Hate speech laws in so-called “free-speech” countries
How free speech is contrived to allow governments
to discriminate at will in hate-speech-law countries
Two examples: Sweden and India, with discussion of recent incidents
1/ Quran burning and incitement against religion in Sweden
2/ Saffron bikini and defilement of religion in India
1/ Quran burning and incitement against religion in Sweden
“Turkish protesters have expressed outrage in Istanbul after a far-right politician burned a Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.” (Al Jazeera English, YouTube, Jan 22)
As there is no freedom of speech in Europe, the request to ban and punish this kind of act/speech, Quran burning, is a legitimate demand of nondiscrimination. Swedish law criminalizes hate speech out of consideration for communitarian feelings. Therefore, the failure of Swedish authorities to prosecute such acts is contemptuous: not attending to this particular community’s feelings while they claim to attend to communitarian feelings sends the message that this community is not worth attending to, according to Swedish authorities. They simply do not want this community to be protected by Sweden’s hate speech laws, and this is blatant discrimination.
My message to Swedish authorities: You are contemptible. What are your hate speech laws for? Stop discriminating against Muslims and prosecute Quran burning as hate speech.
Where is the Swedish law that bans freedom of speech out of consideration of a religion’s belief?
It is where everybody can find it. “Hets mot folkgrupp blev olagligt 1949. På den tiden var det enbart härstamning och trosbekännelse som var grunder för hets mot folkgrupp. Detta ändrades 1970 till ras, hudfärg, nationellt eller etniskt ursprung eller trosbekännelse. År 2002 tillkom sexuell läggning och år 2019 könsöverskridande identitet eller uttryck.” (Wikipedia: Hets mot folkgrupp) The important word for the asked question is “trosbekännelse,” which means religious belief. Translation: “Incitement against groups became illegal [in Sweden] in 1949. At that time, descent and creed [trosbekännelse = religious belief] were the only grounds for incitement against groups. This was changed in 1970 to race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, or creed [again]. In 2002 sexual orientation was added and in 2019 gender identity or expression.”
Who are you to dictate how I dispose of my property?
You’ll have to ask this question to the Swedish legislator. – The technical answer, however, is that you can’t criminally dispose of your property. If you dispose of your property by making a hate speech of it, you’ll be prosecuted for hate speech by Swedish authorities.
So what forms of disposal are not hate speech? Presumably, burning is ruled out.
All disposal is not in the form of calling people’s attention. – If you ask me how they dispose of their old Quran copies in Muslim countries, I don’t know. All I know is that, if a person disposes of a Quran copy in Sweden and one finds it in his trash can, or if he burns it in his backyard, this is not hate speech. But what happened in front of the embassy is blatant hate speech (against a group based on its members’ creed or religious belief) and the negligence of authorities to act accordingly proves they discriminate against Muslims. It’s not too late.
The answer from the Swedish authorities so far has been, to sum it up: “The act was very insensitive, but we are a free-speech country.” This is not true. Sweden is a hate-speech-law country: “Incitement against groups became illegal in 1949. At that time, descent and creed were the only grounds for incitement against groups. This was changed in 1970 to race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, or creed. In 2002 sexual orientation was added and in 2019 gender identity or expression.” The Swedish authorities are bound by their legislation to prosecute the wrongdoer; by their obdurate negligence to do it, they show that, as a principle, they refuse to comply with their hate speech legislation when the targeted group is Muslims. They thus discriminate against Muslims. On the one hand, they tell their national communities, their “groups” (folkgrupp), that Sweden protects them from hate speech by criminalizing hate speech; on the other hand, they claim they guarantee freedom of speech when one of these groups in particular is wronged by hate speech. You don’t need to be a Muslim to feel contempt for such malfeasance.
2/ Saffron bikini and defilement of religion in India
For a better understanding of the following, read “Saffron bikini v. national flag bikini” in Law 29.
