Friday, February 13, 2009

Incredible India!

feb 13th, 2009

under the UPA, there is no freedom of the press.

i have mentioned here the assault on the 'kerala kaumudi' by the kerala high court for publishing an editorial critiquing its handling of the abhaya case.

incidentally, i don't fully agree with the telegraph piece below, either. we have discussed this on this blog before -- i believe there is as much dogma in science as there is in religion, as well. and we know from experience that those who claim to be 'rational' are the most irrational people in india; so there is as much secular (in the true, not indian, sense of the word) fundamentalism out there as well, and atheism is not a sufficient nor necessary condition for being rational. 

incidentally, hindus are at fault too. we should have filed cases against m karunanidhi under the same 295A statute when he seriously -- and continuously -- hurt the sentiments of hindus regarding rama setu. and against manmohan for a constitutional violation when he said 'the resources of this country are first for mohammedans.' this is a clear violation of the constitutional provision for equality irrespective of creed.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

It is ironical (and shameful) that in a country that boasts to be the world's largest democracy, the Chief Editor and Publisher of The Statesman should be arrested for reprinting a logically argued British-newspaper article that points out how religious fanatics are threatening free speech even in the secular world! Below is the PTI report on the arrests, followed by the original article that triggered those arrests on a flimsy complaint by one Mohammed Shahid.

Statesman Editor, Publisher arrested

Kolkata, Feb. 11 (PTI): The Editor and Publisher of English daily 'The Statesman' were on Wednesday arrested on the charge of insulting the religious belief of a community, following street protests against an article published in the newspaper.

Ravindra Kumar, Editor of The Statesman, and Anand Sinha, its Printer and Publisher, were arrested from their residence this morning "on a specific complaint", Joint CP (Administration) Pradip Chatterjee said. The complaint was made by one Mohd Shahid at the Bowbazar police station here.

The complaint was made under sections 295A (maliciously insulting the religions or the religious belief of any class) and 34 (common intention) of IPC. Kumar and Sharma were produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S S Anand by the police and were granted interim bail on a surety of Rs 5000.

The matter would come up for hearing again on February 25, the judge said in his order. The article by Johann Hari titled "Why should I respect these oppressive religions?" was originally published in 'The Independent' and was reproduced in The Statesman here on February 5.

Some Muslims have been demonstrating since February 6 before The Statesman office here against the article, in which there was some reference to Prophet Mohammed.


Johann Hari: Why should I respect these oppressive religions?

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