Religious cretins

Churumuri links to an article in the Telegraph by Swapan Dasgupta

Earlier this week, a newspaper in Delhi published a telling cartoon that drew many a snigger: a figure fully veiled in black with the simple caption: “Qatar Mata by M.F. Husain”.

The apparent absurdity of India’s most famous artist relinquishing his Indian nationality for the citizenship of Qatar, a place where he claims “no one controls my freedom of expression”, has disappointed many of his ardent supporters who had faithfully backed him against militant and litigious groups. In turning his back on “my motherland” because “India doesn’t need me” and “no one came forward to speak for me”, Husain has handed out an unqualified victory to those who feel that free speech and expression cannot include the right to offend.

[…]

In the past decade, the threshold of tolerance in India has been lowered considerably — thanks in no small degree to the takeover of the internet by competitive extremists. ‘Sensitivity to faith’ has come to mean accommodation of organized blackmail.

The successful anti-Husain and anti-Taslima protests have to be seen in the context of a progressive shrinking of the enlightened public space. India imagined it would be a world player on the strength of its ‘soft power’. Today, that power is being steadily undermined by the clash of rival ghettos. The nonsense has gone on far too long and has touched dangerous heights. It’s time the country extends democratic rights to those who offend fragile sensitivities.

Nice. But the same person, in the same article, writes this – “In theory, there is nothing hideously objectionable to citizen’s rights being qualified by the realities of India.”

As for Husain, I heard the clueless fellow on television, saying the words Dasgupta attributes to him – “no one controls my freedom of expression [in Qatar].” I guess the operative word here is “my.” If only Qatar had offered asylum to Nasreen and Rushdie…

Advertisements
Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Comments

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I don’t think anyone is questioning nudity.

    Example, here is a painting of the nude hitler

    It doesn’t take an expert to judge hussian’s intentions in those paintings. It is very obvious. If you look at the hitler painting, gandhi’s skull is misplaced. The man on the left is albert einstein reciting E=MC2 which is the formula to determine the amount of energy derived from the amount of mass. The man right to gandhi is either pol pot or mao. The nude man in the right is hitler. Between the two dictators, three books are kept which are meant to be there influences. 1) Das kapital by karl max 2) Gitanjali by rabindranath tagore 3) Javid nama by allama muhammad iqbal

    Einstein is an observer. The three men are mf hussains rendition of albert einstein’s formula.

    Pol pot or mao cannot be painted in the nude else it will be impossible to identify them with just the rice bowl and the chop sticks. I couldn’t find the source article where hussain said he painted hitler in the nude to embarrass him. It was supposedly taken from a magazine which didn’t have an online publication. Maybe someone could scan the pages and post in the public domain.

    Some comparisons here.
    http://bestofmails.com/informative/eye-opener-mf-hussain-truth/

    If you look at all the painting together, then you’ll see that only mythological gods are painted in the nude and are in a position performing “bestiality”.

    The non-mythological characters are all fully clothed and placed in a portrait position.

    I think it’s stupid trying to point out husain’s duplicity or intentions when his portraits are simple to understand. He is clearly pointing out “bestiality” in hinduism under the guise of artistic freedom.

  • you12  On March 6, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    At infidel,

    So whats wrong with deliberately offending people? That is freedom of expression.

    Here is an article that sums it up pretty nicely.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 6, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    So whats wrong with deliberately offending people? That is freedom of expression
    In a place like india, a lot could go wrong. It’s no wonder you end up with a corrupted version of article 19(2). Hussain is no different than varun gandhi. The other fact is that he is a muslim. So when muslims all around the world get the urge to light it up when ever someone paints a mohammed or an allah then why let one of them paint one of ours? Yeah, that’s my own form of social protest.

    And that old man ain’t even painting those pictures with good intentions. Does he think were a bunch of momo’s? That we cannot make out a “ridicule” when we see one?

    Here’s laxmi growing a d!ck

    Here’s durga sticking here imaginary finger inside the tiger. Check out the orgasmic bliss on the animals face.

    Here’s saraswati using the stings of the sitar as a vibrator. Check out the peacock dancing on the strings.

    Who knows whats going on inside the old mans mind in this picture

    Old man’s got a wild imagination. I wouldn’t let him near a zoo.

  • you12  On March 6, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    You are engaging in collectivist thinking. Since large no. of blacks are criminals, all blacks are criminals! Its not about tit for tat. Its about allowing a man to express his opinion, whether its a nude Mohammad or a nude mother India. Although I do concede that the Muslim community is extremely hostile to freedom of speech and as such they deserve no sympathy when they cry for freedom but the principles don’t change.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 7, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Its about allowing a man to express his opinion, whether its a nude Mohammad or a nude mother India
    I do not have a problem with nudity. I would care less even if they made a p0rno out of the mythological characters of shiva and parvati.

