India Uncut

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rashmi Bansal and two stupid laws

I got to know a short while ago (via email from Gaurav) that Rashmi Bansal, the Publisher of JAM, is in trouble. It seems that her magazine carried an advertisement which apparently had image captions that made fun of a shivling and BR Ambedkar. Some chappie filed a complaint under Sections 292 and 295(a) of the Indian Penal Code. The latter happens to be non-bailable, and the cops went to arrest her. Rashmi is 'underground' at the moment.

Jam has withdrawn all issues of the magazine and apologised for the offence caused, which is completely understandable. It ain't easy to fight the Indian Penal Code, especially when it involves going to jail. Rashmi's a friend of mine, and I chatted with her a lot at the time of the IIPM controversy, when she did not back down. She's got courage, and she's also got good sense: if JAM did not mean any offence, there's hardly any point in taking on the law.

That said, these are stupid laws. Looks at them: here's Section 292, and here's Section 295(a). Should these laws exist? I think not.

(On the subject of giving offence, here's an earlier post of mine on the Danish cartoons controversy: "Do not draw my unicorn.")
amit varma, 12:31 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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