Is India really a free nation? How many times this question has aroused in your mind looking at the present plight of the nation? As per the constitution a citizen of India has the Freedom Of Speech. But this freedom of Speech is not for the well known personalities, or else how would you justify the charges of sedition against the veteran author Arundhati Roy or the Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on their statement regarding Kashmir (that its not an integral part of India). I am not going to ramble about Kashmir Issue as lot about it has been stated in the media, what I want to put on is the point of expressing one’s thoughts freely. Why do people get fumed up with anger when anything controversial has been said about some issue, from Ayodhya Case to this current Kashmir issue.
This Kashmir case reminds me of another such incident of Omar Abdullah, when he was declared the CM of Kashmir a lot many praises had been sung for him and I even remember that GQ Magazine in its December 2009 issue featured him on its cover page and sang praises about him for 10 pages inside, but as soon as things began to get worse in Kashmir, the same people who crowned him the CM now started detesting him and lied about him in the media and the nation saw the predicament faced by the poor fellow and his fall.
This condition is prevalent not only in India but in the States too (of course as expected these are the Indians who bring such things up there too) Take for example the Veteran Author Stein’s Case where again Indians made him apologize and reconsider his amazing satirical writing skills.
Well I don’t know why I get lost again and again in other things while writing about a particular topic, I began from freedom of speech issue and reached here at the sensitivity of Indians regarding everything… Anyways lets get back to the point.
Why do the masses behave like this these days? Even the influential Indian newspaper The Hindu wrote on Tuesday this week that the media furor over Roy’s remarks is “essentially much ado about nothing”. I do not know if there is much choice left except to be calm. Usually there’s a hue and cry about nothing all over the country every few days! Arundhati hasn’t said anything new, or incorrect. India has always treated Kashmir as an untouchable step-child, and on both sides of the border it is clear that if the issue isn’t kept simmering there wouldn’t be much to ‘ado about’. If only there were an action not towards people’s words but towards the real state of the state in question.
The people/political groups responsible for creating this furor seem to me as the ‘mild Indian version of The Taliban’. What’s the difference between India and Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia for that matter if people are restrained from expressing their thoughts?
The question really is, has she broken the law? Is her statement seditious? According to most lawyers I have heard on TV its not. So the question of trying her is out of the range.
I think it is fear of the fall out or Obama’s visit that should be the criteria here. With its recent election to the United Nations Security Council with a view to making it permanent and Obama’s arrival on Saturday, India needs to curb such minor issues and not make a mountain of a mole after all it has to maintain its respect internationally and not as a nation creating brouhaha over every small issue such as ‘two Pakistani personalities being a part of an Indian reality show’ now and then.
The question arises, does Freedom Of Speech really apply to Indians in general or its just written on a piece of paper for the sake of international bodies. Seriously, People need to grow up. Think about it and your position in India as a ‘free’ citizen.