I don’t think I’ll go to jail for writing this blog entry. Firstly, because legally, I should not. It’s not a crime to express in the largest democracy of the world, where freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right under the Constitution. Secondly, I am not a celebrity writer, so nobody has the time to take up an issue (where there exists none) with me, or to be selective about disturbing me. Thirdly, who reads my blog anyway? Anyway, I have a right to opine, and I am availing this opportunity to do just that. Just what on earth was the whole issue surrounding Shobhaa De’s tweets about? I read her tweets before forming an opinion based on hearsay, and I realised that they were purely in good humour. Almost funny. There was nothing even remotely offensive about them. Also, if someone actually had a prerogative to take offense, it was the Maharashtra CM. Why was the Shiv Sena then making a mountain out of a molehill? Considering that there was nothing anti-Maharashtra either, in either of the tweets.
The irony is that on one hand, about two weeks ago, the SC came out with its judgment which struck down the draconian Section 66A in favour of freedom of S & E; and on the other, our political parties have all the time in the world to corner a person who merely gives his/her opinion on a social networking website, AND to consider invoking a Breach of Privilege motion in the Legislative Assembly. Bachi Karkaria rightly said on the Newshour debate, “How ridiculous can you be?” Ridiculous is the word. Why are our politicians immune from strict actions being taken against them? Is it because they are the members of the legislative body called Parliament? The truth is, they aren’t maintaining the sanctity of the virtues that the Parliament represents. Someone comments on the “dark skin” of the nurses, and someone else says that tobacco does not cancer. To top it all, just a day before Shobhaa De’s tweet controversy happened, our Minister for Overseas Affairs, Mr. V.K. Singh, used the word “presstitutes” for the media. I think it is our politicians who are abusing their Parliamentary Privileges by behaving in an unparliamentary fashion. It’s high time they learnt lessons in values and ethics, before making laws for the whole State or country. It is important that they cultivate patience and tolerance and then fight elections, because that’s something they do best: fight. It is important that they realise what is important and what is not; what is huge and what is petty. Farmers are dying because their crops have died, and all that gets publicity is a subjective opinion on a public portal. Another publicity stunt on the part of the political party, perhaps, like Shobhaa De said.