//A Curious Silence and an Un-Crossed Line: In the Wake of A Disbanded Exhibition

A Curious Silence and an Un-Crossed Line: In the Wake of A Disbanded Exhibition

18 nov 2011
by Shuddhabrata Sengupta

A news item from some weeks ago, which has gone curiously unremarked and un-commented upon has made me think about the limits that the freedom of expression debate and the discourse on secularism in India unwittingly or knowingly does not seem to be able to cross, despite repeated provocation.

We all know that when the Hindu right comes to town – declaring that this or that text should not be taught in the university, or this or that painting should not be seen, or this or that film should not be shown – the secular left-liberal intelligentsia in India automatically gets outraged, signs petitions, holds press conferences and generally vents it righteous anger. I know this because I do all these things, along with all my friends. I sign the online petitions, attend the demonstrations, express my anger and do some (or all) of that which needs to be done, that should be done. We should never give an inch to the hoodlums of Hindutva.

However, when it comes to responding to the equally aggressive, reactionary and utterly arbitrary actions of sections of the Muslim clergy and other self appointed leaders on the ‘Muslim Right’ a strange inertia seems to take hold of the best and boldest foot-soldiers of secularism in India. [. . .]

FULL TEXT HERE http://tinyurl.com/c3rbmqr

November 14, 2011