Film Pathaan, with a saffron bikini dancing scene, was released this month amid protests. I support the protests. As the authorities disregard the outrage over saffron bikini, they should apologize to and compensate all people who have been convicted for tricolor (national flag) bikinis and other tricolor trappings, and I’m told they are not few. You’ll perhaps say in reply that India is a secular country and authorities have a mandate to ensure respect for the tricolor symbol, not for the saffron symbol, which is religious. There exist stringent laws about incitement and respect for community feelings in India: Why the negligence? Does secularism mean that a secular, atheistic elite will be granted the privilege to offend religious feelings, while the people is gagged?
No matter how Hindutva the government is, outrage over saffron bikinis is disregarded, the problem does not exist for them. They will keep focusing on hunting tricolor bikinis and other tricolor trappings. The numerous tricolor precedents, the stringent provisions of incitement laws, constitutional protection of communities’ feelings, are of no avail to a Hindutva government against the privileged few who bought a never-ending license to outrage religious feelings.
What about sadhus who wear a single saffron loincloth?
The comparison is misguided. Although there exist laws against nudity in India, they do not apply to sadhus, because a sadhu’s nudity is not the same as a paid actress’s nudity, the aim of which is to attract or arouse prurient interest. By the same token, a sadhu wearing saffron is not the same as an actress whose body is used as an object for making money through prurient interest, adding an insult to religion through saffron symbolism.
The good news is that Bollywood needs to be saved, that is, it is heading toward irreversible collapse. “Can Pathaan save the Bollywood?” (Mirror Now) You’re asking too much of a saffron bikini.
“Pathaan 1 – Saffron Brigade 0.” Why the sarcasm? Is it proper of a news media? In a country where tricolor brigades are terrorizing tricolor bikinis and other tricolor trappings, such disregard for religious feelings by the authorities is as offensive as the offense itself. And don’t tell me this is a victory for free speech: the tricolor brigade is watching you.
Their apathy will remain a stain on Indian authorities. If you think a tricolor bikini is an insult, and Indian law seems to think it is (see Gehna Vashisht and other cases), then a saffron bikini is blatant hate speech (Sections 153 and 295 of the Indian penal code). Negligence to act accordingly on the part of authorities is discriminatory remiss.
Section 295: “Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.” (Emphases ours.)
Let us examine what a saffron bikini is, according to the wording of the law. We are talking about defilement, as sacredness is purposefully associated with pruriency in the form of scant clothing and lascivious dancing. The object is not a bikini in itself but a bikini purposefully made saffron. We do not have to prove that the wrongdoing is purposeful, as Hindus’ reverential feelings for saffron are well-known. Rather it is the accused who must prove they did not do the wrongdoing on purpose; they must provide convincing evidence that none of them had realized that the saffron bikini could upset Hindus’ feelings. In the words of the law, they must prove that they had no “knowledge that any class of persons [was] likely to consider such defilement as an insult to their religion,” and good luck with that: were these people brought before a court, I don’t think they could provide the least convincing evidence of ingenuity, unless, perhaps, they wriggled on the ground like worms and cried, because where in the world is saffron known for its religious symbolism if not in India? Think about it: these people, instead of being removed behind bars for two years, are going scot free, protected by a Hindutva BJP-led coalition government.
“A battle for freedom of speech”? I didn’t see journalists battle for free speech when a FIR (first information report by police) was filed against half a dozen people dancing with Aurangzeb’s poster in Maharashtra, a few days ago (see Law 31: Aurangzeb’s Ghost). Sections 95, 153, 295 etc. of the ICP are the law. Journalists do not oppose it, they only oppose its application to defilements of religion by Bollywood.
At the same time that the Indian union government refuses to listen to its grassroots militants on Pathaan, and asks them to stop the stir, it bans a BBC documentary about the 2002 Gujarat riots in which hundreds of Muslims were murdered by mobs.
The ban is either legal or illegal. If it is illegal, there is no question of opportunity. If it is legal, there is no question of opportunity either, because the executive power is not allowed to pick up laws it will carry out from laws it will not carry out. The government must execute the whole legislation (hence its name: executive). Those who discuss the ban from the opportunity angle are wrong. If they disagree with the ban, they should, assuming the ban is lawful or constitutional, voice criticism against the law that allows such a ban, that is, they should ask to remove legislation that allows the authorities to ban this kind of speech. Let me know if they do. I assume they all discuss the opportunity and not the legality issue, because they are the opposition that wants to be the majority, and as the new majority they will want: 1) discretionary, not just executive power, 2) to ban criticism. They are all of a kind and form the political cartel.
