Do you think insulting should be a punishable offense?

1. Do you think ‘insulting’ should be a punishable offense?

If yes, then why? And what kind of punishment?

2. Are threats of violence an insult to the Indian Constitution?

3. Do violent protests achieve their goals better than peaceful protests? Could it be because they are generally politically motivated?

And so,

4. Are violent protests politically motivated/supported, or are they spontaneous?

And finally,

5. Salman Rushdie it seems has visited India earlier and there were no problems, why do you think has this become such an issue this time?

Updated to ask: Isn’t Freedom of Expression the Right to express what we can’t express without the Freedom of Expression?



Related Posts:

Who defines the ‘limits’ of your freedom?



I may disapprove of what she says…

I disagree with a lot of what Arundhati Roy says here – read a rough transcript of her speech here or watch her speak here.

But I disagree even more with those who think she should be stopped from expressing her opinion.  Here’s one of the reasons why,

‘Azadi to espouse azadi
Freedom Of Expression In A Vibrant Democracy, By Madhavi Goradia Divan’

( The Statesman)

Here’s a point of view I agree with…

“That a seminar titled “Azadi ~ the only way” could be held in the capital city and that Roy and Geelani could say what they did in the full media glare is testimony to that freedom, an azadi … The Indian State is resilient and robust enough to bear a slight or two now and then. Why diminish its dignity by muzzling dissent or even disloyalty?” (click to read the entire article, might require log in, but it’s worth it)

‘Home minister P Chidambaram today said Delhi police not filing a case against noted writer Arundhati Roy for her alleged seditious speech recently was in accordance with the letter and spirit of law.

“Not taking action is also an action,” he shot back when a journalist asked him why the government was not acting against her for her “Azaadi” (independence) remarks made at a convention on Kashmir here recently.

“Section 124(A) of the IPC (related to sedition) is for deterrence and punishment. The spirit of the law and true interpretation of law is that unless there is direct incitement to violence, the state must show tolerance and forbearance.

“Delhi police is acting in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law,” he said.’ [Link]

Arundhati Roy not Guilty, says P Chidambaram

And I agree.

The Indian state is resilient and robust enough to bear a slight or two now and then.”

I would be more worried about speeches that incite violence and hatred.

How do you define Sin?

Dr Siras was filmed inside his house, participating in a homosexual act with a willing partner, for which he was suspended from the university.

Allahabad High Court issued a stay order against his suspension.

A week later he was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

And Aligarh Muslim University has an ‘intelligence unit… that spies on students and teachers‘ personal lives…

I wonder if somebody somewhere is feeling guilty about this death. 😦


Our Pink (or Saffron?) Chaddi Guys will find a like minded soul in Iran, in Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi. “Many women who dress inappropriately … cause youths to go astray, taint their chastity and incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes,” [Link]

[And a much better link ;)]


Would Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi  say these men in Afghanistan are incited by little boys?

Bacha bazi is an old Afghan tradition of taking young boys, dressing them up like girls, and making them perform for older men in tea rooms, weddings, and other private venues. The boys are “owned” by single or married men who trade or keep the boys as concubines. According to reports, the boys’ ages range from eight to 19, when they “age out” of the practice and are released.

“The bacha dancers are often abused children … one boy was sexually assaulted by a mechanic in his town. The boy’s family blamed him and turned him out. He was forced to live with the man who attacked him. ” Now I am with someone else, and he taught me how to dance,” the boy, now 16 years old, said. []

Thanks for tweeting these links Nisha.


A 15 year old in Faridabad walked to a nearby park at 2 am, to abandon her  daughter  minutes after the baby was born. Because she wasn’t married. [Link]

Khushboo, a South Indian actor was taken to court for recommending contraception for girls like her, because teenage sex bothers some of us.


A 12-year-old Yemeni bride died of internal bleeding following intercourse three days after she was married off to an older man, [Link]

“A man, aged thirty years, shall marry a maiden of twelve who pleases him, or a man of twenty-four a girl eight years of age; if (the performance of) his duties would (otherwise) be impeded, (he must marry) sooner.(Manusmriti, IX.94)


Can something that hurt nobody be sinful?
Is it sinful for some of us to claim to know what is best for the rest of us? Even if we bring god into it?

Valentine’s Day Difficulties ;)

This 13th Feb, while standing in a long queue at Archie’s I couldn’t resist grinning at a teenager who wished (aloud) she had brought her mother for gift shopping.

Her dad looked lost and helpless, but I clearly heard him comment on the IQ level of the one the gift was being bought for 😉

My Daughter whispered she was glad she didn’t bring her dad with her because she was sure he was not above making such comments.

