Freedom of expression should not be absolute, says Ruskin Bond

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Bhubaneswar: Amid the growing controversy over the release of Bollywood film “Padmaavat”, celebrated author Ruskin Bond on Friday said freedom of expression should not be absolute.

“I don’t think freedom of speech should be absolute. We should consider ourselves lucky to live in the country. There is no better place to live than India,” said Bond at the third edition of the Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet (TSBLM) here.

“Shall I like to live in China, shall I live in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Syria, Lebanon or some other country… definitely not,” said the author.

Bond was reacting to a question on the controversy over the film “Padmaavat” and literary freedom.

The cherubic Mussoorie-based author, who draws inspiration from nature, spoke on climate change and said people should look after their natural surroundings which have made life possible to live in.

He said paper books can never be replaced even with the advent of electronic gadgets.

At the literary meet, children and young adults queued up to catch a glimpse of Bond who answered all their questions that centred on some of his cult books like “Room on The Roof”, “Night Train At Deoli” and the Rusty series, among others.

He has some advice for the budding writers — have a love for words, respect the language and be prepared for occasional disappointments.

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