by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Arnab Goswami draped a grey veil over National Tricolour

I just watched the Times Now TV debate over the Aseem Trivedi cartoon controversy and I think Arnab Goswami draped a grey veil, if not actually painted grey, over the National Tricolour - especially the White Band.

I am not going to go into the Aseem Trivedi cartoon controversy in detail.  The issue complex and would require a whole article on its own.  I am just going to write on a couple of issues debated on TV.
Before we go into it, let me make something very clear.  I hold the Constitution very dear, the national symbols like the Indian Tricolour and the Lion Capitol are worth defending my (our) life with.  Now to make the points.

For Kiran Bedi to state that she hasn’t seen the Aseem Trivedi cartoons as yet is unbelievable.  I hadn’t seen those cartoons before and a simple Google (image) or Wikipedia search presents them in all their glory or infamy.  

To me it says that either Kiran Bedi -
  • isn’t saying all she has seen or knows -
    • in which case she isn’t trustworthy, or
  • she simply isn’t technically savvy -
    • in which case she isn’t capable of leading anything -
      • not even my 6th class going nephew, who knows Google search and Wikipedia.

To me, only one guy came out of the TV debate with honours - Mahesh Jethmalani.  And only one other guy stood up and said the correct things - who I’ve derided before - Justice Katju.

To get back to point.

Arnab Goswami in the show said “the Constitution (& Lion Capitol, by inference), are like religion to some people, like him” (not an exact quote).  And so the action against the cartoonist Aseem Trivedi is (by inference) justified, to an extent.

Now, none of the controversial cartoons are good enough to be published in a major newspaper.  They are crass and lack the subtlety of the art of cartoon.  Even I wouldn’t use them in monkeyshine nutworks as an aside.

But if offending what someone holds as a ‘religion’ is an offence, then every citizen of India can be called an offender.  Mind you, I am not saying offending a (an established) *Religion* is acceptable to me or is right.  What I am saying is causing offence to what a group holds is ‘religious’ (an utterly intangible belief) is stupefying - and cannot be called an offence.

In India Cricket is said to be a ‘religion’.  So if I (or someone else)
  • draws a cartoon or,
  • writes something denigrating cricket or,
  • even repeats the Bernard Shaw quote ‘Cricket is where 11 fools play and 11,000 fools watch’,
I (or someone else) have to be arrested?  And slapped with a ‘sedition’ charge?

Let me also say write something controversial.  For if Arnab ever reads this to understand what we bloggers (some of us) think.

I am a Hindu and for me (and a whole lot of others - even more orthodox than me), anything to do with a corpse/coffin is ‘unclean’ and mostly to be discarded.  After paying respects to a departed, we come home and have a bath.

The clothes draped on a corpse/coffin are discarded at the burial/cremation ground.  The bed, bedclothes (& many times the cot) on which the dead lay are discarded/junked.

When it is so, how come the National Flag is draped on the coffin or corpse?  Personally I find it offensive that  National Flag which I hold as dear to be as my own life & soul is draped on a *coffin* or corpse.

Do I go to court about it?  Don’t I accept it?  So when I can accept and swallow it, why can’t Arnab or any other accept the crassness of Aseem Trivedi?

Let me also point out another issue (an issue to me, only if Arnab and others stick to their current views).
The PSLV launched yesterday was painted with the National Tricolour.  The National Tricolour was on the final stage.  Now the 3rd stage gets burnt out during the satellite launch.  Isn’t that equal to a deliberate act of burning the National Flag?

If Sania Mirza or Sachin Tendulkar (or others) can be accused of denigrating or showing disrespect to National colours when they put their feet on a table, cut a tricolour cake or drape a tri-coloured clothing, what do you call this act of ISRO?

I hope people like the good intentioned Arnab Goswami or Amit Arvind Katarnavre (the accuser against Aseem Trivedi) and others who have foisted cases on others read and reflect on this.

(image courtesy ISRO website)

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