    In the beginning, i ignored the whole mf hussain fiasco and thought it was between some fundoo and his “supposed” dislike of nudity. But after looking at those portraits, i’ve chosen to participate.

    I think to myself, maybe he has some taste for animals or maybe he is an atheist as i watch him ridicule hindu dolls and i wait for him to do the same with islamic and christian con men but he doesn’t. And i wonder why? It could only be duplicity. I can bet you 100% that behind that artistic mask is a man who is no different than the fundoo’s he is running away from.

  • Aristotle The Geek  On March 7, 2010 at 3:51 am

    I am sure such paintings will rile up the religious-minded folks. And it might well be the case that Husain isn’t interested in raking up controversies w.r.t. Islamic figures—he could have an agenda (“I guess the operative word here is ‘my.’”)

    One doesn’t have to like his works, or him for that matter. But that doesn’t mean one should hound him out of the country, like the wackos have managed to do.

    Chomsky is as unliberal as one can be. But he clearly expresses the choices one has when it comes to free speech-

    “If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.”

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    he could have an agenda
    Resistance is hinduism’s weakness. All the abrahamics have to do is rake up the dark side of hinduism, the reason why groups like VHP and bajrang dal exist. Hinduism as we know today is not more than 150 years old. The british simply clubbed few of ideologies together and referred as hinduism. Both the terms in the phrase “Hindu-Nationalism” are alien to pre-islamic world-view of indians. Are these all a co-incidence? Question to ask is whether you believe in a thing called “the great game” or is it just a conspiracy theory to you?

    One doesn’t have to like his works, or him for that matter. But that doesn’t mean one should hound him out of the country
    Interestingly, that’s the exact position swapan had taken on that cnn ibn show which has made churumuri all hysterical.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On March 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm

      # “Both the terms in the phrase “Hindu-Nationalism” are alien to pre-islamic world-view of indians.”
      What you say about the “hinduism” label is true. A multitude of traditions, beliefs and rituals—pantheism, polytheism, even agnosticism and atheism, the metaphysics of dualism vs. non-dualism, mythology, ritual sacrifice, discrimination etc etc etc—slowly became Hinduism. But I wouldn’t restrict myself to the pre-islamic period. We harp about political Islam. We must also accept political Hinduism, which is what Hindutva is all about. I think the “way of life” definition is a bit too naive.

      As for nationalism, its a recent phenomenon. We have always been a country where regional allegiances have mattered more than national ones. I don’t know how much of Dwivedi’s epic is based on fact, but he shows the fracture and Kautilya’s attempts at bringing various provinces under a single authority. The same was visible when the east india trading companies aimed at political control, and it continues to this day with agitations for states on the basis of language or historical political boundaries.

      # “Question to ask is whether you believe in a thing called “the great game” or is it just a conspiracy theory to you?”
      I don’t think there’s an international organization secretly at work planning an islamic takeover of the world. All conspiracies are hatched in the open.

      Other than that, its quite clear isn’t it? Christianity has had its day, conquests, empires and all, and has more or less come to terms with the separation of church and state—some form of parliamentary democracy. The Islamists dream about it now, a caliphate. Doesn’t mean they are going to succeed.

      #“Interestingly, that’s the exact position swapan had taken on that cnn ibn show which has made churumuri all hysterical.”
      As long as he supports censorship based on the “realities of India,” meaning idiots will kill people and burn houses because someone “hurt their sentiments,” his position doesn’t mean anything.

      Unfortunately, unless the politics of the country improves—the overt or covert support offered to rioting scum ends—nothing is going to come out of it. Most people in the country are in favor of censorship, book-burning, hounding etc. So politicians support such activities. Mencken says something about the US presidency which I guess applies to any political situation-

      The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

      The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

      As long as a majority is made up of dumb or opportunistic people, political power too will fall into the hands of similar people. And the same actions will recur. Sigh.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 8, 2010 at 12:59 am

    We must also accept political Hinduism, which is what Hindutva is all about
    Of course and you’ll have to agree that it is part of a resistance. I have always wondered how we still remained majority “indic” even after centuries of islamic conquest. Funny thing is that there wasn’t much trace of any viable resistance back then. Millions slaughtered, centuries ruled and still they still couldn’t achieve what they had come here to do. The storm didn’t need a resistance but why is that the indics have formed a resistance this time?

    Im not worried about islam, i’m worried about christianity and i was referring to them only when i mentioned “the great game”.

