[Reader-list] Freedom of Expression my foot!
rahul_capri at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 30 07:28:56 IST 2007
Sorry for the belated reply.I guess I could not
explain myself clearly.Kshmendra has articulated it
better than me.Anyways,I will try once more.
To take a rough analogy;all of us are traveling in a
boat.It does not matter really how we evolved into
it.The boat should prohibit any activity which may
sink it,isnt that logical?
Lets take the matter of Kashmir out of this for a
sec.Right now,lets just focus on this:Whether it is
justified by a nation to ban any kind of freedom of
expression on any pretext.You obviously think there
should be no checks on the freedom of expression.I
would say,as I did in my earlier email,that anything
which is contradictory to the essential nature of the
state,should be banned.I gave the example of Iran.I
will give one other example.Lets suppose there is a
monarchy in which there is hereditary
succession.Suppose someone starts preaching about
democracy in a monarchy.So yeah they will be jailed
etc.Its only after a revolution,civil war etc that one
can change the essential nature of a nation state.
Lets come to India now.Its a secular democracy.Now the
founding fathers of the nation wanted it to be so.Lets
consider two imaginary scenarios and you tell me where
freedom of expression will lead to in that scenario..
1. BJP-RSS-VHP talk about making India a hindu state
and start giving inflammatory speeches about muslims.
2. Chief of army staff writes a book on the corrupt
politicians and argues how dictatorship is good for
India.He starts holding meetings and tries to build a
consensus that civilians are not fit to rule the
country and military should take over.He even starts
ad campaigns on TV.
I could give several such examples.The steps to my
1.Anything which is contradictory to the essential
nature of state;the state will not provide a
constitutional procedure to let that happen.
2.The only way to bring about that kind of change is
civil war\blood shed.
3.If freedom of expression is provided in such a
scenario,it could lead to violence and in the extreme
case the change of the essential nature of the state.
If we still do not agree that the nation is justified
in curbing the freedom of expression in certain
cases,please let me know what you think.
You have talked about nation and constitution not
being divine ordained,of course its not;but I did not
get your point.What are you trying to say?Are you
pointing at the Caliphate and Shariat in place of
nation and constitution?If you are then again I would
say;the secular democratic nation of India should
suppress your freedom of expression.A secular
democracy is what I was born into and this is how I
want it to stay.Please note that this is not a moral
judgment on your stand,its just that I have chosen my
You have also talked about"the current version of
nationalism being full of gas" I totally agree with
you.Nationalism to me is first and foremost an idea
that gives us certain freedoms,protections and
basically enables all of us to peacefully
coexist.Beyond that,I have no use for it.I am not an
"India Shining" or "mera bharat mahaan" kind of
patriot.Its not a judgement on those who are, but I
just want you to understand where I am coming from.
So I would support full freedom of expression on
anything that can be achieved without violating the
essential nature of the state.Even the constiution is
open for amendment.But the essential nature of the
state is not.
If there is anything else I have missed,please let me
There is the specfic matter about "self determination
in kashmir".I will post on that later;time permitting.
--- "S.Fatima" <sadiafwahidi at yahoo.co.in> wrote:
> Dear Rahul
> I don't agree with you on this. Where has this
> of Nation, Nationalism, Rashtra come from? Was it
> there in our country 100 years ago, or 300 years, or
> 2000 years ago? Has it been mentioned in any
> I don't think so. It has been implanted into us by
> colonial rule. While we continue to reject so many
> things as "foreign" we have happily accepted this
> concept as it suits our ends. Why?
> And what is constitution/legisilation? Is it a voice
> of God? Is it embedded in our DNAs? Isn't that
> by some individuals (who we may or may not agree
> I think its time we rise above the definition of the
> Nation if we want to bring any real change. And a
> civil war and bloodshed is not required for that.
> is required is the opening of hearts and minds.
> --- Rahul Asthana <rahul_capri at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Corrections to my post:
> > Sanjay Kak is the name of the person..and the
> > was not banned but prevented by Police to be
> > screened.I apologise on posting without reading
> > full details.But the basic issue still
> > the nation justified in preventing from screening
> > \banning some forms of expression?
