A Candle in the Dark

A look on science, politics, religion and events

Unexpected

with one comment

Seeing how aggressive he usually is in his “interviews”, I never thought Karan Thapar was capable of a sensible article such as this.

Do we pass the Taslima test?

The argument made in India is that we are an uneducated, deeply-religious, conservative society where faith is an anchor unlike in the West. In such conditions criticism of god or religion can – and often does – provoke violence. To prevent this governments have to censor and ban. At first that may sound persuasive or, at least, sensibly pragmatic. But, I’m sorry, I do not subscribe to this line of thinking. It ignores essential facts. And it’s philosophically mistaken.

The truth is that on almost every such occasion when violence has occurred, people have been incited and provoked. Not by the novelist or artist, not by the criticism or the cartoon, but by those who have exploited and manipulated the situation for their own ends. The authority to ban and the power to censor plays into their hands. As long as they exist they will be used. Where they don’t, the matter invariably resolves itself peacefully.

But I have a deeper point to make. Why should brute force, which damages property, destroys lives and devastates cities intimidate me? The answer to those who behave unlawfully is not to give in and appease but to stand up and enforce the law. If you love freedom you have to be prepared to defend it. You can’t protect freedom by compromise and concession.

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Written by parseval

November 25, 2007 at 4:22 pm

Posted in people, politics, religion

One Response

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  1. Well-thought, well-written.
    By the way, there’s a perfectly humane, poignant side to Thapar. Check this out: http://touroperators.godubai.com/telelife/archives/article.asp?section=Interview&adate=5/1/2002

    N

    December 15, 2007 at 11:49 am


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