Locating constructs of privacy within classical Hindu law
Dr. S Krishnan
Once a civilization has made a distinction between the “outer” and the “inner” man, between the life of the soul and the life of the body, between the spiritual and the material, between the sacred and the profane, between the realm of God and the realm of Caesar, between the church and State, between rights inherent and inalienable and rights that are in the power of government to give and take away, between public and private, between society and solitude, it becomes impossible to avoid the idea of privacy by whatever name it may be called - the idea of “private” space in which man may become and remain “himself”. The idea of privacy is as old as Biblical periods. Numerous meanings crowd in on the mind that tries to analyse privacy; The privacy of private property; privacy as a proprietary interest in name and image; privacy as the keeping of one’s affairs to oneself; the privacy of internal affairs of a voluntary association or of a business corporation; the privacy of sexual and familial affairs, etc. Privacy enjoys an abundance of meanings. It is claimed in diverse situations every day by everyone against other people, society and the state. Traditionally traced to classical liberalism’s public-private divide, there are now several theoretical conceptions of privacy that collaborate and sometimes contend.