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Wendy Doniger’s Indian Media Partners

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Withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s controversial book “The Hindus : An Alternative History” by its publisher Penguin India has made secular-leftist ‘penners syndicate’ uneasy. They have begun to view  it as an affront to, and defeat of, so far unchallenged vicious campaign against Hindu and Hinduism. Penguin is being tormented with sharp challenges  veiled in alibi of ‘freedom of speech’. These attacks are piloted by the Indian ‘syndicate’, and is duly supported by their kins abroad. Penguin India responded to this with its view [No Country for Free Speech :: The Hindu , Feb. 15, 2014] …http://t.co/emJGJJzUdu.Penguin accuses the provision in Section 295A of IPC, which it sarcastically terms ‘British-vintage Section’. India, indeed, is being governed today by all the major acts promulgated in 1860, by the British Govt,  coolly replicating Irish Penal Code of Ireland, which was another subject-state. So, penguin’s reference to British legacy does not surprise. However, Penguin finds the ‘constraints’ of free-play of speech similar in other countries.

The Hindu has  (Feb. 15, 2014) also published a centre-page article protesting withdrawal of Wndy Doniger’s book. Authored by Ratna Kapur, it is entitled-‘Totalising History, Silencing Dissent’. The theme-line encapsulating the thrust of the article is – ‘The agreement by Penguin Books India to destroy all existing copies of Wendy Doniger’s book represents the destruction of the very fabric of Indian culture’…..http://t.co/HZvGkq27LZ. in this article Kapur links the issue of free speech in India to rise of Narendra Modi, and the tasteless/flavourless  secular-candy of 2002 Gujrat riots. He also terms it as a fall-out of Hindu upsurge in India. Such reflections  highlight the author’s  mental bias and vicious political penchant in matters of wide social relevance. What Ratna Kapur voices is a purely political anguish wrapped in intellectual array of catchy ideas and ideals. At the best, Ratna Kapoor’s wails over Penguin episode can be termed lamentations of a defeated soldier of  ‘secular syndicate’. Ratna’s presumption that this episode will lead to chaos in Indian culture is exactly contrary to what it actually indicates.

The Hindu (Feb., 15, 2014) has also published a report that an online petition has been initiated in support of Wendy Doniger’s book…..http://t.co/AcM1uZFmEm…. No one can have any objection to any one pursuing legal and formal methods to push one’s demand. But I find it pertinent to comment on one specific demand of this petition. The first demand this petition makes is to ‘reform’ articles 153A and 295A of IPC. The provisions of the two articles are  …..

153A. 1[ Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.–                                                     (1) Whoever-

(a) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill- will between different religious, racials, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or

(b) commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquillity, 2[ or]
(c) 2[ organizes any exercise, movement, drill or other similar activity intending that the participants in such activity shall use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence, or participates in such activity intending to use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence, against any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community and such activity for any reason whatsoever causes or is likely to cause fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity amongst members of such religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community,] shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
(2) Offence committed in place of worship, etc.– Whoever commits an offence specified in sub- section (1) in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.]
Section 295A in The Indian Penal Code, 1860
295A. 5[ Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.– Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of 6[ citizens of India], 7[ by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise] insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 8[ three years], or with fine, or with both.]
The provisions of these two articles in IPC have proved their utility so far in preserving peace and harmony in the pluralistic Indian society. The freedom of speech so far enjoyed in India has been better than that in many other countries of the world. Besides, India is a country where no religion, not even the religion of native origin with largest followers, enjoys state patronage. Many other religions with lesser following are at equal footing in the eyes of law. Such a religious diversity with stunning equilibrium  is the singular feature of Indian social fabric. Any relaxation in the two sections of IPC, as demanded by this petition, will be dangerous for the country. The secular-leftists are deliberately inviting anarchy and chaos in Indian society. Anarchy and chaos in society and polity is a situation most suitable for them to thrive and flourish. Insects breed best in stinking water of the gutters. On intellectual fora we have already seen such creatures sitting cosy and lying or bragging at ease. In politics too we have just had a demonic avatar of this Anarchic theory. Enough is enough.  India needs to rise against these forces now.
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Author: Vijoy Das

Teach English literature at university. Love RSS, hate Leftists. Hate politics but love politicians with integrity.Yearn to see India as a strong global player. Chant Vande Mataram.

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