The attack on Taslima Nusreen, the exiled Bangladeshi writer living in
The article outlines three instances of such intolerance for discussion and debate. The first of them is the vandalism perpetrated by VHP activists of a painting exhibition in Vadodara. The second is the intolerance displayed against the remarks made by a Political Science lecturer in
All these attacks make us ponder about the following three trends that are emerging.
The first is that the governments’ muted reactions to the instances of intolerance convey a message that political vote-mongering is more important than any respect for individual freedoms.
The second is that the idea of ‘hurt’ religious sentiments are playing a larger part in imposing restrictions against the freedom of speech, much beyond those that are sanctioned by the Constitution.
Finally, the scant respect for the processes of the Constitution seems to be getting silently accepted. In spite of professing allegiance to the Constitution, the MLAs involved in the Taslima Nusreen attack were shown in the media as considering their religion to be above the Constitution of India.