As long as this conditioned reflex to unquestioningly defer to authority stays, the freedom of expression and the right to offend will be compromised, just as they were that evening in the college. Stand-up comedians are often given a list of holy cows, topics they need to skirt in their acts.
The list of no-go zones may include, but are not limited to, the ruling dispensation, religion, sex, family, nationalism, army, Indian culture, cult figures, food habits, etc. In many cases, the performer has to submit her script beforehand to a censor or host for them to clear. With these restrictions in place, the best joke a comic can come up with on stage is a zipper across her mouth.
Anything else ends up offending someone and the consequences can vary, from an ugly spat, where the comic is asked to leave mid-way, to acts of physical violence.
So, are there any red lines where freedom of expression and the right to offend are concerned? Well, these principles have to be constantly renegotiated as society evolves its mores.What if there's a an Electoral College tie?
Each act has to push the boundaries while society debates and adjusts its anchors to dock at the stretched boundaries. Intolerant censoring and bans have a chilling effect on this process, and instead empower mobs.
And an offended, provoked mob is just one violent act away from turning into a vigilante group.
These groups then easily defy the rule of law and force critical and progressive voices to go silent. To expect social morality to be frozen in time is naive. And a modern, rational society must regard censorship as an old conservative relative who has outstayed his welcome.
However, in a perversion of this principle, perpetrators of hate speech have often invoked the freedom of expression to spread poison among communities and to incite violence. It is important to remember that the freedom of expression and the right to offend are markers of the intellectual and moral evolution of a society. They are necessary tools to build a just, equitable, modern society.
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But we also have a collective responsibility to guard against the hijacking of this right for regressive purposes such as fomenting hatred. There is a Chinese saying that goes: To each man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates to hell. We have the key, and we have to make sure we open the right gate.
Sanjay Rajoura is a stand-up artist and writer Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app.