Is anyone pained by the recent zealotry in India? It seems like mobs of people want to wave placards and burn effigies for the smallest of provocations: the defacing of a statue, televised inter-religious marriage, Salman Rushdie being knighted, Shilpa Shetty being slagged in Big Brother, Shilpa Shetty being kissed by Richard Gere, and so on.
But it’s not just the people who are acting like total cocks, and I’m not gonna bitch about a failing government that hasn’t the balls or the brains to get a fair nuclear deal, but Google goddammit.
Lakshmana was charged under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code for a deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings, and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act for publishing ‘lascivious’ material or material that ‘appeals to the prurient interest’.
Why aren’t we taking offense to the fact that these laws are irrational and stupid?
Publishing of information which is obscene in electronic form
Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstance, to read see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and also with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees.
And what can we as citizens of the “largest democracy“ do to change this?