Blasphemy Law

From The Daily Times

—Yasser Latif Hamdani

Arundhati Roy committed blasphemy of another kind when she asked the Americans to reconsider their alliance with India without resolving the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Earlier she had upset many Indians when she claimed that Kashmir was not an integral part of India, a statement that had every gung-ho Indian, those Oscar Wilde’s vicious patriots and there are about a billion of them, baying for her blood, proving that India is and will remain an intolerant society for some time to come.

Well, taking inspiration from her, Pakistanis should also ask President Obama why his government continues to aid a government and a country that continues to trample on the rights of its own people. No I am not talking about India. I am talking about Pakistan, where the state continues to persecute religious minorities by using a law that cannot be justified on any grounds, whether democracy or Islam. In my previous article I briefly touched on the issue of the Blasphemy Law and the verdict against the Christian woman, a mother of five, who was beaten up and then handed over to the police. It is likely that she will get a presidential pardon. That however is not enough. In the process Pakistan has been humiliated for the umpteenth time simply because we want to appease the mullahs as we have done so consistently since 1949, who in any event have declared a war on Pakistan. I had predicted this much in my article.

So when Obama says “we will act if Pakistan is unwilling or unable to act”, he should walk the walk as well. Nothing will cripple the terrorists more decisively than a tolerant, moderate and democratic Pakistan that respects human rights and treats all its citizens equally. No victory would be permanent if such a Pakistan is not achieved. President Obama, the US, the IMF, the World Bank and the entire western world should immediately stop assisting Pakistan in every field from humanitarian aid to military aid till Pakistan puts its house in order. Being a signatory and having ratified the International Convention on Political and Civil Rights, Pakistan is bound by international law and its own constitution to provide all its citizens the right to life and liberty and religious belief unconditionally.

I do not favour arguments referring to religious interpretation, but our Blasphemy Law is untenable even from an Islamic angle. There is nothing in the Holy Quran or even the Hadith that definitively prescribes such a Blasphemy Law. On the contrary we have a clear example set by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) when he forgave his worst enemies and offenders like Hinda. Almost everyone knows the story of the old woman who would throw garbage daily on the path that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) took. When she fell ill, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) went to visit her and nursed her back to health. Less known is the story of another old woman who the Holy Prophet (PBUH) helped by carrying wood to her house. Along the way, not knowing the identity of her helper, she began to speak about the “trouble maker” of Makkah. It was only after their journey was at an end that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) told her that he was the same Muhammad (PBUH) she had spent the greater part of the journey abusing. This was the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) character. This is why he is referred to as Rahmatul-lil-Alameen or the mercy for all worlds.

Islamic law and jurisprudence is derived from four sources, known as the Usul-ul-Fiqh (fundamentals of the law), i.e. the Holy Quran, the Sunnah, Qiyas (analogy) and Ijma (consensus). The Holy Quran is silent on the issue of blasphemy. The Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) seems to suggest the exact opposite. By using Qiyas, one can only conclude that the Blasphemy Law is patently un-Islamic and there is no Ijmah or consensus amongst the scholars of Islam on the punishment of blasphemy.

Islamic civilisation has a rich history of not only tolerating but even celebrating dissent. Needless to say some of the greatest scientists in Islamic history, Al Razi, the father of medicine, and Avicenna, would have been lynched many times over had Islam actually favoured a Blasphemy Law as is currently on the statute books of Pakistan. I am told that our local textbooks on science all have a chapter on the achievements of Muslim scientists and the contribution of Islamic civilisation to science and enlightenment of humanity. It is forgotten that this was achieved by a culture of tolerance, acceptance and openness. In my last column, I quoted the founder of this nation as stating as clearly as possible that bona fide criticisms and investigations into religion must be protected and safeguarded from any Blasphemy Law. So must be the fundamental rights of life, liberty and religious belief.

