Afraid of confronting the assassins of freedom of expression, media owners and their employee journalists are propagating the doctrine of reasonable restrictions on the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression as if those exercising this right are unaware of what it mandates. Let it be made abundantly clear that nobody under the sun has any right to kill anybody else under the pretext of hurting religious feelings of others. If anybody feels hurt, the law provides remedies for it. No individual can take the law in his own hands and execute the writer, author or speaker. Similarly, freedom of speech does not give a person an absolute right or licence to indulge in hate campaigns against followers of a particular faith or their icons in a mischievous manner only to create a law and order situation anywhere. The social, religious, economic and other powers have always tried to restrict the freedom of speech but they had to give in at the end. Galileo would have been killed for speaking something which at that point of time amounted to blasphemy, but today it is called science. Most medieval societies have their history of conflict with free expression as knowledge spread and superstition shrunk. The press, and now the electronic media, have contributed to the spread of knowledge in the modern world. Rationalists have appeared on TV shows at the most insignificant opportunity to decry anything they considered irrational- at least in India. However, they fell silent after the Paris butchering of their media brethren! They had kept a study silence ever since the ISIS executed their rule, assassinated journalists, killed Yazidi inhabitants, raped their women and girls and sold them as slaves. Ignoring such developments, they kept on mounting their attacks on only one section of the Indian society- Hindu. The dispirited articles appearing in the national newspapers were written quoting extensively from foreign journalists and editorial piece enthusiastically advocated the theory of reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech, even as they themselves kept on violating the code of such restrictions. It was only Taslima Nasreen’s article condemning the Paris killings in no uncertain terms, first published on her blog and later re-published in a national daily in Delhi, which did justice to the votaries of freedom of speech. Otherwise most journalists have displayed great sagacity in being politically correct. Does it spell the end of modernity? Is it the nemesis of freedom of speech? Is the world going to come under the Rule of the Thought Police, Idea Detective Organizations or any other kind of New Age Sultanates? There is no clear answer since even the Pope has also advised reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech!
Every freedom, why only freedom of speech, is supposed to be exercised under the dictum of reasonable restriction. However, there is every justification for challenging extant ideas in order to progress and search newer frontiers of knowledge. Can someone restrict man’s quest to search for the Creator outside or beyond the pale of every religion? Why should it be mistaken to be the final frontier for religion practiced by current heads of various religions when their flaws, fissures. crevices and weaknesses are as clear as the sunlight. The very fact that people question every tenet or commandment of religion and still live happy life should validate the opposite view . After all, athiests have lived for centuries. Agnostics live in this world. The devout have, no doubt, held sway so far but that is no guarantee that things will not change over time. Why should any religious order think that it is its right to rule the souls exclusively when the world has moved too far from the places of worship or prayer established by them and still reached closer to God. The religious establishment can’t live in a perpetual denial mode that man has succeeded in sending satellites above the Earth in the space where God has been assigned the abode by all world religions! Who is nearer to God: man or the religious preacher? Religion would have never approved of such human ventures as it is nothing short of heresy to do so without taking a ticket from the religious order on making the necessary payment under the head donation or charity, had it been the precondition to any such human effort! In fact, religion would have punished the scientists in a similar manner as adopted by the murderers of the Paris killings because they would have considered it as the insult of their God! The only drawback of these religious orders is that they live under the illusion that God is weaker than them and needs their security to ensure His safety! How silly of them? But they are no fools, as it is pure economics, commerce and authority to rule with accountability to none including God Almighty that emboldens them to do what they do and do it exactly as they do, massacres not excluded.
The media must regain its moral authority, which has been compromised by many in siding with one or the other party. This morality is different from the morality preached by religious orders in different geographies. It is humanism. It is to protect the right to life and dignity and freedom of all human beings and other species in this wonderful creation. A world which is blessed with a thousand varieties of fragrances and sweetness for free is for enjoying every moment and not destruction. Just see the sweetness of water and compare its taste with other varieties like honey, milk, pears, mango etc. and you will agree that killings of the Paris kind are the greatest sins against God and Nature. It is unlikely for a human being to survive the heat of the Sun if he were to approach it, but it does not cause any fire in the sky. Is it the power of the religious order or Nature’s Order. Man, don’t sell God in the name of religion and commit heinous crimes like mass murders the next time you mistakenly conclude, or are driven to believe, that your God or Prophet has been insulted or disrespected.
Rest assured that no man born of the womb of a mother can ever insult God !