Monday, March 3, 2008

IE, Shekhar Gupta wants freedom of expression

Indian Express(IE) editorial of today/yesterday laments that freedom of expression is increasingly becoming "mere fiction" in our country. After taking the obligatory potshots at Sambhaji brigade(with the appearance of right wing group but a casteist faction really) on the James Laine controversy, the editorial bemoans that "one by one every institution has flopped down without a fight."

Now, that last bit of righteous breast-beating is quite comical. IE itself is one such institution and if it feels so deeply about freedom of expression it could choose to be the exception to what it mourns to have become a norm.

IE can still publish Danish cartoons of Islam's prophet Mohammed, readily available on the web--or, they can choose to publish excerpts from Taslima Nasrin's book that she "voluntarily withdrew" after threats to her life. But IE does none of that, and simply chooses to badger Sambhaji brigade, it being a safe bet without inviting repercussions.

Walk-the-Talk Gupta, this is your chance to walk the talk, to put your money where your mouth is. Are you up for the challenge?

If not, please don't lecture others.

PS- Is anyone aware if the "journalism of courage" Tehelka published those cartoons? It is my guess that they chickened out as usual. Tehelka is good for selective courage and a good bit of plagiarism.

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