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September 2006

Don't try free-speech at home!

Via InstaPundit, Althouse: "Our avant-gardist artistic establishment... prefers to exercise its anti-bourgeois animus within the coddled purlieus of bourgeois security.".

Now that some Muslims have made it painfully obvious that religion-taunting is not an easy game anymore, abandoning it expresses fear, not respect for religion. And continuing to disrespect the religions that don't lash back only highlights that cowardice.

If Islamists can silence the art establishment, that prides itself on expressing shocking ideas and challenging powers-that-be, I can only imagine the fear that Muslims must be experiencing in countries that are controlled by Islamist dictatorial governments. If non-Muslims majorities living under the protection of powerful western law-and-order machinery cannot stand up to the Islamists, how can we expect Muslims in countries such as Iran, Pakistan, and some  Middle Eastern countries, to express their opinions freely? Every time we get cowed by the threats of Islamists violence and riots, message gets delivered to the oppressed living in those countries: don't try this at home!

Independence vs Freedom

Amit Varma's first article at TCS Daily, Transforming India's Mental Landscape, is spont on:

India recently celebrated the 59th anniversary of its independence. That a nation with so much regional, ethnic and religious diversity could hold together as a peaceful democracy would have seemed astonishing in 1947, when there was no precedent for an achievement of this nature.

This freedom was achieved partly through a consciously non-violent struggle, which became an inspiration to other freedom fighters, such as Nelson Mandela. And yet, laudable as this achievement is, it is time to question just how deep India's commitment to freedom runs

Independence Day is celebrated in India mostly for getting soverignty. All the well-known patriotic songs, such as "Vande Mataram", "Jana Gana Mana", "Sare Jaha Se Acchacha", praise the motherland. Praising one's motherland and singing patriotic songs are fine! But where is the celebration of the freedom?

We can't bring ourselves to say that freedom is an important in itself and now we can do what we feel like doing (as long as we respect the desires of others to do the same)! Independence Day has become a sacred day, an another God! To be worshipped! To be revered!

We should remember all the sacrifices that so many people did to get rest of us the freedom. But remembering the sacrifices but forgetting the reason why those sacrifices were made, kindda of negatives the whole remembrance! The reason so many people made the ultimate sacrifice is because they wanted themselves as well as others to be free! Freedom was the whole point of the exercise! And not replacing one tyrannical regime with another.

Our current democratic system might be a whole lot better than the Colonial but  I really doubt that not having the right to private property, right to bear arms in self-defence, and other individual rights will make one feel really free! Maybe that's why we don't feel like celebrating freedom.