I have lost count of the number of posts I have written about stupid people and their stupid sentiments. I must have written at least eight of them over the previous year, and the year before that. So this is nine.
Sans Serif reports that two separate cases have been filed in Karnataka against a subsidiary of the Times of India, and the directors of the said subsidiary, for having “hurt the feelings of Christians” (complaint #1 by a local People’s Union for Civil Liberties branch official) and “endorsing the bashing of the minority community and seeking to create discord among various communities” (complaint #2 by a local Christian outfit).
When you have a fucked up law like the Indian Penal Code, its hardly a surprise that people with (communal) axes to grind make full use of it. Outfits like the VHP and Bajrang Dal resorted to the use of violence to make their voice heard; the Christian ones are doing it with the law. The blog asks-
Is the publication of any kind of content OK in the name of a public debate? Is it really the business of the media to maintain communal and societal peace and harmony, or is it of the “State”? Is it beyond the function of a newspaper or a writer to provoke readers because somebody might find it offensive?
If Christian literature published decades ago can be suddenly ferreted out and declared offensive to Hindus, are Christians wrong in finding offence in yesterday’s newspaper? Is it wrong for Muslims to feel offence if the Danish cartoons are republished in the name of “debate”?
Freedom of speech is the victim here, and this will continue as long as the State stops arming enemies of freedom with weapons of every kind – particularly the legal one.
In another crazy incident, Buddhist monks in Cambodia have managed to get a rock opera banned because “it insults Buddhism”-
Cambodia is predominantly Buddhist and monks are expected to be austere and eschew worldly pleasures such as entertainment.
“Some scenes in the story insult Buddhism,” the letter said in asking the ministry to “ban the performance and airing of the opera.”
The council objected to many scenes, including one in which the actor “left the monkhood and slept with a woman, but a moment later (he) put the robe back on to be a monk again…” said the letter, dated December 30.
The show “oppresses Cambodian Buddhist monks, causes more than 50,000 monks to loss their honour, value and to express frustration,” it added.
No wonder religion makes me angry. Maybe I should go and file a case under the IPC demanding that the government ban all religions because they are an insult to my atheism and my intelligence, and that they result in my not being able to enjoy worldly pleasures to their fullest extent. And if this is what the PUCL is up to in the name of “civil liberties”, then I won’t waste my sympathies on Binayak Sen.