May 24, 2017

#CaughtNapping: Wake Up! Champions of Freedom of Expression

IMG_20170105_202054Hibernation is the perennial state of champions of Freedom of Expression in India. What nudges them to wake up? They wake up when the ecosystem which feeds them is under attack. Television screens turn black and quid pro quo of award recipients happens in tandem. When secessionist and autonomy voices for Kashmir are discouraged, the champions of free speech come out and cry foul. There is no place for dissent in this country. The government is fascist. When there is a crackdown on JNU liberals for chanting “Bharat Tere Tukde Honge”, freedom of expression is being suppressed.

Jadavpur University Calcutta students came to the forefront in protests when Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar were charged with sedition. Kanhaiya became the new poster boy and was lapped up by liberals and comrades of leftists.

West Bengal government pressurized Calcutta Club to cancel an event on “The Saga of Baluchistan and Kashmir- What the World Needs to Know”. Tarek Fatah along with General GD Bakshi were part of the speakers on the panel. The event was scheduled on January 7th 2017. The reasons cited were vague. “Unavoidable Circumstances” and “to ensure cordial atmosphere”. How come a discussion on atrocities in Baluchistan and Kashmir by Pakistan disturb the communal harmony? The state government has always pandered to Islamic Fundamentalists.

In the year 2012, a book fair was cancelled because Taslima Nasreen’s book was to be released. A television series based on Taslima Nasreen’s book was taken off air due to violent protests on streets by Muslim groups in Kolkata. Bengal has proved to be most intolerant state of the Indian Union. Where is the freedom to critique and debate? Fundamentalists have flogged it to death. The state government, riding high on the success of appeasement politics, gives a damn about the civil liberties. Dhulagarh and Malda are conveniently forgotten. What remains permanently etched in memory is Godhra, Dadri and JNU? This selection is bound to disturb harmony. How long this false sense of tolerance can be propagated? The cloak of pseudo liberals is getting exposed quite often. The silence of the main stream media about Tarek Fatah’s event hardly comes as a surprise. Tarek will be back with a bang on Zee News new show “Fateh ka Fatwa”. He is known for his Anti-Pakistan rhetoric and Islamic fundamentalism. Liberals, you will be served with some good stuff.

It’s time to get off the slumber mode and wake up. Smell the change in air. Freedom of Expression evangelists, you cannot afford a sound sleep when people, who do not feature in your scheme of things, are getting quelled. Unpleasant change has come and is bound to stay.

Picture Credit: NewsX and Twitter


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Sharat loves to write about technology, social issues and current affairs with a dash of humour.
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