Freedom of expression at what cost?
I have been contemplating whether to write this particular article or not. Publish and perish. There was an editorial article in Hindu newspaper. Wendy Doniger’s book: The Hindus, an alternative history was withdrawn by the publisher due to compliant filed by a small group of Hindu fundamentalists. According to them Wendy had abused their god and religious sentimental values. Since she wrote about Hinduism why should west ban her book? For them her book is freedom of expression. Would she dare to write about Christianity or Islam? When you write book about other’s God and religion it is called freedom of expression!
In a democratic country each one of us got right to oppose or support what we feel is right or wrong. As a Hindu I know some of our saints are practicing perverted acts like eating corpse, takes pot or drugs and wired rituals like scarify small children to ward off evil spirit and much more in the name of God and religion. Do we write about them? No. Do we try to reform those perverts? No. only our law can handle them. When a foreigner writes about those flaws in our religion we do not like it. O.K, Hindus, Christians and Muslims also practice voodoo/black magic. Where in your holly books you were told to practice voodoo? Why you religious people are doing things which were not written in your holly books in the name of God and religion?
If you are a foreigner and you belongs to other religion first find out what is wrong with your religion. Let me tell you none of the religion is perfect. Some of our holly books were written more than five thousand years ago. As the world progress some of the teaching/lessons became irreverent or impractical for the present and future generation.
If you are an editor of national newspaper you are supposed to be the lover of freedom of expression. Naturally you will voice against religious fundamentalists. I have not read her book review yet but I went through the extract from her book. As per the fundamentalists Wendy had portrayed Hindu woman in our ancient period were promiscuous. Nonsense. If there are woman still preserving their virginity for their future husband; you will find them in India and third world countries that says more about their morality and culture .In the west and Europe sex is either recreational if not extracurricular activities . you know just two days ago there was a report from your scientists .they say if you are having multiple partners you have a happy married life! May be it suits for your western culture.
If Hindu news paper editor is so found of Wendy’s work he should publish her work through their newspaper in serial to find out the response from Indians. Have ever noticed one thing? Anything that are controversial editors and so called people who claim intellectuals will also support the work of writer.
Editor also wrote about international standard or free expression. Do we Indians and people from third world countries follow western culture? No. then how can you apply international standard of free expression? Different yard stick for different folks.
In democratic countries in the name of freedom of expression finding fault with other’s God and religion comes naturally. As a responsible writer is not it your responsibility not to hurt or provoke other’s religious sentimental values?
As an atheist Wendy’s or any other writer’s book about God, religion or cast will not affect me. I am mature enough to think beyond God, religion and cast.
Government’s duty is not to defend or protect not writes who hurt religious sentimental values of people. It is not first time book was banned in India or any other democratic countries.
Banned books in India.
Here the moot point is should a foreigner find fault or ridicule other’s God and religion in the name of freedom of expression, when their own people are not playing with God and religion?
Now it is your turn to debate freedom of expression at what cost?