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Thursday, May 17, 2007

On Freedom of Expression

I was just at Sandeep's blog where he wrote about Amit blog on expression of outrage by a BJP MLA, and his cohorts, at the apparent arts exhibit at Baroda's Maharaja Sayajirao University. Amit called protesting people as, very unoriginally, Hindu fascists. (The phrase "Hindu Facists" was making the rounds in the media for a few days now in relation to this story.)

I found the comments for this blog at Sandeep interesting and wrote a comment of my own. I don't think most people, especially those who claims to be secularists and talk about absolute freedom of expression haven't actually lived and worked in India for very long (apparently some English-speaking men Mill & Locke already decided how we should all behave). In any case, I am reproducing my entire comment here.

People who talk about First Amendment (of America? And what the hell is it and why does it matter to us?) clearly haven’t lived in the country long enough. Our first Amendment was made to deprive economic freedoms for most middle class people, take that I-want-to-live-in-a-make-believe-country!

While you guys want to import another country’s constitution, why not China’s or, better yet, Saudi’s?

There are no absolute freedoms in India. As recently as last month, Indian SC ruled freedom of expression can be curbed if state feels it’s warranted.

Our own PM, in his official capacity, protested to Danes when the cartoon issue became news. Apparently we don’t support absolute freedom of expression. But UGC wants to withdraw license to this university in Baroda, per Arjun’s agnya, unless it continues to offend Hindus. Apparently this means we are not a secular country or a Hindu country but an Islamic country?

And what is this fascination with penises and vaginas in arts community? With total blackout by MSM (so much for freedom of expression), we need a right of center TV network in the country to show the pictures on television to understand the reaction of ordinary people. I am sure secularists will be front and center of every media to defend garbage with labels peddled as art.