A nation is its laws ultimately. The intolerance permeating down to every segment of our society is the direct result of the laws that evade common sense and logic. It is therefore time to repeal the Blasphemy Law.

The writer is a lawyer. He also blogs at https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com and can be reached at yasser.hamdani@gmail.com

60 Comments

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60 responses to “Blasphemy Law

  1. amar

    ylh writes:
    “my last column, I quoted the founder of this nation as stating as clearly as possible that bona fide criticisms and investigations into religion must be protected and safeguarded from any Blasphemy Law.”

    This is a clear case of vagueness.

    “as clearly as possible” – what does ylh mean by that?

    Why is there not an “as clearly as necessary”?

    furthermore:

    Presently Kashmir has to remain India so that it does not end getting cut up between the expansionists-imperialists Pakistan and China. Many wise kashmiris, even muslims, know this. Pakistan’s arabic religion dictates that Pakistan should not allow India to succeed in Kashmir. Many wise kashmiris, even muslims, know that Pakistan and China have nothing better to offer. Arundhati Roy will never know this.

  2. lal

    3 Points YLH

    1)Other than the standard statement that a every PM/President has to make of a ‘stable,peaceful,progressive..Pakistan’, Pakistan and its people are none of Obama’s concerns.He will,as he should,deal with whoever is in power in Pakistan (military) and try to have a honorable exit in Afghan.I don’t think even you believe Obama will take such a suggestion seriously.
    2)Sanctions have not worked anywhere,and in Pakistan’s situation,a suggestion from an American president about repealing blasphemy laws will give the exact opposite result.
    3)Probably I am commenting this article from the wrong angle.You are trying to use the stick of international sanctions to exhort your own country man to raise voice against blasphemy laws.If so,all the best to the try.

    PS:I fervently hope,no Indians commenting in PTH will take the bait of Arundhati Roy and start commenting about her.This will descent to chaos.

  3. Pankaj

    @ LAL : Agar baat niklegi to door tak jayegi

    ie in English : If a topic is started then it has to go on for a long time

    Dear YLH

    Why should an article condemning the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan ,begin with India, Kashmir and that ” HEROINE ” Arun dhati Roy.

    Arun dhati is a compulsive anti national Indian

    She opposes every thing that is good for India

    She opposed Nuclear tests ,Narmada Dam ,Tata Nano car project and is opposed to industrialisation

    And above all now she is supporting Maoists and Kashmiri separatists

    So obviously she is LOVED in Pakistan

  4. Laeeq

    These blasphemy laws wer dpecificaly made for to persecute Ahmadis so they can be discourged from their belives and renounce their religion. Unfortunately more non- Ahmedies are victims of these laws. Astonishly more so called Muslims are
    caight under these claws of black laws. A general of army whose sins are now paying rest of the world in shape of Talibans and Al Quda was the author of these laws. God bless his soul and all the victims of those who killed in those suicide attacks.
    I hope God will send him the deepest fire pit of hell.

  5. Anoop

    YLH,

    I dont want to comment on laws in Pakistan which are all too natural considering the kind of birth it had and the stance of the people who created it.

    I want to just consider the first paragraph.

    “..proving that India is and will remain an intolerant society for some time to come.”

    –> Arundati Roy is not a shining example of how intolerant India is, but how tolerant it is.

    As you have pointed out the superiority of the Constitution and the laws which it guides in India in some of your articles, Arundati Roy can say things which are not “sexy” and get away with it, as Freedom of Speech is enshrined in the Constitution. Even if she is charged with sedition the superior courts will probably let her go.

    She is free to go to Kashmir, to the Maoist infested jungles, form her own opinions, air them in front of a vibrant media and come out unscathed.

    “A nation is its laws ultimately.”

    –> Dont you see the irony here? lol.. Laws in India prove your first few lines are grossly incorrect.