> > --- Rahul Asthana <rahul_capri at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > Jeebesh,Shuddha or any other champion of freedom
> > of
> > > expression,
> > > I really want to understand where you guys are
> > > coming
> > > from and I think it is very necessary for the
> > people
> > > of the country that we get at the bottom of
> > > this,because you guys reflect the opinion of a
> > > of
> > > people in the media.
> > > A nation is defined by certain underlying
> > > principles.Those principles are not that are
> > subject
> > > to amendment by legislation.So,for example,Iran
> > > an
> > > Islamic democracy.Its the underlying principle
> > > the
> > > state and even if 99% want to be secular,there
> > no
> > > process in the framework by which Iran can
> > > secular,unless of course,there is a civil war
> > > some
> > > bloodshed, in which case,anything is possible.
> > > India is a secular democracy.To anyone who wants
> > to
> > > create a Hindu/Muslim/Christian nation;does not
> > have
> > > a
> > > constitutional way to accomplish this.Violence
> > > course is always a recourse.The principle of
> > > immutability of borders is one of the principles
> > > which
> > > is inherent to the existence of every nation
> > > state.India is no exception.As far as I know,no
> > > nation
> > > gives a constitutional process to redraw its
> > > borders.
> > > So,the only course followers of such an
> > > have
> > > is violence,terrorism etc.
> > > So,the facts of the case are this,Amitabh Kak
> > a
> > > movie enabling the ideology which is against the
> > > basic
> > > underlying principles of the nation.It was
> > banned.I
> > > do not see your problem with this.Now of
> > course,the
> > > fact that the movie did enable that ideology or
> > > not,can be argued.but not that it shouldnt be
> > > banned.
> > > You guys may have risen above the concept of
> > nation
> > > religion etc, but nation itself,by
> > > rise above the definition of itself.
> > > (I think this is a simple statement,dont know
> > it
> > > comes out so convoluted;perhaps my English is
> > > good
> > > enough.Anyway..)
> > > So to ask the nation to allow freedom of
> > expression
> > > on
> > > ideologies which go against its underlying
> > > principles
> > > and which if enabled,can only lead to violence
> > > strife,is like asking a primary school to use
> > > dont
> > > need no education" as its morning prayer.
> > > To further illustrate my point,I think Amitabh
> > Kak's
> > > background or financier is irrelevant here.So is
> > the
> > > traumatic roleplaying that Jeebesh was subjected
> > > to.If
> > > a group of old ladies in a village in Kerala
> > > suddenly
> > > decide that they want a separate country and
> > > distributing pamphlets,I would support
> > confiscating
> > > the pamphlets and giving them adequate
> > > punishment.Freedom of Expression my foot!
> > > Jeebesh/Shuddha,lets try to convince each
> > > believe its very important.
> > > Hoping to hear from you
> > > Best,
> > > Rahul
> > >
> > > --- Kshmendra Kaul <kshmendra2005 at yahoo.com>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Jeebesh
> > > >
> > > > The pain in your words is touching. The
> > > in
> > > > your questions will move the coldest of
> > > >
> > > > Aahhhhhh! no one left to argue with and
> > > convince.
> > > > Alas! this deep fear and inability to live
> > > > disagreements. Woe on this desire of people to
> > > > satiate their rage. Curse those trying to
> > restrain
> > > > our intellectual lives.
> > > >
> > > > Jeebesh your traumas need attention. Let's
> > > some
> > > > role-playing with you as the protagonist.
> > > >
> > > > It was a small world, a village of sorts
> > > > everyone knew everyone else. Close cousins
> > > > called "my brother" and "my sister", other
> > > > parents and grandparents, every adult was an
> > > "uncle"
> > > > or "aunt".
> > > >
> > > > In it lived Jeebesh. In the last of his
> > or
> > > > maybe just past them but really a child as
> > > > young men were in those seemingly but largely
> > > > uncorrupted surroundings. For long years (some
> > say
> > > > since many a centuries from the past) they
> > > retained
> > > > the innocence of Trust and Hope.
> > > >
> > > > SK also lived there or at least today he
> > claims
> > > > to. SK is Jeebesh's "cousin". Everyone in your
> > own
> > > > age group was a "cousin" if you could not
> > > out
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