India and the illusive Freedom of Expression

All right. So a random dude said something regarding Kashmir and the great Indian Army which proved unpalatable to many Indians. And they had to respond to it in the manner they seem to do to every dissenting voice: death threats. Charming. So much for democracy and Freedom of Expression, huh?

Heaven knows I’m quite an illiterate when it comes to finer subtleties of the functioning of a democratic government, or any sort of government for that matter. Politics in India has been pervaded by the stink of corruption to such an extent that it is a lost cause and of no particular interest to me. Indeed, if someone asked me about my least favourite topic to converse about, my invariable reply would be: politics. So think twice, nay thrice, before accusing me of being pro-AAP.

If you aren’t aware of what I’m talking about, Prashant Bhushan, an Indian social activist said this and, I’m sure, regretted it immediately: “It is my personal opinion that no country or part of its territory can be governed without the wishes of the people with the help of army. This is not in the interest of the country and the people. I want that the situation be normalized, Army be withdrawn, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act be also withdrawn and then try to persuade the people of Kashmir to stay with India. And yet, if the people want, then there could be a plebiscite, and if the people of the Valley want separation, they be allowed to separate.” (Source: http://goo.gl/KVnWxy)

Now, I personally didn’t find anything wrong with it (I’m not going to elaborate why), but it’s just me. You, sir, are free to disagree with it. But accusing Bhushan of treachery and, of course, the title we Indians like to give to every person who is so dreadful as to not agree with us: an ISI agent– this… this is a little too much, don’t you think? If he’s indeed an ISI agent, where’s your evidence? Do you have any? No? Then will you just shut up?

The poor man himself said, very carefully (considering he’s giving a statement in India, I can scarcely blame him), that this is his personal opinion at the very beginning of his statement. So, you know, you can do well to not to get so touchy about it. I’m sure most of us have a few opinions to which not many people would concur with, but we don’t go about protesting and threatening them, do we?

This country is already in shambles since a long while now, and if we suppressed every opinion which differed with majority, we might as well transform India into a communist state right now.

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