Rushdie and Husain: Casualties of an Immature Democracy : Freedom of expression includes the freedom to offend or hurt organized groups, hurt public figures, hurt all those who are in the positions of influence, hurt all those institutions which are powerful and influential, hurt our histories, our legacies, and our past.  Freedom of expression cannot come in doses of moderation, like what the Indians want us to believe. 

Go back Rushdie, You are not welcome here: Though we are the ‘greatest country’ with the ‘greatest culture’ we are an insecure lot.   In our country, we have a right to believe in blind theories, gobbledygook stories, and mystical interpretations of the working of the nature.  And if for some reason, you seem to question them or speak against them, we have a right to threaten you, shut you up, and if needed, throw you in prison.

Run away from Indian Flag: Why give the flag to us when you can prosecute us with such silly allegations.  Instead, please take the flag back; put it in a museum.  Keep it on a pedestal, or keep it chains, but please keep it away from the reach of the mere mortals like us.  We don’t want the National Flag in our lives if we are to be constantly afraid of silly prosecutions and frivolous litigations.

M F Husain: Nude Saraswati: The way Indians got familiar with Ramayana through Ramanand Sagar’s version on TV, the new generation Hindus now became familiar with a sari-draped ultraconservative version of their goddesses.   But some of us know that Ramanand Sagar’s version is not the only version of Ramayana.  Many contemporary artists continued to depict their goddesses in nude but these figurines never entered the common man’s homes as deity figures. 

Understanding why M F Husain might have painted Nude Hindu Gods: For all we know, may be MF Husain was doing what every other artisan in India did for centuries – conform to the practices already in vogue, and not deviate from those practices by a lot.  It is a common practice that an artisan who works on Hindu temples sculpts Hindu goddesses in nude and then goes to work on a mosque to etch Arabic texts onto the walls.  

Scrap the Insane Laws, Immediately: There are many anachronistic, insane and stupid laws in this country.  The fact that they have never been used, or that they are rarely used, or that they have been used with discretion is not a good enough reason for such laws to exist.  No individual can stand up against the onslaught of a committed group which uses such insane laws to prosecute and persecute him.

MF Husain Dies: Intolerance Wins, India Loses: A basic requirement of a free nation is that it should allow expression of conflicting and dissenting ideas. And those who express those ideas should be protected from persecution, even when the targets are sacred symbols of majority or minority groups. 

Freedom from persecution: Though High Court ruling clearly exonerated MF Husain of any wrongdoing, Indians kicked out MF Husain by hounding him with thousands of cases, generating hundreds of arrest warrants against him.    A freedom sanctioned by the state of India also includes freedom from such frivolous and unnecessary prosecution, from such arrest warrants in each and every Indian city.

'You hate me, I arrest you': Words like hatred, anger, love, happy, cannot be and should not be legalized.  The fact that such words, like ‘hatred’, appear in our Indian Penal Code with punishments of imprisonment for life is quite ridiculous.   Indians are now hounding its authors and artists slapping them with innumerable number of cases in each city of India so that they are forced to flee the nation.

Scrap sedition laws: ‘Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life.’  That includes almost every criticism of India.  Almost anyone who is unhappy with the way India is performing and therefore goes about criticizing it can be charged with sedition. 

Khap the crap: Khap panchayats should have no jurisdiction over who an individual can marry, what an individual wants to do with his/her life.  No amount of greatest culture and tradition can be used as a justification to deprive an individual of his fundamental rights.  And the modern India has a responsibility to emancipate these common Indian men and women from the oppression of the majority carried out in the name of tradition and culture.   

Freedom from Religion: What Indians need is freedom from religion; freedom from its foolishness, from its ignorance, from its zealotry.  We need freedom from its imbecility, its bigotry and its intolerant imposition of values and virtues onto us.   Religious people are free to practice any idiocy in their lives, but they have no right to impose it onto us, by any law or by any decree of the land.

Thou shall not eat beef!: Banning beef in Karnataka is a clear case of Hindu majority, dominated by upper caste version of Hinduism where cow is a sacred animal, imposing its will on other religions and lower-caste Hindus.  Beef is a food to many people just like chicken or mutton.  State has no right to impose what people of this country can eat or not eat.   Making an animal sacred is not the domain of a secular country.

MF Husain takes Qatar Nationality: India has a long standing tradition of depicting their gods in nude.  Indian temples are galore with various gods and goddesses in erotic postures and in some temples, the depictions are downright pornographic where more than one multiple partners are making love.

Unban banned books: So far, more than 54 books have been banned by various Indian governments. India bans books, plays and movies at the throw of a hat without debate, discussion or reason.  India has to grow up. One of the sad outcomes of that growing up is to deal with things that are unpleasant.

Gujarat bans Jaswant’s book on Jinnah: Books are not billboards that a person would look at involuntarily. Someone would read a book only because he wants to, it cannot be forced upon, and it would never be inadvertent either. An Indian citizen should be allowed to choose any book he wants to read. No government should think it is protecting its citizens from reading wrong stuff.

Homosexuality is not a crime anymore: The court observes: “Moral indignation, however strong, is not a valid basis for overriding individuals’ fundamental rights of dignity and privacy. Constitutional morality must outweigh the argument of public morality, even if it be the majoritarian view”.  India took 150 years to reverse a law that criminalized an activity which is now considered natural though different from the majority point of view.


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