A defence of and against offence5 min read 10 Jul 2009, 09:40 PM IST
A defence of and against offence
I was 15 when Bajrang Dal goons tried to smear saffron paint over M.F. Husain’s art. Free speech, censorship, tolerance and secularism were big words I didn’t fully understand then, but even I knew the Bajrang Dal was wrong and Husain had rights. By the time the Danish cartoons were banned, I was a vocal defender of free speech, but I found myself walking on eggshells in an attempt to be culturally sensitive. My reactions to the two are not separated only by age: I could openly support Husain against the Bajrang Dal, but when it came to the Danish cartoons, my reaction was muted by my own cultural identity and the need to tolerate; after all, I was Hindu.