Another mother ahead of me in the queue, moaned, “Valentine’s day nahi hua, kyaa ho gaya!” (It’s Valentine’s Day or what is it!). I would have sympathised if she didn’t then turn to look adoringly at the two cute looking causes of her sighing and cribbing.

And then there’s this news that some parents have spies to keep an eye on their adolescent children on Valentine’s Day.

Instead of bothering about lingerie display…

‘‘Your mannequins should wear sarees, not underwear. From now on, keep all undergarments inside. Show it to the customer when he or she asks for it. Five days from now if undergarments are still hanging outside, we will light a bonfire of the lingerie,’’ Chandra Shekhar threatened.   [Link]

Is it legal to threaten to ‘light a bonfire of’ something we do not want displayed?

And what is their objection to the display of lingerie? Culture is not good enough a reason because Prudery was not a part of ancient Indian tradition or culture, it came to India with the British and the Victorian morality they imposed on us.

The traditional saree, they approve of, was worn without a blouse or a petticoat.

“… Sculptures from the Gandhara, Mathura and Gupta schools (1st-6th century AD) show goddesses and dancers wearing what appears to be a dhoti wrap… a long, decorative drape in front of the legs. No bodices are shown.

In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it is indeed documented that women from many communities wore only the sari and exposed the upper part of the body till the 20th century. Poetic references from works like Silappadikaram indicate that during the sangam period in ancient Tamil Nadu, a single piece of clothing served as both lower garment and head covering, leaving the bosom and midriff completely uncovered.[3] In Kerala there are many references to women being bare-breasted,[5] including many pictures by Raja Ravi Varma. Even today, women in some rural areas do not wear cholis.” [Link]

It would be better if they left the women’s underwear on window displays alone and focused on things like street sexual harassment. They could follow Italy’s example – ‘Italy Ban On Public Privates-Scratching.’ [ Same news,  another link.]

Or they could focus on this: [click to see] by Brainstuck. (Thanks for the tweet and the link Poonam). Not as interesting as women’s  lingerie, but if they take interest, they get their free publicity, we get cleaner cities.

[Cartoon from : Communalism Watch, Hindutva attack on lingerie – R Prasad Cartoon in Mail Today. If Communalism Watch or the cartoonist R Prasad or ‘Mail Today’ have any objection to the cartoon being used here, please let me know, I will remove it.]


Edited to add : Mr Balvinder Singh’s posts are a must read for those who still aren’t convinced that we need no moral policing.

About Konark Temple –

Another one about Nagaland –

What would you not change for love?

I have been receiving email links that accuse Indian women of dereliction of duty, when they marry men from other faiths. Indian women are solely responsible for the honour of all Indian religions and cultures so these accusations are not new.

Love Jehad [Do read this link] should not become another tool to control women.  As an adult, a woman should remain free to marry anyone from any religion. And if she chooses to, let her convert.

But my personal opinion is that love and marriage should not require either of the partners to stop being who they really are… simply because they can’t.

1. I feel one should not need to convert to a partner’s religion.

2. I feel one should not need to change names or surnames. It is inconvenient and unnecessary, but even if it was convenient, it’s based on the principal of ownership of another human. So the very premise, in my opinion, is wrong.

3. I feel one should not need to change feelings towards one’s own parents and family. Unfortunately girls are sometimes expected to do this; especially in joint families… Marriage should add to your life, not take away from it.

4. Friends and family are a support system, nobody should be asked to give them up.  Also isolation of the victim is common in cases of Domestic Violence. (Now, the Domestic Violence Act has made it an offence to stop a woman from meeting her family).

5. One should not need to change one’s Personality. For example, no extrovert should be asked to become an introvert. That’s controlling.

Everybody, including women, must have some interests of their own, and some me-time, so if she is asked to stop interacting with the world (to protect her!), she better watch. Insecurity and mistrust are not good signs. And…

6. Trust must include faith in and respect for her judgement. Giving in to the spouse’s unreasonable wishes does not improve a relationship. Such controlling might be the beginning of Domestic Violence – verbal or physical.

7. The woman should be trusted to decide how she must dress, and not her husband’s grandmother’s cousin’s daughter’s brother in law.

Do you think we should need to change ourselves for love or marriage? And how much? Is it true that we can find happiness in our partner’s happiness (after the first few months of a relationship), or do we need our own happiness too?

We Hate Racism in 55 words.

We Hate Racism in 55 words.

East or West

India is the best.

We’re tolerant, not the West.

Indian origins shine. (Humph!)

