This should not require any clarification but one has little choice but to live in the world as it is, not in an imaginary world where people are reasonable. One anonymous person posted a pretty needless question on my post “The Land of Retards and Hypocrites.” He, or she, wrote, “Are you unhappy about Husain’s depictions? Are you okay (or sort of okay) with cases slapped on him?”
I had previously clarified my position in that comment thread for the person and written, “The point is freedom of expression is non-negotiable. Which part of it is difficult to understand? Which part of it puts conditions on who is allowed the freedom and who is disallowed?”
Perhaps the person thought that he or she had cornered me, and I was exposed as a “fascist Hindu.” Very clever, it must have made her or him feel as he or she posted those questions.
So here are my answers.
Am I unhappy about Husain’s depiction? Nope, I am neither unhappy nor happy. I just couldn’t care less. I care as much about Husain’s paintings as I do about his sexual fantasies. It’s his business and I don’t give a flying fuck either way. I have not seen his paintings.
I am not much of a paintings person, anyway. Music I care about and have definitive likes and dislikes but when it comes to paintings, my taste is limited to some Western classical masters, and some modern painters. Sister Wendy was my guide and I am happy that she taught me to see what those paintings convey.
In general, I think that people have the right to do whatever they feel like doing, as long as what they do does not interfere or infringe on my similar right to do what I want. No negative externalities to me, no problem for me. You write, read, sing, listen, watch, show, paint, etc — whatever your heart desires and I do the same. You don’t tell me what to do and I will not tell you what you should do. This world is has a diversity of people with diverse interests, preferences, abilities, talents and inclinations. Its diversity makes the world magical for all of us. Suppressing individual behavior that does not harm non-involved people is antithetical to what my conception of the good life is.
That brings me to the second question: Am I okay (or sort of okay) with cases slapped on him? Yes, it’s a free country. People should be free to sue anyone for anything that they desire. It’s the court’s job to deal with cases expeditiously, and pass judgement. And if the case is frivolous, then the court should impose punitive fines on people who attempt to waste the time of the court.
I think that people bitching about hurt feelings and filing court cases should be dealt with severely. To me they are frivolous cases and should be dismissed.
If you don’t like someone’s writing, don’t read him. If you don’t find someone’s cartoons funny, you don’t have to laugh.
If someone gets his feelings hurt and goes on a rampage, the law against going on rampages should apply.
But India, as I have argued before, is governed by hypocrites. First, they claim that India is a country where freedom of speech exists. Then the first amendment to the constitution sneaks in the clause which says, “yeah, but not in all cases.” And then the government hypocritically determines which cases expression is allowed or not. So basically it boils down to this:
If the expression offends one particular section of the citizens, then it is not allowed. If the expression offends others, that is fine.
MF Husain paints nude Hindu goddesses copulating. That is just fine with the government since MF Husain has not offended one particular community. But that is not fine with the retards and goons of some idiotic regional parties, who then go on a rampage. The pseudo-secular leftists cry themselves hoarse about the great freedom of expression and how wonderful a painter MF Husian is.
The goons should be tried and punished for their crimes.
But here’s the other side of the story. Some writer writes something — a book, a newspaper article, a cartoon — and one particular community takes offense. The government goes into high gear banning, imprisoning, criminalizing people. It even supports the murder of foreign citizens. The pseudo-secular leftists go silent and crawl back into the woodwork. Not a peep is heard from them.
The double standards and hypocrisy grates on my nerves.
Here’s what I would like to see. I would like to see the leftist defend a painter who paints the founder of a certain middle-east — say, Moses or Abraham or Jesus or whatever — religion having sex with a minor while 20 of his other 23 wives are watching. I would like to see the government give a Bharat Ratna to the painter. I would like to see the government give the painter a dual citizenship, assuming that the painter is from Italy. Italians do get Indian citizenship. But let me see that they give an Italian painter who paints it like it can be imagined and let’s see how peaceful the country is.
So Mr or Ms Someone, I hope I have answered your question. Now back to the woodwork for you.