A massive outrage over a Rohit Sardana’s simple but logical tweet has erupted across country. Muslims joined by few Christians are up in arm. They are terming the tweet as blasphemous. Meanwhile Rohit Sardana, who is a journalist with Aajtak TV, has made public extremely abusive and offensive messages he received. It is sad and disturbing that he has been also receiving death threat for merely expressinag his view.
Rohit Sardana did not insult ‘Prophet’ or ‘Jesus’. The controversy is over a movie titled ‘Sexy Durga’. Recently Kerala High Court has dismissed a petition against the film which alleges the title of the movie hurt sentiment of Hindus. After the verdict, Rohit tweeted, “Freedom of expression – why is that film names have to be Sexy Durga, Sexy Radha only? Have you ever heard film titles like Sexy Fatima, Sexy Ayesha or Sexy Mary?”
अभिव्यक्ति की आज़ादी- फ़िल्मों के नाम सेक्सी दुर्गा, सेक्सी राधा रखने में ही है क्या? क्या आपने कभी सेक्सी फ़ातिमा, सेक्सी आएशा या सेक्सी मेरी जैसे नाम सुने हैं फ़िल्मों के? https://t.co/OkMFNz0AQE
— Rohit Sardana (@sardanarohit) November 16, 2017
As a liberal I don’t necessarily agree with Rohit Sardana’s view but I believe freedom of expression is absolute unless it incites violence or illegal made by law (personal abuses, violation of privacy, threats, or defamation). He has not tweeted something that can be termed ‘inciting violence’ or ‘illegal’. On the contrary I find his tweet as logical and he has right to express his views in a civilised manner, which he did.
I find it abhorring that Indian liberals have maintained a stoic silence on the issue so far. Freedom of expression is not a one way street. If you support M.F.Hussain for his freedom of expression, you have also to support Rohit Sardana. If you defend Padmavati, you have also to defend Rohit Sardana. If you can’t defend others’ right to express their views freely, you are not a liberal. You become a pseudo-liberal. You use liberal ideals in a convenient manners.
Honestly, I don’t espouse with right wing ideology. Personally, I don’t like Sardana’s journalism and his shows feel biased to me. This does not mean that I’ve to support hate, abuses and threats hurled at him for merely expressing his views . I stand by Rohit Sardana because I’m a true liberal.
Finally, I’m a Christian. I did not like the word ‘Sexy Mary’ in his tweet, but I’m not offended. I disagree with his view but I uphold his right to free speech.