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A rare victory for freedom of speech and expression in India

February 5, 2013
Times of India photo

Times of India photo

In a country where freedom of speech and expression is under assault every day, where scholars and cartoonists increasingly have to regularly face the law to defend their statements and works of art,  where the government gives in to anyone and everyone demanding censorship, where the government conduct stealth censorship of online speech, finally comes a rare piece of good news.

For once the police is not asking to shut down an exhibition citing ‘law and order’ issues to appease protestors, but instead giving protection to the exhibition.

The Times of India reports:

“The Naked and the Nude” exhibition hosted at the Delhi Art Gallery’s exhibition space in south Delhi witnessed a protest by the women’s wing of VHP demanding a ban on the show which they said contained “nude and obscene paintings that showed women in very bad light”. [Link]

While the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its women’s wing, the Durga Vahini, have every right to protest if they think the paintings are offensive, they have no right to demand a ban on the exhibition. If they think the exhibition violates the law, they should take legal recourse.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Ramesh Narendrarai Desai permalink
    February 5, 2013 1:41 PM

    Thank God for small mercies ! Hope it is the beginning of a trend towards maturing of the society.

  2. February 5, 2013 2:19 PM

    Absolutely right. Well said. This in a nutshell explains the position in a mature democracy.

  3. jerald permalink
    February 5, 2013 2:48 PM

    Why create so much scene about nudity?? Then what does all the temple art signify. What about the sculptures of Khajuraho and almost every other temple in tamilnadu has nudity in their sculptures. Nudity is not a western idea as most people propagate.

  4. February 5, 2013 5:48 PM

    Nudity is not the problem, nor is depiction. The problem is of perspective, THIS needs a change.

  5. suvi permalink
    February 7, 2013 5:21 PM

    let me know would they do that before the screening of every hindi movie which actually rides on the item songs thse days,or the tv ads for women lingerie and those raunchy videos of men’s body deos…

  6. Rahul P Tiwari permalink
    February 8, 2013 7:50 AM

    It is certainly becoming a trend in India to censor all kind of creativity, one day one finds a painting offensive and on another they find a cartoon insulting the nation.It is funny that most of them have not even seen or read or know anything against which they are protesting.Movies are the softest target these days,however,we have a censor board run by Intellectuals and lawfully governed by Government of India. Freedom of expression should be respected. If somebody does not like what Artist or writer or a cartoonist thinks they reserve the right to disagree in a civil manner. It is the responsibility of Government to make sure that that no threat should be offered to any kind of creativity.

  7. Vilas Shetty permalink
    February 12, 2013 10:48 PM

    “While the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its women’s wing, the Durga Vahini, have every right to protest if they think the paintings are offensive, they have no right to demand a ban on the exhibition.”

    Why don’t the VHP and Durga Vahini have a right to demand a ban on the exhibition?

    Is freedom of expression only for people you certify as worthy?

  8. June 1, 2013 2:06 PM

    In India freedom of speech is curbed by the constitution amendment itself and can be used against anyone if government feels offended, which is subjective

    http://brainsickthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/free-speech/

Trackbacks

  1. India Right to free speech | Magellan Club

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