  6. no-communal

    A more apt Indian reference, if at all one was needed to make a case against the blasphemy law, is the decriminalization of homosexuality. Due to sustained civil society campaign and a ruling by the Delhi High Court homosexuality between consenting adults is now legal in India. Considering it was nationally legalized in the US only in 2003, that is no mean achievement for a country like India.

    It is these things, and not Arundhati Roy’s shrill protestations, that warm the hearts of liberals in India. Despite the tangential connection with this article, not many are baying for her blood; she is and will be all happy and plump.

  7. no-communal

    Oh, Anoop already made my point. Anyway, the reference to the homosexuality law is still valid.

  8. YLH

    Anoop,

    Why is it that the people who forwarded the blasphemy law and the like in Pakistan are the same people who sided with Congress against the creation of Pakistan. Not very natural is it…

  9. YLH

    Btw… In India an idol is a legal entity just like a person or a company.

    How ironic…for a secular nation.

  10. Pankaj

    Dear YLH

    Comparing Indian and Pakistani Laws is like Comparing Apples to lemons

    I cannot use the term comparing apples to oranges
    because Pakistani BLASPHEMY laws treat the minorities very “cheaply” as if the life of a minority is worth only a lemon

    If Arundhati was a pakistani citizen she would have disappeared a long time as many hundreds of Pakistani Muslim citizens have disappeared

    Our Supreme court has held that sedition law CANNOT be applied on a person like Arundhati , even though she openly asks for Kashmir’s secession .

    According to Indian Supreme Court Sedition case be filed when a person’s Acts or Actions are found to be seditious.

    Seditious words cannot be punished in India.

    So Arundhati will get state protection ie police protection and she will continue talking against India.

    This is India’s strength .

    Your statement that India will remain an intolerant society for many years is just a stupid remark.

    Can nothing be done in Pakistan without reference to India .

    Why start this otherwise noble campaign of removing this Blasphemy law with a REFERENCE to India.

    Are Pakistanis so obsessed with India that for even simple things you have to invoke INDIA

  11. YLH

    Also can someone tell me why in free India, M F Hussain has been on the run?

    Ironically…the only person to actually raise caution against a blasphemy law amongst the founders of India and Pakistan was Jinnah…makes Pakistan’s tragedy even more tragic.

  12. Pankaj

    YLH

    Your question about MF hussain is correct .
    MF Hussain has cases filed under section 153 A of the IPC which is about hurting the sentiments of another community.

    But he is a coward So he has run away .He will be in jail for 3 years only .

    Unlike this blasphemy law of yours in which anybody can be killed

  13. YLH

    Really… burning Austrian priests alive and you are still talking of apples and lemons eh?

    Indians are not just intolerant they are myopic as well. The way you lot act over here, like the insecure shits that you are …speaks volumes.

    India is a country where a Varun GANDHI can say “I will cut off the heads of Muslims” and win elections with a thumping mandate …

    Let us not even revisit Gujurat.

    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  14. amar

    In India an idol is a legal entity. That should have been in Afghanistan too before they destroyed the Buddha statues in Bamiyan. See how much wiser hindus are!

    Then we had muslims saying “Babari masjid shahid ho gayi.” How is that then? So muslims accord personality to a masjid?

    And some muslims are venerating the hair of
    M. (hazrat-baal shrine). Indian secularism is allowing that too. It is not destructive like the French secularism.

    Unfortunately secularism (everywhere) is being misused by those, who wish to finish it off once they attain power – namely by the muslims. That should be our greater worry.

    Tolerance being misused to finish off tolerance – here again the muslims are the biggest blasphemers.

  15. YLH

    Well I favor the repeal of all blasphemy laws.

    Now …in my view the only difference between Indians and Pakistanis is of perception: Pakistanis know that their shit stinks (hence my article) Indians eat theirs like halwa (hence Anoop and Pankaj’s comments).