    As for nationalism, its a recent phenomenon
    “Caste” along with “dharma” and “borderless rashtra” are a part of indic phenomenon. A confederation with paper demarcated borders is an european construct. Allegiance towards such a construct was called nationalism. Shivaji, vivekananda, savarkar, sipinchandra pal, lokmanya tilak were called as “hindu-nationalists”.

    A “hindu-nationalist” advocates the segregation of spiritual pursuits from duty and sense of justice or polity. His opponents are alien ideologies which believe in concepts like “religion” and “infidel”.

    The problem starts with monotheists who are MNC’s and hindu-nationalists who are local companies. By this I mean, just like communism, there are no borders in islam. Whereas, the idea of “utopia” for a “hindu-nationalist” does not run beyond the realms of the indian subcontinent. The basic’s which the locals ask for, the MNC’s cannot give.

    The irony is that, most of the indics or “hindus”, themselves have forgotten about the idea of dharma. They too have started equating dharma as synonym to religion and rashtra as synonym to nation-state. hence all the confusion.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On March 10, 2010 at 2:03 am

      # “i’m worried about christianity”
      Why?

      As I see it, its a question of cultural and territorial conflict, religion being just one part of it. The resistance, as you call it, is to the “alien” nature of the proselytizing faiths, though I doubt if any orthodox Hindu will just as easily adopt Buddhism or Jainism. Its just that these are seen to be more benign while Christianity and Islam seem to be aggressive because of their proselytizing nature.

      # ““Caste” along with “dharma” and “borderless rashtra” are a part of indic phenomenon.”
      Though it may be true, its a utopian vision, this “borderless rashtra.” Has always been so. I am afraid I am repeating myself, but regional influences and differences—language, customs etc are more important than religion. Ask the Thackerays of this world, and their predecessors; they would thrash a UP-ite regardless of his religion.

      • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm

        Why?
        The muslims create a lot of ruckus as they move along so you know what there doing or what there up to but it’s not the case with the christians. Strategies and tactics of a military doctrine are such that they can be applied to anything. And call me crazed as much as you want but i see the christians have adopted that strategy and much of it is psychological warfare.

        There are no sure shot evidences that could prove my thesis. Take the case of india where the x’tians have taken over three very important entities – education, health and wire services.

        Could you have imagined education and religion going hand in hand? The indics propagated questioning things around them so they had a bunch of atheists in them and hence establishing educations institutions were bound to happen. But the christians do not follow philosophy and the only knowledge they could pass is the bible. How could it survive among the intellectual classes? They did that by some how attaching themselves to education. Today, a church and a school behind it is a common thing to see. This survival instinct didn’t kick in automatically or all of a sudden. After all, the two are fu@king oxymoron. It was a tactic which was a part of a strategy. The advantages were that they could continue to be and every once in a while, they could push bible teachings in the classroom and dilute it inside the education curriculum.

        They’ve done the exact thing by attaching christianity with the health care industry. Even the media. Search for “india” on bbc or abc and 8/10 results will be dowry or dalit related news. I do not like to jump the gun but this is the exact stuff you’ll read on the christian propaganda sites and hence it leaves me staring at the screen in disbelief. I have noticed that the people writing these things in these foreign wire services are indian themselves. Specifically, they are indian muslims and christians who represent india. What are the odds, eh?

        The fu@king international human rights groups, the genocide tribunals and all the religious freedom rights groups who seem to represent the world have people inside them that are christian loco’s. The jai bhim dalit groups have indirect links with christian charity organizations. How does the saying go, “an enemy’s enemy…”.

        This is an opponent who thinks like a military general. I read a lot of strategy doctrines and i know these things when i see it. The difficulty for me is to try to sell this because i know what i wrote sounds stupid or some conspiracy theory sort of sh!t. All i can say in my defense is that i do not like CT’s and i do not write them either.

        Sun tzu says “use a direct attack to engage and an indirect attack to win”.

        • Aristotle The Geek  On March 11, 2010 at 2:02 am

          What are you talking about? The number of convent schools and colleges run by Christian institutions is minuscule. Most of them are either government supported, or private, or run by other minorities—religious, linguistic etc. And I am not including the “education barons” here. If I had to pull a figure out of thin air, I would say they are outnumber 20 to 1 or something.

          As for health, the situation is similar. You either have government hospitals, or private ones—owned by corporations, individuals or trusts.

