Yes, the oft repeated freedom of speech has come back to haunt us – this time with Viswaroopam, the tamil film.

It is strange that the freedom of expression comes out into the public domain once in a while that too when ever it is convenient for the stake holders. Now that Kamal Hasan, a progressive actor, has been disadvantaged, this has come out in full force and is being espoused with great vigor.

This freedom of expression, FoE henceforth, has currently found favour with the political parties in Tamil Nadu and the ‘intellectuals’ in particular.

Let us see how this FoE has been treated in the past.

Arun Shourie wrote a book by name “Worshipping False Gods”, critical of Ambedkar’s role in India’s freedom struggle. His FoE was not respected by the ‘intellectuals’ and he was manhandled, heckled and cases were filed asking that the book be banned. Shourie said in court that he has written only what Ambedkar had said earlier and that if the book had to be banned, then Ambedkar’s works needed to be banned. The case was dismissed.

T.N.Seshan, in his memoirs, had mentioned about the anti-hindi agitation of Tamil Nadu and had mentioned not-so-praiseworthy comments about Anna Durai and there were cases filed against him by Karunanidhi, Vaiko and AIADMK as well. So did not T.N.Seshan have his FoE ?

Of course, we have the case of Salman Rushdie and the ban on his book ‘Satanic Verses’ in India. So does he not have the proverbial FoE ?

Innumerable cases can be sighted like the ones above. Taslima Nasreen – she was hounded out of Calcutta ( where she had sought asylum from Bangladesh ). She is currently in Switzerland. So did she not have her FoE ?

The film “Dam 999”  was banned in Tamil Nadu. All political parties supported the ban. So did not the Malayalee director have the proverbial FoE ?

The film “Ore Oru Gramathile” – a tamil film critical of the reservation policy was banned by the TN Govt. It appealed against censor certificate to the film. But it was eventually cleared by the Supreme Court. Did not the producers of teh film have their FoE ?

Or is this ‘Paguththarivu’ in other words ?

Thought for the day :
Sir.Winston Churchill said ,” An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping that the crocodile would eat him last”.


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