  16. Anoop

    “Why is it that the people who forwarded the blasphemy law and the like in Pakistan are the same people who sided with Congress against the creation of Pakistan. Not very natural is it…”

    –> So? So what? Yes, some Muslim Right-wingers did not want Pakistan because they thought Pakistan must not be argued for by a lesser Muslim- Jinnah. Jinnah batted for all sides, didn’t he.

    M.J.Akbar puts it beautifully when he titles his article as,”JINNAH WAS LIBERAL-SECULAR FOR MOST OF HIS LIFE, BUT NOT ALL HIS LIFE!”

    http://www.mjakbar.org/mjvoice16.htm

    He further adds, “HISTORY MIGHT be better understood if we did not treat it as a heroes-and-villains movie. Life is more complex than that. The heroes of our national struggle changed sometimes with circumstances. The reasons for the three instances I cite are very different; their implications radically at variance. I am not making any comparisons, but only noting that leaders change their tactics. Non-violent Gandhi, who broke the empire three decades later, received the Kaiser-I-Hind medal on 3 June 1915 [Tagore was knighted the same day] for recruiting soldiers for the war effort. Subhas Bose, ardently Gandhian in 1920, put on uniform and led the Indian National Army with support from Fascists. Jinnah, the ambassador of unity, became a partitionist.”

    In another piece he writes, “Jinnah was not an agnostic. He was born an Ismaili Khoja, and consciously decided to shift, under the influence of an early mentor, Badruddin Tyabji, from the “Sevener” sect, which required obedience to the Aga Khan, to the Twelvers, who recognized no leader. But his faith did not include ritual. He might have posed in a sherwani to demand Pakistan, but he would have considered ‘Maulana Jinnah’ an absurdity. In the end, Jinnah and Gandhi were not as far apart as the record might suggest. Jinnah wanted a secular nation with a Muslim majority; Gandhi desired a secular nation with a Hindu majority. The difference was the geographical arc. Gandhi had an inclusive dream, Jinnah an exclusive one. ”

    Pakistan has absorbed that character from its creator.

    Now, the same Right-Wingers have got a Pakistan of their desire all thanks to Jinnah. They have got a constitution which even they couldn’t have scripted better. That is irreversible.

    A Sikh, who form 5% of the population, is the Prime Minister of India, a country 80% Hindu. Re-elected again after a good performance by him and the Catholic Sonia in managing the country.

    Jinnah implied that Minorities of India can never gain political freedom. He was way wrong.

  17. YLH

    Also …mind explaining what happened when “secular” Congress of secular India over-turned the Shah Bano judgment.

    As with the blasphemy law in Pakistan, the sponsors of this legislation in India were the same people who were in bed with the Congress during partition.

    Poor Anoop probably doesn’t know that Shah Bano’s lawyer who got her the verdict was none other than Daniyal Latifi – who was the author of League’s manifesto and one of the founders of Pakistan.

    But these inconvenient truths don’t sit easy with liars.

    Thankfully atleast family laws, “Islamic” Pakistan is miles ahead of “secular” India since there are no oral talaqs under Pakistani law, no halala marriages, and women even have the right of divorce…probably because that was the last law that an associate of Jinnah helped draft.

  18. Pankaj

    YLH

    Your article has references to India .So we are “butting” in.

    Please dont twist facts like a seasoned lawyer that you are

    We DONT have any Blasphemy laws so how can you say that we are happy with our laws.

    What the hell are you talking about .

    You alone CAN NOT get this Blasphemy law repealed . Your Mullahs will make you disappear

    If you are so confident of your pen, CHALLENGE the constitutional validity of this blasphemy law in your Supreme court

    And SEE the fun

  19. YLH

    And what is your excuse earlier. Is there an article you don’t butt in?

    Besides most Indians keep barking about Pakistan on many Indian websites… Do you see Pakistanis as obsessed as going there and spamming those websites?

  20. Pankaj

    YLH

    Again you have twisted facts.

    Indian Muslim community does nt want any change in their personal Laws.
    So the shah Bano judgement was overturned.