I disagree with the idea that the executive should be granted even a minimal discretionary power: all decisions based on opportunity are discriminatory, by preventing expected benefits or sanctions of the law. Even though the idea is as commonplace as the practice, neither the idea nor the practice are constitutional, and they cannot be, as this would mean actual suspension of the separation of powers, and of checks and balances.
Despite their commonalities, both cases illustrate two different situations. In the Swedish case, one religious minority is discriminated against by the authorities. In the Indian case, the Hindu majority’s right to be protected by the law is disregarded by the authorities, which shield one sector of the society, namely Bollywood, from the legislation; in other words, against the religious majority, the Indian authorities discriminate in favor of this sector by elevating it above hate speech laws. Both actions are extralegal, namely, given the constitutional characterization of the executive power, illegal and unconstitutional. Through the practice, the will of the legislator is overlooked and the role of the judiciary undermined. The practice is defended on the ground that this overlook is needed and will occur only in situations where the generality of the law presents flaws that put the state at risk. The only possible arbitrator for this is the people and that supposes, therefore, that the people has an effective right to insurrection, which, absent a constitutional right to bear arms, is nonexistent. Otherwise, the practice should be set guidelines in the form of constitutional measures about the state of emergency. In the two cases we have discussed, the authorities are abusing their discretionary power without redeeming circumstances.
“[Female ex-BJP leader] Gets Gun License Citing ‘Life Threats’ Over Prophet Remarks.” (India Today, YouTube)
How long does it take to get a license? The authorities must verify the claim and that surely takes time. She seems to have had her license in no time, but is it the case for all Indian citizens? One day, you’ll hear that a man applied for a license because he was threatened, the claim was investigated by authorities, with a lot of red tape, and meantime the man was killed. Mark my words, you’ll hear about something like that, or I don’t know bureaucracy. An unconditional right to carry guns is the only correct alternative to a ban.
About current massive layoffs in big tech companies (Google, Meta, Twitter…). The revenue of a good deal of these so-called big tech companies is from advertising. Massive layoffs in big tech tell you manufacturing companies cut down their advertising spending because they are in poor condition. Badly impacted manufacturing and other companies first respond by cutting down on advertising. Big tech companies then have no other choice than cutting down on their workforce, because advertising is their main revenue. What massive layoffs in big tech tell you is the incoming massive layoffs in all other sectors, as advertising revenue dependent big tech companies are the first to cut down on the workforce.
“10 Palestinians Killed In ‘Deadliest’ Israel Raids in Years.” (NDTV, YouTube, Jan 27)
This headline is foolish. The raid is “deadliest in years” because of 10 casualties and one month ago 8, two months ago 9, three months ago 9 again, four months ago 6, and so on; something like that. About 200 Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids in 2022 alone. (212 according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.)
“Iranian drones program’s success and what are the lessons for India.” (The Print, YouTube, Jan 27)
Given the scathing indictment regarding Indian national production (“promising the moon and failing to deliver,” etc.), one should not disregard the possibility of corruption of national authorities by foreign suppliers. If decision-makers are biased toward foreign supply through corruption money, India will never develop serious programs of her own. At this stage, you may well ask the question.
Ironically, an excuse from the Indian side is that, in Iran, things are under control of the Guardians of the Revolution: “It is easier there because everything comes under the control of the Islamic revolutionary guard corps,” says a “source in Indian defense establishment.” Well, yes, the Guardians probably better enforce the country’s own anti-corruption laws, so the excuse almost sounds like an admission, or veiled whistleblowing.
La guerre par procuration expliquée par la France
Le texte suivant complète notre essai « Casus belli : Réflexions sur la guerre en Ukraine » de mai 2022 (ici).
Un article en ligne du 5 mars 2022 du Club des juristes, « La fourniture d’armes à l’Ukraine : quel cadre en droit international ? » (ici, auteur : E. Castellarin), présente le dispositif juridique utilisé par les nations de l’OTAN pour légitimer leur action de fourniture d’armes à l’Ukraine contre la Russie. Cet article appelle plusieurs remarques.
