oppn parties A Song, A Wink and Hurt Sentiments: Stop This Mischief

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  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
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A Song, A Wink and Hurt Sentiments: Stop This Mischief

By Anukriti Roy
First publised on 2018-02-27 23:55:45

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Anukriti is a student who dabbles in writing when she finds time.
A young actor playfully winks in a movie song, the clip goes viral and the moral police are up in arms. Then, someone puts out a faulty translation of the lyrics and it offends the Muslims. What is happening in India?

A wink should be the least offending act in movie songs in India, full as they are of heaving cleavages and gyrations that leave little to imagination. Yet, 18-year old Priya Varrier found to her discomfort that cases were lodged against her by Muslim groups in Telengana and Maharashtra even though the original song was popular among Muslims in Kerala, her home state.

There should be a law that prevents people from filing trivial FIRs against works of art. There should be a clear definition of what can ‘hurt’ sentiments – religious, castiest or of hundreds of other things that raise the hackles of Indians.

Fundamentalists of all kinds must be stopped in their tracks from creating mischief. It must be recognized these people do not have anyone’s sentiments in mind; they just want to create trouble. The easiest way to do so is to go after freedom of expression, largely symbolized by works of art like films, books, paintings and the like. Hence we have protests against M F Hussain, Padmavat, Taslima Nasreen and now Priya Varrier.

If this unsentimental sentiments business is not stopped, India will become a culturally poorer country. It will also become an unhappy country as art is something that gives people immense pleasure. But putting a strait-jacket on artists will make them afraid and fear is the first thing that destroys creativity. Although the Supreme Court has come to the rescue of Priya Varrier by asking that no state should register further FIRs in this case, these matters must be decided by the society rather than courts of law. What we need is a tolerant society where creativity flows. What we are increasingly getting is abuse, threats and even violence that sometimes results in murder, as with rationalists Dr Narendra Dhabolkar and Govind Pansare or journalist Gauri Lankesh.