    Infact the liberal Muslims in India argue the same thing That Pakistani Islamic family laws are liberal than compared to Indian Muslim personal laws.

    But the Hindus have not passed a BLASPHEMY law .So MF Hussain will survive with a 3 year sentence

    You have simply wiped out your minorities.

  21. YLH

    India has 295 and 295 A… Those are blasphemy laws…unless these have been repealed recently …

    But speaking Supreme Courts I await an answer about Shah Bano issue. What happened to Congress secularism.

  22. YLH

    Twisted the facts?

    Darul Uloom Deoband – which is also behind Pakistan’s blasphemy law- was rewarded for loyalty and service by Congress during independence by overturning the shah bano case.

    My point was for the education of Anoop mian..

  23. Anoop

    YLH,

    “Also …mind explaining what happened when “secular” Congress of secular India over-turned the Shah Bano judgment. ”

    –> Simple. To please a vote-bank. You are wrongly assuming that I will disagree with you on every count.

    This just goes to show that nobody’s perfect, like Jinnah wasn’t perfect.

    “India is a country where a Varun GANDHI can say “I will cut off the heads of Muslims” and win elections with a thumping mandate …”

    –> Right-wingers will probably win the next elections in the US. In UK, a right-wing party wins a considerable chunk of seats.

    But, people dont call these countries non-Secular do they?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1191533/Right-wing-parties-sweep-power-European-Parliament-voter-turnout-plummets-record-low.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party

    India is called a secular country for a simple reason. The country’s law, guided by its constitution is secular in nature and all-inclusive primarily owning due to the very leaders of Congress that you despise.

    P.S. M.F.Hussain in protest to India’s non-secular nature went to Qatar. He should draw a thin black line on the canvas and call it “Prophet’s hair”. His hosts will treat him to a grand display how tolerant, progressive and secular they truly are.

    I would understand if he had flown to the US or UK to protest. But, a Muslim country?

    He reminds of Jinnah in many ways.

  24. Pankaj

    In India any law cannot go against the basic structure of the constitution
    If it does it is simply struck down.

    Your constitution legally allows the MURDER of Non muslims .SO this blasphemy law is intact.

    Are you planning to challenge your blasphemy law in your Supreme court .

    If not your article is just a cheap PUBLICITY stunt using Arundhati and India as a reference point .

  25. Anoop

    I have submitted 2 comments in the span of 20 minutes. I am hoping it will be printed.

  26. YLH

    I am not going to discuss strategy with internet trolls who are incapable of telling the truth.

    Anoop mian…

    My point was in specific reference to your comment about the people who stood for the creation of Pakistan.

    All I am pointing out is that in both India and Pakistan, the regressive tendencies amongst the Muslims are championed by none other than those people who opposed the creation of Pakistan..be it the Blasphemy law or the Shah Bano case.

  27. Pankaj

    YLH

    Again telling lies

    A country needs to have laws for all possible situations

    In India we DONT have blasphemy laws

    we have laws so if people hurt religious feelings of others they will be prosecuted.

    You mean to say that having a law on the statue books is EQUIVALENT to your blasphemy law through which many have been killed.

  28. YLH

    Your comments are in moderation because of “urls”. These will be approved by a moderator whenever he or she gets to it.

  29. Anoop

    YLH,

    Thank you for pointing that out. I will wait.

  30. YLH

    India does have a blasphemy law 295 IPC. Unless it has been repealed recently.

    As for the blasphemy law in Pakistan…it was imposed by a military dictator and further extended by a right wing beneficiary of the military dictator’s regime in 1985 and 1991.

    We hope to get rid of it. I am not sure what your point is…am I defending the blasphemy law in your opinion?

  31. Pankaj

    Why you are calling the Indian law a blasphemy law.

    How many cases have been filed against Muslims for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.

