OPINION: Cultural Emergency and Terrorism in India
Author(s): Harish K. Monga· Right to freedom of expression is recognized under Article 19 · Need to raise voice against attempts to divide society and curtail creative freedom Freedom of speech and expression means free...
· Right to freedom of expression is recognized under Article 19
· Need to raise voice against attempts to divide society and curtail creative freedom
Freedom of speech and expression means free flow of ideas and thoughts. What we say on some subject or topic is not the final word. So if some people do not agree with the someone’s point of view, they can disagree but nobody has any right to gag him. It is a pity that we are sensitive to innocuous remarks coming from fellow humans, but are not affected by inhuman activities happening around us.
Whether it was the case of twisting remarks of Shahrukh Khan out of context over what it means to be a Muslim in India or banning Kamal Hassan’s Rs.95-crore movie “Vishwaroopam in three southern states on the pretext of portraying Muslims in bad light or the hauling up of social scientist Ashish Nandy for linking castes with corruption during the Jaipur Literature Festival or denying permission to writer Salman Rushdie to visit Kolkota for promoting film based on “Midnight Children”, it has put a big question mark over the freedom of expression in a democratic country enjoying the biggest democracy in the world.
Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas. The right to freedom of expression is recognised as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognised in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
What is happening in India nowadays is an accumulating scandal and a growing disgrace to this great nation. Salman Rushdie has called a cultural Emergency and what Haasan has called cultural terrorism. The people of India have the will to demand that such assaults on freedom cease once and for all.
In fact, the attacks on the liberties of artists are increasing day by day and there is a need to assemble at a joint platform to fight to raise voice against such attempts to divide society and curtail creative freedom especially that are spreading intolerance.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of City Air News.)