          # “Even the media. Search for “india” on bbc or abc and 8/10 results will be dowry or dalit related news.”
          As for the BBC, ABC etc covering the dark side of India, I don’t know. I follow the BBC regularly. I see all kinds of news there. But how are these two related to Christianity. Surely you know that religious conservatives vs. “liberals” is a battle that is also taking place in the West? About Christian propaganda sites, I don’t know. I don’t visit them. I did chance upon a blog by a very conservative Christian who was berating Mises and advising fellow Christians not to associate with his ideas because he said some not so charitable stuff about the religion. Strange.

          # “The fu@king international human rights groups, the genocide tribunals and all the religious freedom rights groups…”
          I am not a fan of the “human rights” groups, but I don’t think they are religious conservatives. “Liberal,” maybe.

          # “The jai bhim dalit groups have indirect links with christian charity organizations.”
          After centuries of discrimination (there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight), I wouldn’t grudge them that.

          • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 11, 2010 at 8:29 pm

            The number of convent schools and colleges run by Christian institutions is minuscule
            I wasn’t talking about numbers. I was pointing at a religion which embraces cores that prolong it’s existence and acts as propaganda tools. Same goes for the health industry and the wire services.

            I am not a fan of the “human rights” groups, but I don’t think they are religious conservatives. “Liberal,” maybe.
            A good part of these rights / watch groups are christian backed. Even the RSS has teams inside them that provide relief work in disaster struck areas. The islamist party NDF in kerala undertakes humanitarian aid work for there brethrens. It’s the same thing everywhere if you know what i mean. But the christian one’s have dressed it up so bloodless and so “global” that im amazed.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 8, 2010 at 1:12 am

    realities of India
    I do not understand. Does “ground realities” do not matter? Especially a place like india were there aren’t many policemen per thousand who can keep things calm and in this eventuality and environment, a lot could go wrong and seriously, which indian govt. would want to take that chance?

    • Aristotle The Geek  On March 10, 2010 at 1:36 am

      The “ground realities” you (and Swapan) refer to do exist. But that cannot be used as an excuse to curb free speech. If people go crazy because someone insults their religious figures, or political leaders, that is their problem. The Indian government cannot, with a straight face, take action against the “blasphemers” while keeping mum w.r.t. the rioting mob. The only reason craziness is more rampant in countries like India, those in South Asia, and weak-kneed states like Britain and Canada but not in the US is because the idea of freedom is still respected in that country. There is no way a book or play or film can be banned in the US just because some goons ran riot on the streets.

      It isn’t a question of policemen, but one of law and culture. Indian politicians have made it easy for the mob to harass anyone that doesn’t toe its line. Hang those who cause death in riots, and throw armed goons who attack people, destroy property and grab people by their hair in jail for a few years, scrap laws that seek to control “public morality” and that protect reputations of imaginary and dead people and all this will come to an end pretty soon. The Indian government enables barbarism.

      • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

        But that cannot be used as an excuse to curb free speech
        I think we all have reservations on free speech. An individuals stand or a 5 line definition of an constitutional agreement does not and can never fully realize the complexities of a human brain. Hence i cannot play nice and i flout principles as if there were non-existent. Simply saying, i agree to free speech but i do not agree with mf hussain simply because i sense his intentions were bad. It’s a contradictory stand, i know. Did i fell to selfish needs when i flouted my stand? Yes but i already said i do not play nice if i know my opponents do not play nice with me.

        There is no way a book or play or film can be banned in the US just because some goons ran riot on the streets.
        There threshold levels have been reduced to almost nil and it didn’t happen in a few years but it took several decades. If you look at mf hussains case, it has more to do with hindu-muslim animosity and less with freedom. The other case is that why should muslims be given freedom of speech when they ask everyone around them to curb it? “you12” said the principles have to be followed even wrt muslims. But like i said earlier, i don’t play nice when they don’t play nice. If i let them be, they’ll take it to another step. In a way im telling them to back off and we’ll back off.

        You are under a false impression that if you put a muslim in a liberal world, he’ll turn liberal just like others. That’s wrong. The faultlines lie inside the muslim system which ensures it’s population is kept aloof from mainstream society and politics till indoctrination is reached to such levels that in an event if someone does stray away to the outside world, he will equate all the new vibes as part of an evil system which needs to be eradicated for the betterment of islam. There is something inside that indoctrination which prevents them to adapt or to change. Even if change is installed into one’s mind, there are several authorities in the system in the form of maulanas to people in the community who supervise and reverse the changes if found or maybe even make an example out of him.

        • Aristotle The Geek  On March 11, 2010 at 1:41 am

          # “You are under a false impression that if you put a muslim in a liberal world, he’ll turn liberal just like others.”
          I don’t believe any such thing. I don’t think that about anyone, whatever their beliefs. I am a cynic/skeptic, remember?