    Only MF hussain is one

    WHy didnt we allow publishing Danish cartoons Simply because our law DOES not allow hurting the sentiments of others

  32. Girish

    Sec. 295 of the IPC (enacted in 1860 and not repealed as of date, but I see nothing in it to warrant repeal).

    Section 295. Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class

    Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as a insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

  33. YLH

    It is a blasphemy law… Pakistani law is obviously the worst kind of blasphemy law.. But perhaps you don’t understand what blasphemy law means.

    The Indian law is also a blasphemy law .. Infact when 295 was being passed, it was then that Jinnah cautioned against its misuse… in 1928.

    Blasphemy law in its present form in Pakistan is from 1991.

  34. Girish

    YLH:

    Perhaps you meant Sec 298, quoted below, which is the closest to what can be termed a blasphemy law. Sec. 295 (and 295A) deal with acts that are even otherwise criminal in nature – religion or not.

    Section 298. Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person

    Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

  35. Girish

    Correction: 295A is also a borderline blasphemy law, though of the flavor of hate crimes laws in force in many countries.

    295 itself deals with acts that involve damage or destruction to property, a crime by any standard. It happens to be about property/objects related to religion.

    One other thing – Jinnah could not have been around when Sec. 295 was enacted. That was in the original IPC of 1860. 295A was inserted in the IPC in 1927, when Jinnah could have plausibly said something about it during its enactment.

  36. YLH

    I meant 295 A.

  37. Kaalket

    If Darul Uloom Deoband is guilty then i say punish them with this blasphemy law so they tatse the medicine. The bissgest blasphemy is that of Arabic strain on the holy land of indian occupied by the children of alien fathers.

  38. Apex

    {{EDITED for nonsense-YLH}}

  39. no-communal

    You seem to be underhanding everybody. What are you trying to say?

  40. Karun

    i think there is no need to have articles meant towards internal audience to start with an India bait.
    Although ppl are advised not to take the bait, why put the bait in the first place and very clearly the first few lines are unnecessary and unconnected.

  41. YLH

    Well let’s see you stop me.

  42. Karun

    Its just friendly advice, you are free to agree or ignore.

  43. Can someone inform why Asma J and the CJ of Pakistan are silent on this issue?

    So much for the expectations, which were shouted out at her election; I guess, another hope bites the dust in Pakistan!

    ciao

  44. libertarian

    @Feroz Khan: … Asma J and the CJ of Pakistan …

    Do they belong in the same sentence? The CJ just needs to make his party affiliation explicit. But the point of Asma J’s silence is well taken. One step at a time I guess – the pragmatic approach to an apparently intractable problem.

  45. Chote Miyan

    “Oscar Wilde’s vicious patriots and there are about a billion of them, baying for her blood, proving that India is and will remain an intolerant society for some time to come.”

    I hardly ever agree with Karun, but on this one, I think he is right. It’s just unnecessary to start defining any problem that Pakistan faces with a ritual a India, or a Gandhi, or a Nehru bashing comment. I, frankly, don’t understand what purpose it serves, except for some loony tunes like Amar to spew forth their nonsense. Of course, then you would complain how Indians hijack various sites. This whole charade is getting quite silly.

    Yes, we are an intolerant bunch, hideous and uncultured, but as the things stand now, it’s the green passport that causes people to break into a cold sweat. At least, we are doing something right. To repeat the lines from an old cadbury commercial:
    “Kuch baat hai hum sabhi mein..”

    If Pakistanis need to go through a preamble of how their neighbors are an idiotic lot before someone lays out their own problems, you have a bigger problem mate.

  46. no-communal

    Now this I agree with. This actually is THE problem, whether it is realized or not.

  47. asf

    does bold work??

  48. asf


    Why isn’t this bold think working??


    maybe italics workd

    what about undelrine

  49. Bade Miyan

    NC,
    And as Karun says, the opening salvo has nothing to do with the rest of the article. It’s normal to hate a country whose mere existence punctures your idol’s celebrated ideology, but does that mean that that angst has to be laid bare each and every time.

