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

News Snippets

  • MS Dhoni decides to take a two-month break, will skip West Indies tour but will not retire
  • Phagu Chauhan is the new Governor of Bihar while Ramesh Bais has been appointed as that of Tripura
  • Governors: Anandiben Patel shifted from Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh and Lalji Tandon from Bihar to Madhya Pradesh
  • Naga talks interlocutor RN Ravi appointed as Governor of Nagaland
  • Noted lawyer Jagdeep Dhankhar appointed as new Governor of West Bengal
  • 84 NDRF teams have been despatched to 23 states to tackle the flood situation
  • Three persons lynched in Bihar after being accused of cattle theft
  • Delhi police seize a consignment of 1500 kgs of heroin and busts a cartel of Afghanistan-Pakistan narcotics dealers with links to the Taliban
  • Supreme Court gives 9 more months to complete the Babri Masjid demolition case trial
  • Priyanka Gandhi not allowed to meet the families of the dead in the Sonabhadra firing, arrested
  • ICC inducts Sachin Tendulkar in [email protected]@@s Hall of Fame
  • Stock markets bleed for the second day. Sensex crashes 560 points
  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
Former Delhi CM and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies following a cardiac arrest. She was 81
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A Song, A Wink and Hurt Sentiments: Stop This Mischief

By Anukriti Roy

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.