In response to tweets about – no reactions from the Media on the ABVP ban on Sanjay Kak’s screening of a movie on Kashmir versus the apparent overdose of dialogue on Rushdie being denied welcome to India, i wrote the following on a blog post.

By doing this i am hoping that the author of the blog will see the other side

# When recently a version of the Ramayana was removed from the DU syllabus there was a HUGE ruckus in the same media that you are calling #Islamophobic and that they have disappeared See:

# MF Hussain has been painting Hindu gods and godesses in the nude for *decades* now; i am certain that it has been hurting the sentiment of some just as the reading of Satanic Verses would have hurt some; However, it was not until the recent “reactionary” rise of a hard-line right-wing hindus in the middle of the last decade, that he had any trouble painting such.

# Recently a Keralite writer has written a book on re-interpreting Draupadi’s reltionship with Krishna from the Mahabharat, and represented it in a very sexual manner. The book has NOT been banned, in spite of protests

# Imam Bukhari recently disrupted an exhibition of the Ahmeddiyas and asking them to *not call themselves muslims*

Isn’t the ABVP incident that you are referring to falling in the same category? 🙂 BTW, there was hardly any reaction from the liberals you are referring to on this incident as well. So your notion of categorising them in one class, and one behaviour is inaccurate.

You may agree that most reactions such as banning books is *most often political, than righteous*. Given that the judgment of right vs wrong cannot be given to a government, there needs to be freedom to express anything.

It is self-defeating for people to say anything but things that build bridges and that heal people. This is a problem of the human race. Yet, such self-expression, and even if it takes connotations of provocation, cannot be responded with *banning* and *taking away the right to speech*. The latter is probably worse than the former because it eliminates the chance/opportunity to have a dialogue and bring change. It draws lines of me vs then, and people tend to join one or the other party, thus further creating divisions.

From within the Muslim world, perhaps there is only a *vocal minority* which has strong opinions on the reading and sale of the Satanic Verses, while respectable scholars like Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s voices are made meek, and unheard. Who is right? Why should the Maulana’s opinion and sentiment be made out to be less important than those of the ones protesting?