  50. YLH

    Bade miyan I am glad you recognise that Pakistan’s existence causes such angst and punctures your ideology.

    As for me…my opening statement was a statement of fact as well as a double whammy… It was meant as a means to hook in two different crowds:

    1. India shining types – you etc.

    2. Those ultra-patriots of Pakistan who are quoting Arundhati Roy’s statement on Kashmir day in and day out but have no desire to emulate her and question Pakistan’s own flaws.

    It worked splendidly well.

  51. Girish

    Actually, any true patriot would be happy with the Arundhati Roy affair. It demonstrates that India is largely a tolerant country. That it largely protects free speech. That even loonies can say what they want without fear – both communist loonies like Arundhati and the right-wing loonies who oppose her. That a person like Syed Ali Shah Geelani is protected by Indian policemen paid for by Indian taxpayers and draws his pension as a former member of the J&K Legislative Assembly, even while he pooh-poohs the very idea of India in a seminar in the heart of the country’s capital.

    I am glad you brought out the Arundhati Roy argument in your article, because apart from those whose vision is already blinkered, others would clearly see that despite challenges and despite the occasional aberration, India remains a largely liberal and open country. Not quite up to the standards laid out in its Constitution. Not quite comparable to the best in the world in this respect. But pretty good nevertheless. At least most of the time.

  52. YLH

    Well we are half way there. Our constitution and law protects the right wing loonies but not the left wing ones.

  53. pankaj

    YLH

    Your words are falling on deaf years

    Inspite of protests by a small number of people, The Govt of Pakistan has rejected the demand for repealing the Blasphemy law

    The right wing fundamentalists have threatened President Zardari not to pardon the Christian woman who has been accused of blasphemy.

    So much for internet activism

  54. YLH

    No. The blasphemy law will either be amended or repeal in the coming months.

  55. Bade Miyan

    EDITED (to show you who is boss in these parts- YLH)

  56. Bade Miyan

    HaHa. Well, carry on. Looks like even you don’t emulate Ms. Roy. That makes me sad.

  57. MilesToGo

    that is funny

  58. dear ylh
    a good article, hope everyone thinks like this and we will have a more tolerat world

    but will raise the foll

    first u say india is a intolerat society, if it was so ms roy would have been dead or in prison, like so many christian in pakistn bec of the law mentioned
    india is free so she can say anything , wonder if in pakistn a person who si not a popular elected leader can say we need seperate sind, of pusthon and be safe, eg mujbhir rahman a popular bangalaleader was in prison
    even syed of sind was in jail without trial for over 30 year , for demanding free /autonomous sindh, and he was a popu;lar leader, who once said he preffered joing sind with india
    in contrast in india tamilnadu many leader demanded seperate country in the 1960, none was in prison like syed, they were al allowed to stand in election, and resolve their difference

    in north east so many seperatist are now in govt,

    now regarding m f hussain he is the most disgusting person i would say. if he was in pakistn he would have been killed

    first no one threw him out, the govt asked hom many times to cpome back he refused
    secong he painted a hindu godess nude, now would it not hurt the hindu sentiments, he painted movies catress nude ect but that was different
    now the clincher is this in and interview in dubai a few year ago he was asked many question, and he said he drew the godess out of his imagination and a he pictured her ect ect

    so he was asked would he drw prophet momahamed the same way out of his imagination
    his reply was no comment, he does now want to speak of it

    now is that not ironic and artist being very selective, bec he knows iof he did he would be dead, the muslim would kill him immediately no trial

    i am a roman catholic even if he painted mother mary nude i would not be bothred as long as he was not very selective of which religion he can play with and which he cannot, now that i would say is not fair

  59. T.S. Bokhari

    @YLH

    So you are the ‘boss’ here! What if you become a boss of Pakiland?

    Power corrupts, however little it may be!