          Liberalism is a very difficult position to hold. And religious liberals are a rare species. I don’t say they don’t exist, but they are rare, as rare as pro-free speech communists.

          I don’t care about the barbarism that most Islamic countries regularly resort to. But countries that claim to be civilized should offer the same protection to all their citizens, without discrimination. In particular, saffron groups should stop taking lessons in intolerance from the Taliban.

          “We believe in free speech” as an answer to the Muhammad cartoons or Rushdie’s works is much better than competitive book- and film-banning.

          • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm

            You’ll play nice, you’ll loose. The “semantic warfare” you have talked about earlier is the very thing that’ll knock you out. Right is there to keep the left from escaping out. Tolerance, non-violence and secularism. Administrations do crazy things for the sake of normalcy. Summon up that bolded text.

          • blr_p  On March 12, 2010 at 3:00 am

            In particular, saffron groups should stop taking lessons in intolerance from the Taliban.
            Hear hear, that’s the part that betrays their true intentions to be no better than their opponent. In fact the std is set by the opponent so these grps never really have the initiaitive. Except to propagate the exact same behaviour in hopes of pre-empting said opponent, cycle never ends. Isn’t imitation the truest form of flattery.

            Is this a movement that inspires much confidence ?

            We saw how the public reacted in the last general election. Their deadliest opponent was other hindus was it not. So likewise the deadliest enemy of the Taliban is other muslims.

            • Aristotle The Geek  On March 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm

              # “Their deadliest opponent was other hindus was it not. So likewise…”
              The collapse of the BJP, to my mind, had nothing to do with Hindus revolting against the party. I would put it down to a couple of factors—alliances, and “it’s the economy, stupid.” Unless a party manages to polarize society on religious lines, and I am talking about something big on the lines of Ayodhya, or Modi’s campaign, religion doesn’t matter much on the national stage.

              Therefore, I don’t expect the “moderates” to take on the fundamentalists, whatever the religion, and in any sphere.

              • blr_p  On March 13, 2010 at 10:17 pm

                Therefore, I don’t expect the “moderates” to take on the fundamentalists, whatever the religion, and in any sphere.
                Clearly the fundamentalists can’t win when its by ballot, they rarely ever do.

                By bullet is is another matter entirely.

                • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm

                  You do not interact with hindus do you?

                  • blr_p  On March 14, 2010 at 7:15 pm

                    Given they are in the majority, its kinda hard to avoid them. Are you also implying they think & act as a homogeneous whole ?

                    So given a whole continuum of positions possible, how exactly does one guage what the majority thinks ?

                    Obviously they are moderates just like any other group…as opposed to the vocal minority that tries to constantly redefine what that ought to be.

                    Who happen to be well represented on the net and whose opinion needs to be taken with a pinch of salt as it rarely represents the whole as the last general elections made so abundantly clear.

                    • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On March 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm

                      Given they are in the majority, its kinda hard to avoid them
                      How many of them have been point-blank WITH YOU? Many of them have hindu names and celebrate hindu festivals yet they are atheists. How do you think that is possible?

                      Your right that a lot of them are on the internet and have rightist beliefs. They are the one’s who engage in discussion on indian politics and societal structure. The BJP was even compelled to begin an online campaign to encourage them to vote but sadly they failed to realize that this section of the group do not vote and have yet to fill in there election ID forms.

                      Hardly do you come across a congress supporter in a political forum. Most of them spend there days on facebook and youtube. Even i did once. Even i loved gandhi once and even supported congress once. Your either a pacifist or your not.

                      as the last general elections made so abundantly clear
                      The last elections only proved that BJP cannot win if the regional parties continue to be.

  • blr_p  On March 14, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    How many of them have been point-blank WITH YOU?
    In a written format over the net, i’d like to think nearly everyone as i’m no diferent and expect no less. GIven the bulk of it is with ppl not known IRL chances are they would be much more direct & open. I tend not to discuss these matters IRL as etiquette limits how blunt it can get and anyway you are limited by your social circle in scope. Clearly, these discussions are far more rich in a writen format which allows a much more potent distillation of ideas.

    The last elections only proved that BJP cannot win if the regional parties continue to be..
    Are you suggesting the only way for them to win is by limiting the choice that regional parties offer to the electorate ? I do support more choice btw, as its not possible to capture the diversity this country represents otherwise. To limit choice will only lead to marginalisation and more headaches further down the road. If choice is to be limited the correct way would be for these parties to fail in the elections and go away themselves.

    Surely, this indicates the problem is within the BJP rather than outside and until those concerned realise it we will just continue to be a one party coalition state.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s