Supreme Court announced more curbs on freedom of expression

In 2002, Chief Election Commissioner James Michael Lyngdoh became a legend among India’s secular brigade for announcing bans on “communal speeches” and a proposed “Jan Jagruti Yatra” of the VHP. The VHP’s yatra was to begin from Godhra and culminate at Akshardham temple (which had recently seen a deadly terrorist attack). The date of the culmination of the yatra? December 6!

untitled

Were only those killed in the rest of Gujarat human and not those burnt alive in Godhra? Were the lips of Congress MPs sealed with Italian locks?

That’s what I like to call “Modi classic“. Treasure this memory, for we will never hear him again in this format.

The saving grace about the Election Commission is that it has no teeth. Despite James Michael Lyngdoh’s best efforts, Modi said what he wanted to say. The people heard what they wanted to hear. The elections arrived. And Modi got the massive 126/182 victory he needed to become the eternal thorn in the secular side.

But you know who has teeth? The Supreme Court does. And yesterday the Supreme Court told us all when we have to bite our tongues.

untitled

(http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/seeking-votes-in-the-name-of-religion-caste-illegal-supreme-court/story-S5aw9VRsZnRtQD6d6RGh3J.html)

From the link:

The Supreme Court outlawed on Monday seeking votes in the name of religion, caste, race, community or language..”

Incidentally, while the Honorable Supreme Court outlawed seeking votes in the name of religion, caste, race, community and language, only the religion part made it to the headline of the Hindustan Times story. The reasons are perhaps too obvious to require restating here. As Modi would have said in his classic version, it is only voting in the name of religion…and more specifically the majority religion that bothers the idea of India. On the matter of those doing politics in the name of caste, the secular brigade have sealed their lips with Italian locks.

A month or so ago, when the Honorable Supreme Court ordered that the national anthem be played in movie theaters, liberals fell over themselves to mock the decision. There was much social capital to be made in elite circles by finding novel ways to insult India’s  flag/anthem and a liberal feeding frenzy ensued.

But now comes a decision from the Honorable Supreme Court with much deeper consequences and the same free speech fundamentalists have conveniently disappeared. Why can’t people ask for votes in the name of religion and/or caste? Why is this not a free speech issue?

Is it a good thing to seek votes in the name of caste or religion? In general, no. But is it the job of the Honorable Supreme Court to dictate morality to us?

Elections are the most important exercise in a democracy. If you curb political speech during elections, what meaningful free speech do we have left in this country? Can the Honorable Supreme Court really decide what is a “good political issue” and what is a “bad political issue”?

What is next? We can’t ask for votes based on X, Y and Z. Will they also announce curbs on what issues people are allowed to vote on? Will voters be asked to pass an ideological test before being allowed to vote? If I openly and proudly declare that I plan to vote based on which party/candidate best represents (in my opinion) the rights of Hindus in this country, will the Honorable Supreme Court take my vote away? 

As I said, how come this is not a free speech issue? And how come those who desperately want a referendum on secession of Kashmir are silent about this clampdown on free speech?

When the national anthem judgement came, we were lectured by liberals that it is not the job of the Honorable Supreme Court to tell us what it means to be a good Indian. What happened suddenly? When the Indian government slapped sedition cases on JNU students for chanting “Bharat ki barbaadi” and cheering Afzal Guru, we got long lectures on the sanctity of free speech. Why are those chattering classes silent now?

Of course the chattering classes are silent because they expect these new regulations to be selectively enforced by their beloved bureaucrats at all levels against the one party they hate. And how long before one of them goes to the court and gets an exemption for “minority religions” from this judgement? Take it from me : it won’t be long before it becomes illegal in India to ask for votes in the name of religion, with the exception of minority religions… They will call it RTS (Right to Secularism).

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Supreme Court announced more curbs on freedom of expression

  1. Liberals are projecting that this Supreme Court Verdict is actually against BJP and it will harm BJP’s prospects more then any other party so they are celebrating on this. and Not to forgot this Case forwarded by Congi lawyers like Zero loss theory Scientist Mr Kapil Sibal and otc secular NGo. and they are feared that BJP will use Hindutava cause in UP election and will unite Hindus just like 2014.. and not to forget this Honorable chief Justic Mr T S thakhur are totally Congi man and it will not be wrong to say that Supreme Cort become A lyutean court and all congi man like Sibal , Abhisek Manu singhvi and chidambaram all are trying to use Supreme court to against govt and fulfill Congi agenda from the Supreme court route. not to forget Mr TS Thkul said on denomotatization that there will be riots IN INDIA on denomatiation and rit by filled by congi man Sibal and Chidambaram… Sorry to say but Supreme court and behaving like Lyutean court due to people like Thkuar.. I hope new chief Justic will be nutral and will not affected by congi agenda…

    Like

  2. The SC seems to enjoy indulging in social and political comentary rather than getting the court system to speeden up.
    This is yet another example of why we need some judicial reforms.The SC seems to think it is not only a judge but also a religious scripture interpreter, moral pontificator and law maker all rolled into one.
    As for the headline being framed in that way, I am letting it slide.More than attacking The BJP amd Hindus tge verdict actually just exposes the obsessions of the Secularist camp.
    Hinduism is Dharma not that silly import called religion.Dharma and dharmic thought does not make non conformists heretics,only religion does.

    Like

  3. I just read the previous post CWji
    This Janaki Nair is one weird person.
    You would think that things like inviting school children to University campuses would be encouraged.
    That aside,I have come to the conclusion that we in the Right Wing have become too negative of the Humanities.No doubt the departments of these subjects are infested with all sorts of unoriginal,unintellectual and propagandist scum but we should not hold ill will towards the subjects and their study.Instead we should come up with ways with getting scholars of higher abilities and who are positive towards the nation.These humanities folks have a lot to do in how our nations brand is seen abroad.We will be seen as more confident if we have a less Gunga din-esque set publishing things about Bharath

    Like

  4. I feel that this is a decision which can be used very tactically by the ‘Hindus’. The SC has refrained from categorising ‘Hindutva’ as a religion. So all the votes can be asked in the name of Hindutva

    Like

    1. yes,this move actually harms other parties a lot more than BJP. strategic voting of minorities is a strategy of parties like Congress and BSP rather than BJP.

      Plus the SC has refused to reexamine it’s classification of hindutva. So,Hinduism is still not a religion,but a way of life and it’s something that the “secular” parties will have to contend with

      Like

  5. CW as you postulated in the last para, Mayawati has already started to violate SC verdict. She has requested Muslims and Dalits should not waste their votes on SP candidates as it will only help BJP ! So they should vote for her party.

    And a Christian church priest has requested his congregation to vote for the Christian candidates only.

    Yet in media covering this SC dictate there is always a picture of a Hindu wearing saffron ‘Topi’.

    Like

  6. SC makes diktats which cannot be enforced,hence is meaningless!

    A while ago they made a diktat ..’interlinking of rivers to be made in six months’!….pathetic and laughable.

    supreme court is trying to become the supreme pillar of Indian democracy. 

    I wonder if the constitution maker ever thought that SC can become a dictator which is not even elected by us and not even accountable to either parliament or people.

    Like

    1. I so agree with you Srinivas sir! Sometimes, the judgments do appear too impractical. For example, I find it utter nonsense to convert the death sentence to a life-term-imprisonment if there is a delay in execution (they say – it is the cost of mental agony).

      In addition, I support Usha Kiran’s assertion: we need judicial reforms ASAP.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s