Not too long ago, Tanmay Bhat created a huge ruckus with his crass video on Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar which wished death on the legendary playback singer. Amidst the chaos, some sections of the population demanded that Tanmay Bhat be arrested for his disastrous sense of humor. Liberals, of course, downplayed these demands as ridiculous and said it was taking things too far. I believe Tanmay Bhat should be arrested and must be arrested for the sake of consistency in the administration of laws if nothing else.
Remember Kamlesh Tiwari? Does the name ring any bell? Well, he is the person who was arrested for calling Prophet Muhammad homosexual in response to some people calling RSS workers gay. His words caused hundreds and thousands of people from the peaceful community to riot in the streets and destroy public property and attack our security forces. To this day, he is behind bars for his Hate Speech while most of the perpetrators of actual violence walk free.
Any debate on Freedom of Expression in India is incomplete and irrelevant without the case of Kamlesh Tiwari taken into account. But Liberals, of course, do not feel that way as Kamlesh Tiwari is a conservative and although all lives are equal, some lives are more equal than others.
Thus, the lives of Liberals are more equal than that of Conservatives. It is remarkable that the case of Kamlesh Tiwari did not cause even a minute fraction of outrage from the Liberal Freedom of Expression Brigade that Tanmay Bhat’s video caused.
It is a telling instance of the Liberal bias.
Tanmay Bhat must be arrested under Hate Speech laws. If an insult to Prophet Muhammad, a revered Historical figure, can be labelled as Hate Speech because crores of people in India respect and love him, then an insult to Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar must be regarded as Hate Speech as well since they are worshipped almost with a religious fervour by a huge section of the Indian population. Moreover, Hinduism is a polytheistic religion and Hindus can actually create their own gods and goddesses. That is why we have so many gods and goddesses in the first place. Accordingly, Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar, after their apotheosis, may be regarded as the Goddess and God of particular sects of Hindus. Thus, Tanmay Bhat’s brand of comedy hurt the religious sentiments of the worshippers of Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar. Hence, it was Hate Speech and he ought to be in Jail.
The sole reason why Kamlesh Tiwari is in jail and Tanmay Bhat is not is because of the different sections of the population the two of them have offended. The violence committed by the minority community prompted the state machinery to immediately take action against Kamlesh Tiwari and imprison him while in the case of Tanmay Bhat, everyone knows that there’s no threat of violence from any section of the population with regards to his video and hence, the state machinery was quite lenient on the matter. Such discrepancy in the dispensation of justice and administration of laws is deplorable and consistency has been merrily sacrificed. The message that the State machinery is sending out to its citizens is if you want to have your way, violence is a good option and that is very dangerous and horrifying.
The most nauseating thing about the whole affair is how the people who are hyperventilating in Tanmay Bhat’s defence were nowhere to be seen when Kamlesh Tiwari was arrested. Considering how one of them was never under any threat of imprisonment and how the other was actually arrested for exercising his right, one would have thought the latter would have garnered more support from all these self-proclaimed defenders of Freedom of Speech. But evidently and unsurprisingly, it was not the case. It must be borne in mind that when Liberals preach Freedom of Expression, they are not actually defending the said freedom at all. They are defending the Liberal version of Freedom of Expression which is considerably different from the actual thing. Under the Liberal version, people who generally do not commit acts of violence and exhibit extreme levels of tolerance, their emotions and feelings can be mercilessly violated and offended but those sections of the population who are prone to committing acts of violence, extreme care must be taken to ensure that their feelings are not hurt and that they are not offended.
In the defence of Liberals, I would add that most of them have not even heard of Kamlesh Tiwari. Probably because in the Liberal landscape, a conservative hardly finds any relevance. I am pretty certain that if even half the Liberal outrage generated over criticism of Tanmay Bhat’s video had been generated in support of Kamlesh Tiwari, the latter perhaps would have been a free man today and it would have been an actual of victory of Freedom of Expression. What is Freedom of Expression after all if it doesn’t include the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear?
I sincerely believe Tanmay Bhat must be sent to jail to maintain the consistency in the administration of laws. The only reason Tanmay Bhat walks free and Kamlesh Tiwari does not is because the establishment knows worshippers of Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar won’t commit acts of violence for the insult that has been inflicted on their idols. Either Tanmay Bhat and Kamlesh Tiwari both walk free or neither of them walk free, anything less than that is blatant miscarriage of justice. As a person who believes in absolute freedom of speech barring incitement to violence, I believe it’s high time the likes of Tanmay Bhat are dumped in jails since it’s evident that arresting nonentities like Kamlesh Tiwari won’t prompt the unethical establishment to protest for the abolition of the primitive Hate Speech laws in India. To those among the Indian Right-wing who assert that Tanmay Bhat should not be sent to jail, all I have to say is, “Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.”
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