Many court judgements running into 200-300 pages or even more could make a hardbound or paperback novel by themselves. If one takes time to read court judgements in many landmark cases, those read better than or at least as good as literary classics. This is particularly so when it concerns the constitution or freedoms. In a somewhat adapted statement of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King observed “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”. Question here is; what exactly is moral? For some the term “moral” means in the eyes of God and for some it simply means “common human decency”. There are still others who believe the govt cannot and should not decide or pass laws on issues of morality. All of these appear to be valid beliefs, as long as they don’t threaten or violate the freedom, life or property of others.
Lovers break up, relationships break up and marriages break up. Someone does end up with “hurt feelings” all the time. There is no law, and cannot be, that can heal such “hurt feelings”, just as there isn’t a law that can guarantee “happiness”. When laws can’t heal human hurt how is it that there are laws that claim “hurt feelings” for national symbols or even religions? Flag, monuments, buildings, pictures of religious or spiritual leaders and so on. Mind you, “feelings” are distinct from “physical” hurt and damage caused by violent acts. Also, laws become just or unjust only in a context. Cartoons and writings should be viewed from the context of massive corruption and scams. This “I feel hurt so I want to screw you” is a law for the insane. Jokes and cartoons in good or bad taste usually offend someone. They are indeed intended to offend.
In a time of extraordinary corruption, scams and subversion of institutions by the govt of the day it is natural and right for people to protest. This may even involve breaking some laws that supposedly protect “hurt feelings”. Aseem Trivedi is one such cartoonist who decided to lampoon all such national symbols and some politicians through images. If one looks at the images he drew, some are sure to find them in bad taste and revolting. But that is precisely his objective: To revolt. A rampantly corrupt govt has provided with him enough provocation. But he’s doing so without threatening or violating the freedoms of others. He is not violently revolting to overthrow the state. So the charge of “sedition” is even more absurd. If some people ended up with “hurt feelings” they should be seeing a psychiatrist and not filing FIRs against him. But hey, filing FIRs and legal cases is a lot better than drawing swords and guns as some do. In normal course Trivedi may not have been driven to such cartooning. These are desperate times. Yes, technically Trivedi may have broken some stupid laws but in the current context of the country such responses are not unusual.
Now, while the corrupt men and women in TV media tweeted vociferously in support of Aseem Trivedi they refused to carry a debate or raise a storm on their TV channels. Why? It’s because the National Broadcaster’s Association (NBA) has issued an advisory to TV channels not to carry the cartoons of Trivedi. Remember, using the cartoons, howsoever offensive, for discussions and in news reports on recognised news channels is not an offence and does not break the law. Cowards! And they have the audacity to call themselves watchdogs! Does that sound similar to the excuse they used in not covering the #AMS sex video episode under some fake interpretation of court orders? No, not the video itself but at least for 3 days the media blacked out the news itself till, inevitably, the video went viral on the internet. Morality? Privacy? Hurting feelings? Okay!
Here’s an image from a TV channel. It’s actually a video that was aired on the channel and then posted on its website. Oh, wait the NBA didn’t have any guidelines or advisories about such episodes. The woman molested at Guwahati was shown a zillion times across TV channels. Some of them didn’t even blur images. Some blurred more and some blurred less. They didn’t think much before flashing images of tits and cleavage. And the image on the website itself is no different. Oh grow up they say! Tits- Good! Cartoons lampooning parliament, Ashoka pillar or politicians – Bad! There’s a reason why I call the NBA a union of snakes. The last thing these morons should be deciding is what is morally right for the public.(I didn't want to use this image although I had it for long but this recent case makes it necessary).
Did I miss it? No, a little bird reminded me. Invariably, in all such cases the Fiberals will unfailingly bring up M.F. Hussain, the Father of their “freedom of expression”. And who else to recognise his freedom of art than the journalistic-bimbo? Don’t forget, she’s the one who wanted female orgasm to be a ‘constitutional responsibility of men’.
Okay, the tweet here isn’t a new one but from 2009. Now if at all anyone brings up MFH against Trivedi, remember MFH had no provocation. Did he have a motive? Sure, he did. But whether it was porn in his mind, money or art or wilfull abuse of Hindu deities – we don’t know. But his consistent painting of only Hindu and national symbols in the nude can’t be passed off as art without being accused of being a prejudiced bigot. Trivedi’s expression rudely captures corruption that affects all Indians and hurts them. I wonder if the Fiberals will suggest that Saraswati or Durga or Lakshmi or Bharat Mata were hurting all Indians so fair to paint them nude. I hope not, but hey, the media morons never fail to surprise. Do they?
The right thing to do was to file cases against MFH as someone has done against Trivedi. Some people did and MFH claimed there were 900 cases filed against him. So the coward runs off to some foreign land instead of facing the courts and dies as a fugitive. In contrast, Aseem Trivedi went to Mumbai and surrendered. He peacefully allowed the police to arrest him. He has not applied for any bail till the time of writing. That is courage and the bimbos from the Fiberal community would do well not to make comparisons. Whether a FIR or legal case is right or wrong is for the courts to decide but it’s always a more civilised way of battling. It’s definitely better than drawing swords and guns like some God’s warriors do.
Mamata Banerjee has arrested even a professor and a farmer for offending her. The GOI has been busy passing all kinds of laws to throttle the social media and the internet. They have even identified eight specific states to target for the clampdown. Till date the GOI doesn’t have a shred of evidence that Twitterati or social media sites incited violence or rumours that led to the Assam violence, its aftermath or the subsequent exodus of NE citizens from many cities. Dictators use “fear mongering” to suppress voices and hide their crimes. India isn’t different from that in the current situation. A corrupt regime flailing its arms and hitting out at anything and everything to cover up their shameful crimes. And what’s our supposed “watchdogs” up to? They are busy slyly helping the govt to impose restrictions on freedoms under the guise of hate-speech, spreading hate and such nonsense.
Larry Flynt, the founder of porn magazine Hustler, will be more remembered for his fight for free speech than his porn (Read about the case here in my post). In a parody that “hurt the feelings” of religious leader Jerry Falwell he was penalised with damages of $200,000. In the campaign to defend himself Flynt was arrested 9 times. He was shot at and permanently paralysed waist below. In a landmark decision the US Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision and protected his free speech rights. In the landmark case the US SC observed: "The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker's opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection. For it is a central tenet of the First Amendment that the government must remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas”.
Flynt and the late Falwell later became friends and often had friendly debates. In one of those debates Flynt mentioned that in the monthly agenda meetings of Hustler the discussion was “Who haven’t we offended this month?” Haha! That requires constitutional protection. And he added “Time and Newsweek don’t need constitutional protection, it is people like us who offend who need the protection”. Govt slaves like our MSM don’t need that protection. It is the likes of Aseem Trivedi who need that protection. If he isn’t afforded that protection watch more of our freedoms die.