BobbyVikram, Lakshmi Mittal… all patriots fine! (Relatives of mine.)

Loose-white-women can’t resist ‘hot Indian male’.

They must adopt our (better) culture.

‘Fair and Lovely’ sells.

Aryan origins swagger.

Chinkies and Italian citizens are outsiders.

Can’t tolerate Racism!

“HINDU extremists burned effigies of Kevin Rudd and shouted angry slogans outside the Australian High Commission in New Delhi yesterday as fury over a series of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne reached dangerous new heights…

.Indian blogs have taken an increasingly hysterical tone in recent days, with one even suggesting “Australians in India should be dragged on to the streets, stripped and beaten so badly they forget their names…”

Take a look at the video to see how concerned the protesters look about the welfare of the students in Australia.

Do we have no better ways of ensuring the safety of Indian students in Australia?

Also “while Indians are up in arms about racism against Indians abroad, what about racism within the nation. Do we ever ask ourselves that question?

[This post was in the drafts… some of the links are a month or so old, but unfortunately still relevant.]

Do bans make you curious?

When we stop children from reading something it is because they are not yet adults– but when adults are stopped from reading something, some suspicions are justified.

What don’t some adults want all other adults to find out?

If they have read a book and they have decided others should not read it because the book hurt their sentiments, one might wonder if that is an easy excuse… What if they are biased?

Couldn’t they have selfish motives? … Or they might fear being proven wrong? Could it be just an attempt to show, ‘Yes we can! Impose a ban!’ ?

I have reasons for my doubts.

Lajja was banned. Totally inoffensive.

Da Vinci Code is amongst my favorite books.

Jodha Akbar was entertaining, and Water was brilliant.

The Film Censor Board allowed violence and vulgar rape scenes but covered a simple kiss with doves, umbrellas and flowers.

Question: Do those who ban have better judgment than you and me?

Answer: Errr…

The Liberals will Live And Let Live…

The granddaughter puts aside the morning newspaper.

Granddaughter : Nani what do you think of men being in love with men?

Nani: What’s there to think? It’s good if people love each other.

Granddaughter: No Nani, I mean gay people.

Nani pretends to be engrossed in watching TV.

Granddaughter gets up to sit next to Nani.

Granddaughter: Nani what if it is not that kind of love, what if they want to get married to each other?

This is something I am also curious about, never thought of asking this!

Nani: I said if two people are happy it’s nobody’s problem…

Granddaughter: Even if it is two men wanting to marry each other Nani?

Nani: I told you, loving other humans is a good thing, now be quiet.

Granddaughter: Nani I am so proud of you! You should meet some of my class mates, some of them said if homosexuals are not punished brothers will start sleeping with brothers, and fathers with sons, and little boys will become unsafe! (An energetic, tight hug)

So times are definitely changing, when we were in school I did not believe homosexuality even existed in India!

* * *

But like Phoenixritu says, homosexuality was accepted in ancient societies.

Achilles, the bravest of all Trojan warriors was bisexual and the famous Trojan War would have had a very different ending if it was not for his love for Patroclus.

(Watch Achilles (Brad Pitt) and Patroclus in TROY)

* * *

And another surprise for me!! A new header … (Created by my daughter, Tejaswee Rao)

Header by TJ

What’s the magic word?

What is that one thing that can make any relationship work?

One thing that can ensure that any number of people live in peace??

Or just live together.

Or just live?

Couples. Neighbours. Colleagues. Siblings. Citizens.

Is it love?  No, because we can live peacefully with our neighbours without loving them….

I think the word is tolerance.

Tolerance means we accept that everybody is different and although we do disagree with them we accept that without resentment.

If we are tolerant we accept that even though we are vegetarian and will never cook or eat nonveg, we do not hate every non vegetarian.

If we are tolerate we understand that some people are sensitive about something we feel very strongly about, so we watch how we bring it up. (Or we just them be…).

Being tolerant would mean being openminded.

Being tolerant would mean we try not to judge.

Tolerance means No Victimless Crimes.

We live and let live.

Husbands and wives; the rich and the poor; the geeks and the uneducated; the atheists and the pious; modern and conservatives; pro-choice and pro-life; Marathis and Biharis, Dalits and Brahmins, Hindus and Muslims, Shaivites and Vaishnavites, South Indians and North Indians. Add more.

Do you agree that the only way for people to live together is by being tolerant?

Can civilization survive without tolerance? I think it can’t. And the only thing I am intolerant to is intolerance. When someone says stop being tolerant I see endless strife.

That is why I have been humming and smiling ever since the Election Results are out.