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India: ’Tis the Season to be Offended

Wednesday 27 April 2016, by siawi3


Posted: 04/02/2015 14:57 GMT Updated: 06/04/2015 10:59 BST

Zubin Madon

’Tis been the ’Season to be Offended’ these past few months. First, UC Berkeley students campaigned against inviting the "militantly" atheist TV star Bill Maher to their commencement ceremony because his criticism of religion offended them. Then the entire free world was offended by the grotesque ’Charlie Hebdo’ murders in Paris, while the ’old world’ was synchronously offended by their caricatures of "He Who Must not be Named" (lest I get caught off-guard by a ’Cruciatus Curse’ in a back alley once this post is published. I’m still too young to be martyred as a Theo Van Gogh for my anti-theist ideology).

We Indians don’t like being outdone by anyone. Certainly not in the "perceived insults" department. Hell no, being perpetual victims of sentimental transgressions is our favourite penchant. We even have draconian laws (IPC section 295), benevolently bequeathed to us (along with a list of other legacies) by our British Masters to prevent us from offending each other. So in order to keep up with the current Twitter Trend, the ’Powers that Be’ in the great state of Maharashtra will initiate an "Inquiry" into the offensive jokes cracked by the Who’s Who of Bollywood, on a ’Roast’ organised by AIB Knockout.

We will be forever indebted to our valiant knight Akhilesh Tiwari and the upright folks at the Cultural Affairs Ministry, for promptly stepping in to save our pristinely chaste and inherently fragile "Indian Culture" and our time-tested brand of "Indian Morality" from being soiled and sullied by these vile obnoxious, orgy-loving, coke-snorting Bollywood stars. How dare they crack obscene jokes on each other and dig out proverbial skeletons in full view of the wide-eyed Indian public!

It is the anointed duty of every Indian to protect our sacrosanct culture from such blatant transgressions!

A culture that makes us the most flagrant offenders of forced marriages and bride trafficking in the world (UNODC Report). A culture that celebrates and endorses arranged marriages, while simultaneously exposes its women to sexual violence by allowing Marital Rape (putting us in league with such stellar champions of Women’s Rights as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Ethiopia).

A culture wherein a group of women cannot visit a busy tourist site, without being sexually harassed. Heaven forbid if she is Caucasian, or even three shades lighter than the rest of the Indian population, then she is a walking, breathing billboard for a rape invite.

A culture that persecutes freethinkers like Sanal Edamaruku under vicious Blasphemy Laws, for exposing the religious scams of unctuous merchants of faith; while allowing others to systemically defile my city year after year during sacred festivals in the name of religion; or looks the other way when blusterous ear-popping calls to prayer blare 5 times a day from shrines in every corner of our "Secular Nation", all under the colourful PC umbrella of multiculturalism.

A culture that takes immense pride in its Little League Warrior Hero and builds a Rs. 400 crore statue in his honour, while ten farmers commit suicide in neighbouring Vidarbha every single day for over a decade, under financial duress.

I am offended by the hypocrisy of the morality brigade, which has reduced the term ’Indian Culture’ to a facetious oxymoron, to be shoved in our faces every time someone steps a little bit beyond their imaginary line of decency. Let’s just for once, laugh a little and inject a little bit of levity in our self-righteous lives.