Blog vs Bharatvarsh

Posted on August 3, 2017


sai16vicky mentioned something in the Dunkirk thread, and it spawned a few responses. Posting them here, as a new thread, in case you feel like chiming in.

  1. BR, I have always respected your views on Free Speech (though my stand is different). But with you banning Anuj, I have a question for you: Seeing his comments, I thought it would be a natural decision from your side. Why doesn’t offend you when a government does the same thing i.e. ban a film or a book? The government wants to act in the best interests of the majority of the public and its decisions are driven in that direction. So when they feel a particular work of art (say M.F. Hussain’s ‘nude’ paintings containing a majority of Hindu Gods) is indeed a attack on /mockery of a majority of its citizens, what is wrong in banning it/taking action on the artist. Seems like a natural thing to do right?

  2. sai16vicky: I agree that the broad-strokes argument is similar, but isn’t there a difference between someone who is doing is own thing and then gets banned vs someone who actively disrupts a public space?

  3. sai16vicky , There is a HUGE difference between the actions of a government and that of a blog owner like BR. I will try to find an article that engages with all the issues involved (freedom vs equality etc. ) but chew on this – Anyone banned from this blog has the option of starting a blog themselves and talk about what they want. But that option is taken away when the government comes into play.

    This is an article that explains freedom of speech in the USA.

    Notwithstanding its condescending tone, its a good article. (Though, It does not deal with the philosophical and political aspects of free speech.)

  4. Sai16vicky: even I’ve been thinking about this. But there is a difference between disagreeing and insulting. As far as I’ve seen, if BR sir has banned anyone it is because that person, inspite of repeated telling from the community itself, has not bothered to make even an iota of change in their way of writing.

  5. “Original” Venkatesh

    August 3, 2017

    @Sai16Vicky and et all : The U.S Govt. or the India Govt. for that matter is an elected body and serves at the pleasure of the people. We have a right to question it and the Govt. has a responsibility to answer the broader philosophical and moral questions.

    BR’s blog is his personal fiefdom, we are here at his pleasure. He owes us nothing.

    Its an Apples vs Oranges comparison.

  6. @BR: I find this argument of an artist ‘doing his own thing’ not very convincing. Note that a majority of them have either serious commercial interests or strong political affiliations or both. I feel these distractions make their work of art less ideal than what they are supposed to be. (Recall the anti-brahmin/atheist leanings in Kamal’s movies, a non-existent anger against the society in Ram’s movies and so on.) I think we should see artists like any other professionals since the very definition of art is sort of subjective. I mean seen one way programming is an art and viruses are nothing but malicious programs. So in a free world, a programmer can create a virus and publish it in the web (note: he is just doing his own thing here). But everyone on the web has access to it. Agreed that it is their choice to download or not but how many people are technically prepared to make that choice. The majority is not and that’s exactly why we need the government need to interfere and remove the source code of the virus from the web/take action against the programmer who published.

    @”Original” Venkatesh: I still think it is a valid comparison. BR gets appreciations for an active comment thread (remember someone’s comment about best discussions on cinema happening on this thread) and as a result, he feels (implicitly) responsible for maintaining/moderating it (Of course BR you can correct me here). For the government, this responsibility is much more since it is a majority elected body. My argument was more on the lines of: if a blog moderator takes a stern action against a commenter in his own space, what is wrong in a government taking action against such a person in its boundaries?