Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
Like babies we are, seriously. Something offends us, and off we run to mommy demanding that punishment be handed out.
First there was the matter of the anthem and the flag. And now, more news keeps flooding in of babies running to momma. First, a gentleman named Vishnu Khandelwal has filed a case against Arun Nayar and Liz Hurley for having a Hindu wedding. He says that they “hurt the sentiments” of Hindus and intended to “malign the spiritual sanctity of Hinduism and Indian mythology.”
Elsewhere, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has lashed out at Mandira Bedi for “dancing on the ramp wearing a tattoo of Eik Omkar Sikh’s religious symbol on her back [sic].” The secretary of this formidable organisation has apparently said that “the religious sentiments were severely hurt due to her act.”
My sentiments are routinely hurt by watching Bedi make a mockery of cricket, especially when she makes fun of the Duckworth-Lewis system without having the slightest knowledge of how it works, or an alternative to present. I don’t go running to momma, though, because that’s not what adults do. Anything anyone says holds the possibility of offending someone or the other, and the only way to stop all offence would be to stop free speech altogether. (That’s not an unlikely trend: 1, 2.) Even if Momma is drunk on power—hell, especially if momma is drunk on power—we children really should behave.
Damn, I hope you aren’t offended by this post!
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