Regarding competitive intolerance

Do the editors of The Hindu read this blog?

The Hindu calls for a repeal of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, the favourite statute of the easily offended people of every faith.

Since what is insulting or offensive is judged on a religion’s own terms, orthodox and fundamentalist groups within every religion are allowed to arrogate to themselves the right to set the parameters of public discourse. The increasing use of Section 295A in the recent period has underlined the dangers of competitive intolerance curtailing the space available for freedom of expression. The section is clearly not in consonance with democratic and constitutional values and it is time it was removed from the statute book. [The Hindu, linkthanks Rohit]

Interestingly, the editorial is titled “Competitive intolerance”. Ah! Now where did you hear this term before?

A certain Dr Adarsh Bhargav, from GMC Hostel, Jammu, wrote a letter on competitive intolerance to the editor of Kashmir Times on 23 May 2007. It’s nice to see that this blog inspired him to write the letter. So inspired, in fact, that he just plagiarised the entire post, including a quote from Gaurav Sabnis.

7 thoughts on “Regarding competitive intolerance”

  1. Nitin,

    Do not be surprised when mainstream media “get inspired” by blogs and write “similar stuff”. I am sure they read these blogs and the like. With a blog like this, they need to do no research! (For papers like CHindu, the research comes from the red party offices 🙂

    Here is another anecdote: I used to follow cricket regularly both on Cricinfo and the newsgroup rec.sports.cricket (RSC). The latter used to have excellent posters. Many a time, cricinfo articles were clearly “inspired” by RSC.

    There goes the originality of MSM.

  2. It is amusing to see The Hindu whining about double standards. It is even more amusing to read this pontification from what, in my opinion, is one of the most intolerant and dogma-driven newspapers in world:

    “..freedom of expression extends not merely to ideas that are received favourably or are inoffensive but also to those that “offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population”..”

    The edit-writers of The Hindu seem to be severely afflicted with dementia. Either that, or their left hand doesn’t know what their left hand is doing. (How can they have a right hand, unless it is an imperialist conspiracy?) For this is the opinion the same paper aired in the context of controversy over Danish cartoons:

    “Freedom of expression is supremely important. But surely it does not require its champions crassly to cause offence to the faith and beliefs of an identifiable group.”

    http://www.hindu.com/2006/02/09/stories/2006020908581000.htm

    An argument against Sec 295A coming from this source is rather rich, because the Alzheimer’s-stricken editorialist opined, in the afore-mentioned editorial:

    “..as the publication of vicious cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammed by a Danish newspaper..”

    “..the cartoons have not just been insensitive, they have been downright provocative..”

    “..the cartoons promote hate by suggesting that Islam preaches violence and terrorism..”

    If some politcally-motivated dude sitting in his Mount Road office can infer all of those nasty things about cartoonists in a distant country, why cannot judges approaching the issue with due process of law infer “malicious intent” in an expression of speech?

    Juxtapose the latest wave of wisodm to have hit The Hindu:

    “Since what is insulting or offensive is judged on a religion’s own terms, orthodox and fundamentalist groups within every religion are allowed to arrogate to themselves the right to set the parameters of public discourse.”

    with its earlier, now superceded, edict:

    “(the cartoons) offend the strong belief among Muslims that the Prophet must not be depicted in any way. The Koran prohibits idolatory or giving shape or form to Allah, who must not be objectified.”

    Othodoxy, fundamentalists and the editorialists of The Hindu. Like Mark Twain said, suppose you’re and idiot, and suppose you’re a Congressman…

  3. “he just plagiarised the entire post, including a quote from Gaurav Sabnis.” 🙂

    Good one Oldtimer. Apparently The Hindu knows Koran more thoroughly than Hinduism. Didn’t an eminent history express similar views on Rama Setu – Life of Christ and Mohammad (and hence the religions) were accurate while Bharatiya history of Lord Ram is false. So non-hindu orthodoxies are always right; conversely hindu orthodoxy doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    Knowing UPA’s appeasement policies, if Section 295A is indeed repealed, it won’t be surprising if the repeal apply only for Hinduism (and other Bharatiya-born religions, of course) – all other religions will be continue to be protected because they are always right.

  4. I have questioned the constitutional validity of Sec. 295-298 in your post on The Tasleema Nasreen Opportunity.

    On second thoughts, however, those who file frivolous lawsuits under Secs. 295-298 are not the only culprits. These sections of the Indian Penal Code is a recourse to those who respect the rule of law, but not the freedom of expression. What about the fellows who riot, vandalize private and public property, and throw chairs and flower pots on unarmed men and women? IPC or not, they can bring the highest authorities of the State to their hands and knees, and force them to silence the voices and words of reason. What do we do about these barbarians on the street?

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