The liberal response is that (unlike the desert-origin religions) (a) Hinduism does not have a canon (what is Hinduism?), (b) Hinduism has no concept of blasphemy. ….etc. but the fundamental point (as per the law) is the question that such an image creates ill-feelings or not. And there is no accounting for feelings, especially amongst zealots (the opportunists are another story).
Free speech is a must for a liberal society. Free speech is also meaningless unless unpopular speech is protected. The overall effect of these law-fares will be to stifle art and argument and create deserts out of green-fields.
An Indian court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Indian
cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for allegedly hurting
religious sentiments of Hindus.
Indian news media reports
stated that a local court in Andhra Pradesh issued the warrant after
Dhoni failed to appear in court despite being summoned on three
The police has been directed to present Dhoni in court on July 16.
The case relates to a picture on the cover of an Indian magazine
Business Today which carried a picture of Dhoni portrayed as Hindu god
Vishnu in its April 2013 edition. The picture bore the sub title “God of
Big Deals”, with the cricketing legend holding products of several
companies including a shoe in his hand.
A local leader of the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had filed a petition in the court in
February this year alleging that the cricketer hurt the sentiments of
Hindus by denigrating a Hindu god.
The summons issued by the court
to Dhoni on three occasions were returned. The court, which took up the
hearing on Tuesday, issued the arrest warrant.
Similar petitions against Dhoni were filed in Delhi, Pune and other cities.