Friday, April 13, 2012

Fury 2 (continued)

My post earlier today was possibly rather ill-written. I don't really blame myself, since I was so furious that I had problems penning down proper words and sentences.

I still cannot come to terms with the fact that a person (I'm not considering the fact that he is in a reputable profession in a rather renowned institute, since the stature of the person is irrelevant here) can be arrested for sharing a cartoon on social network. Things we usually have a good laugh about. Things that come with small Like and Share buttons under them. Things that are meant to be harmless.

Consider this. Someone created something, maybe in mild protest, but with the chief intention to make people laugh. There was no serious insult or blasphemy intended: it was a satire, and was meant to be taken light-heartedly.

Tyranny is nothing new to mankind. Protesting voices have often been muted, revolutionaries obliterated to keep the benevolence of despotism alive. Various forms of art have often been strangled over centuries. But humour has often got away because, well, it's supposed to be funny, and not to be taken seriously.

This one turned out to be an exception, apparently. And it had to happen in my state. In my city. I might sound repetitive, but I really cannot accept the fact that a man can, in a democratic country, be arrested for an innocent bit of humour.

Guys, as a state, as a city, we do not have much to boast of any more. Our glory days mostly involve tales from the past. We've been denied everything for several decades now as we have painstakingly witnessed other parts of the country develop and snatch the glory we once had. As a race we're tolerant, and we have sat through that without much fuss.

But this is our sense of humour, our right of speech that is under threat now. This is not about some IT company refusing to open in Kolkata (a fact that we have got used to by now). This is basic. This is fundamental. Harmless laughter is too precious to part from.

Of course, we can sit back, turn on the television or log on to Facebook or enjoy the weekend and welcome the Bengali New Year. Alternatively, we can act. Somehow. The choice, of course, is an easy one. It doesn't take rocket science to decide which one is the easier and more comfortable decision to take.

One little word of caution, though, before you return to the IPL match tonight. I know you are mature enough, but do make sure that your child, or any other kid in Kolkata around doesn't try to be humorous. Do hush him up if he does. Just in case.

7 comments:

  1. satire bujhte gele minimum ekta sikkha,chetona lage..ami degree-r kotha bolchi na.degree chakri dite pare hoyto,chetona dite parena bodhoy.amar khudro buddhi,er theke beshi kichu bolbar nei.

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  2. r,byaktigoto bhabe ami chaina,amar poroborti-projonmo erom "ekushe ain"-er deshe boro hok..amar nijeke ramgorur bhabteo mote bhalo lagbe na..!! :(

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  3. Even while agreeing (and nodding vigorously in agreement) with the overall thesis of your post, I must take issue with the statement:
    Someone created something, maybe in mild protest, but with the chief intention to make people laugh. There was no serious insult or blasphemy intended.

    The degree or intensity of the protest doesn't matter (just as - you correctly pointed out that - the stature of the person doesn't matter); even if it was insulting (to some), it was not beyond bounds of decency. The concept of blasphemy doesn't arise unless, of course, one considers the words of the Hon'bl' Chief Minister to be Word of God, or her mindless minions to be, say, the Vaanar Sena, perhaps. What matters is that this State Administration has espoused the tried-and-tested methods of totalitarian regimes to quash dissent and different opinion of any kind.

    The incongruously non-commensurate State response to any voice of dissent, as we have observed in the two situations in the past few days, is utterly deplorable, reprehensible and greatly worrisome. I am finding it hard to recognize my own state, and am extremely apprehensive about the condition of my family and friends therein.

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  4. Gonotontro ke khun korar cheshta cholchhe...lojjjaaaaaaaaa

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  5. I think I agree with the previous comment as well. It does not matter what the real motivation of the cartoon was. Also, as you said It does not matter whether the creator is a professor of one of our premier educational institutes. It is the tyranny of the fact that no one can apparently criticize the god who has been thrust upon us. The fact that the state machinery can arrest someone for this on charges that are meant for serious crimes against women. And unbelievable as it may sound, I understand that the chief minister and some of her ministers have actually supported the move (rather than wash their hands off it).

    After my shock after a couple of incidents earlier this year (not exactly because of the words of the chief minister saying that her government was being framed, but because of the lack or extremely muted if any criticism of her statements), here is one more. Has the lack of good alternatives made us so resigned t tyranny that we cannot protest enough to get them to backtrack and apologize?

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  6. Actually, when I posted the previous comment I was not aware of
    a recent event and found this while looking online about this arrest:

    http://in.news.yahoo.com/police-officer-solved-park-street-rape-case-removed-132644684.html
    and then I read the chief minister's statement about this:
    http://in.news.yahoo.com/transfer-damayanti-sen-governments-171557575.html

    "It is the right of the state government to decide what should be done or what should not to be done. It is our prerogative to get the job done by someone who is more effective."


    Just to state the obvious, while it is the government's right to decide, they are expected to decide for the good of the people and state. In the light of recent events, what we have heard of Damayanti Sen in February, the fact that her investigations put cold water on the chief minister's statements, and the pattern of vindictive tyranny shown in so many events, how many of us are willing to believe that this was simply a case of replacing a police officer by someone more effective and sending the said officer to the post of Deputy General of Police (***TRAINING***) in Barrackpore?

    Disgusting.

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  7. Munnudada, ami to ekhon proti muhurte nijeke proshno kori j ami kothay achi? Kolkata'e naki Hirok/Tasher Desh/Bombagarh'e?

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