Every time a debate brews on the importance of freedom of speech, it conclusively boils down to classifying some as radicals and some as rationalists when the point of contention is who decides who is rational or radical?
Often times, those who advocate their beliefs in their choicest abuses in the name of freedom of speech are endorsed as rationalists and those who question and refuse to acclaim the same are termed radicals.
As per the Indian constitution of India under section 153(A) and section 295(A) of the penal code, any expression written or spoken, by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquility and under section 295(A) of the Indian penal code whoever insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of any class of citizens of India, . . . shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
And MM.Kalburgi’s statements amounted to all this and more but nevertheless he was a pronounced rationalist! The murder of MM.Kalburgi at whose hands we do not know but is definitely sad and deserves criticism but to project him as a rationalist is perhaps irrational as most of his advocacies were open blasphemy, here is a link that shows how radical and hate mongering his speech was..
in which the noted literati mindlessly goes on to say that it is superstitious to worship an idol and casually jokes that another Kannada writer _ Dr.U.R.Ananthamurthy who is also a Jnanapeetha awardee, had once urinated on an idol of God(Shiva) but no adversarial effects had harmed him, Mr.Kalburgi almost uses Anathamurthy’s outrageously anti-Hindu stance as a proven theorem to justify his expressions and belief that idol worship is superstitious and meaningless.
Incidentally or co-incidentally these literary laureates are also awarded the most prestigious literary awards of the nation.
Isn’t it communal or hate brewing to ridicule other’s beliefs pointblank? Would Kalburgi or his likes ever question the custom of stoning the shaitaan or the circumcision or will they advocate English education in Madrasas? Will they poke their nose in Christian customs like thanks giving or the very concept of an altar when they don’t believe in idolatry? Will they question the Benny Hinns breeding rampantly in our backyard, everywhere in India today?
Obama receiving the pope becomes glorious breaking news and protocol but our PM is branded as communal.
In modern day India, a hateful expression is often packaged by the literati as unconventionally bold and creative, such creative fodder is often pushed in main stream media as liberalism and modern thinking. One such staunch example of contemporary times is the MF Hussain case, where his paintings glared with disrespectful travesty to ridicule and belittle Hinduism but our media termed M.F.Hussain as creative, free thinking, often such superlative adjectives are coined to honour the brave crusaders of creativity who are often in quest for free thinking and pick on dharma ironically only Hindu dharma at large.
Below are MF Hussain’s creativity, wonder why he didn’t choose his faith for inspiration!!
A pen is mightier than the sword they say, so it is inherently important that a writer/jounalist who plays a vital role in shaping mind sets and streaming opinions in a society be sensitive to that very society’s beliefs yet bring out the truth from all perspectives without any prejudice.
There is an uproar that freedom of speech is threatened and intolerance to rationalism is growing but what really is rationalism? Who really is a rationalist?
In this news debate video Arnab is clearly allowing more time to the so called activists and rationalists but interrupts and cuts down Rahul Eashwar and Indira’s time but when Indira is forced to resort to the same tactics as Arnab to make herself heard he accuses her of interrupting when in the first case he never gave her a chance to completely express her views.
This is the kind of rationalism that exists today and it is almost fashionable to witch hunt Hindus beliefs. I am amazed why Arnab didn’t call the Owaisis for a rational debate!!
Although India is a Hindu majority, our constitution says we a secular country where there is equal respect for people of all faiths and beliefs but how rational is this tweet from this rational journo
It is because of such consistent and sustained maliciousness that today Indian communities remain divided with hatred for each other, on one hand the dalits in the country get reservation and all hell breaks loose for achieving social equality but on the other hand they merrily vilify the merit class in their free run for freedom of speech, ironically all those who spew venom against the merit class are self proclaimed rationalists. In fact liberalism today is synonymous with hating the Bramins community and demeaning Hinduism.
We have all heard of Narendra Dabholkar, an atheist who asked for the anti superstition bill, he was acclaimed as a rationalist again, he was also awarded Padmashri posthumously for his social activism but nobody knows about Sanal Edamaruku who also fought against superstitions prevailing in the Church, his investigated report about a crucifix at ‘Our Lady of Velankanni’ church in Mumbai dripping with water from the feet, indicated that the dripping was caused by capillary action from a clogged drain but in April 2012 the Catholic Church in Mumbai filed a blasphemy complaint under Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code in several police stations around the city against him and he was forced to flee to Finland to avoid arrests but interestingly the Indian media never uttered a word about this incident.
Ideally rationalism is the theory of believing with logical reasoning without any prejudices or favoritisms but in this quest for intellectual reasoning it is also imperative to keep in mind the fact that my truth and my logic could be different from yours, it is important to respect others faiths and beliefs, because when you cross this thin line and cannot differentiate between a hate speech and free speech and resort to judgmental accusations, derogatory statements, degradation of other beliefs then there is no more reasoning left to qualify one as a rationalist, in fact he ceases to be one and is actually a hard core radical fringe element disguised and glorified as a liberal.
But thanks to the social media as it often blows up these volatile rhythms of rationalism loud and clear.