Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jail time for captain cool?

The issue is blasphemy (and in our opinion the imagery looks fairly blasphemous). Ideally speaking, the Indian state should be strong enough to say that creative expression is mostly protected without fear or favor. But that is not to be- as long as there are votes for looking the other way. And once you favor the loud and proud people of one community you simply incentivize loud and proud people in other communities as well.

The liberal response is that (unlike the desert-origin religions) (a) Hinduism does not have a canon (what is Hinduism?), (b) Hinduism has no concept of blasphemy. ....etc. but the fundamental point (as per the law) is the question that such an image creates ill-feelings or not. And there is no accounting for feelings, especially amongst zealots (the opportunists are another story).

Free speech is a must for a liberal society. Free speech is also meaningless unless unpopular speech is protected. The overall effect of these law-fares will be to stifle art and argument and create deserts out of green-fields.
An Indian court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Hindus.

Indian news media reports stated that a local court in Andhra Pradesh issued the warrant after Dhoni failed to appear in court despite being summoned on three occasions.
The police has been directed to present Dhoni in court on July 16.
The case relates to a picture on the cover of an Indian magazine Business Today which carried a picture of Dhoni portrayed as Hindu god Vishnu in its April 2013 edition. The picture bore the sub title "God of Big Deals", with the cricketing legend holding products of several companies including a shoe in his hand.
A local leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had filed a petition in the court in February this year alleging that the cricketer hurt the sentiments of Hindus by denigrating a Hindu god.
The summons issued by the court to Dhoni on three occasions were returned. The court, which took up the hearing on Tuesday, issued the arrest warrant.
Similar petitions against Dhoni were filed in Delhi, Pune and other cities.

Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1114828/indian-court-issues-arrest-warrant-for-ms-dhoni



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