La première est que ce cadre est purement multilatéral et que le raisonnement bilatéral que j’emploie dans mon essai semble désormais exclu du champ de la pensée ; à savoir, les accords préventifs bilatéraux de défense, dont l’idée brille par son absence dans cet article, n’entrent apparemment plus dans le raisonnement des États européens, de sorte que mon argument selon lequel les États d’Europe de l’Ouest auraient pu offrir à l’Ukraine la garantie d’une intervention armée en cas d’agression russe, doit passer pour une bizarrerie désuète aux yeux des juristes avertis. Cela les regarde. Mais quid des États-Unis ? Ces derniers n’offrent-ils pas leur bouclier militaire à plusieurs pays, dont l’Arabie Saoudite ? Qu’est-ce qui les empêchait alors d’offrir le même bouclier à l’Ukraine, par exemple après l’annexion de la Crimée par la Russie ? Il semblerait que ce puisse être en partie les dispositions du droit international elles-mêmes, dans la mesure où celles-ci peuvent désormais permettre à des États de conduire une « guerre par procuration » (proxy war) sans se voir pour autant qualifiés ipso facto de parties au conflit. Examinons les différents dispositifs juridiques présentés par l’article.
« Dans l’affaire relative aux activités militaires et paramilitaires au Nicaragua, la Cour internationale de justice a été confrontée à la fourniture d’armes par les États-Unis aux contras, un groupe rebelle actif au Nicaragua. Elle a exclu que la fourniture d’armes puisse être qualifiée d’agression armée, mais elle a affirmé qu’on peut y voir une menace ou un emploi de la force (§ 195). » Ça ne commence pas très bien pour l’OTAN, du côté de la CIJ. Le § 195 de la décision de la Cour, de 1986, pourrait en effet servir à la Russie de fondement juridique à l’invocation d’un casus belli : « menace ou emploi de la force ». (Le terme même de casus belli est sans doute devenu tout aussi désuet que les contrats bilatéraux de défense territoriale évoqués dans notre précédent paragraphe, vu que cette notion simple est à présent décomposée en agression armée, d’une part, et menace ou emploi de la force, d’autre part.)
Notre juriste considère cependant que la décision de la CIJ est inapplicable au cas de l’Ukraine : « En réalité, l’analyse de la CIJ n’est pas applicable au conflit armé international en cours en Ukraine. L’armée ukrainienne a le plein contrôle, ponctuel et global, de ses actions, si bien qu’on ne peut pas analyser la fourniture d’armes un emploi indirect de la force par les États occidentaux contre la Russie. » Voire ! Il faudrait tout d’abord s’assurer que la CIJ a bel et bien prétendu que « le plein contrôle, ponctuel et global, de ses actions » par une armée excluait a priori un emploi indirect de la force par ceux qui lui fournissent des armes. Certes, l’armée ukrainienne est différente d’une organisation comme celle des contras au Nicaragua, et le conflit lui-même est différent. Mais nous ne voyons pas ce que veut dire cette réserve émise par l’auteur : en quoi les contras n’avaient-ils pas eux aussi « le plein contrôle, ponctuel et global, de [leurs] actions » ? Que signifie cette formule alambiquée ? Un tel embrouillamini peut-il se trouver dans une décision de justice internationale ? Nous en doutons. Nous mènerons cette recherche et y reviendrons. Pour le moment, nous considérons que c’est là une simple pirouette, une argutie sans queue ni tête. L’armée ukrainienne ne se distingue pas des contras sous l’angle obscur ici présenté, et, à défaut de plus ample explication, nous considérons donc que la décision de la CIJ s’applique au présent conflit. Poursuivons.
« Du point de vue du droit coutumier des conflits armés, la fourniture d’armes est incompatible avec le statut de neutralité » Cela ne continue guère mieux pour l’OTAN, du point de vue du droit international coutumier. Les États fournissant des armes à l’Ukraine ne sont pas neutres. Mais sont-ils pour autant, comme un raisonnement fondé sur le principe logique du tiers exclu pourrait le laisser penser, des parties au conflit ? La réponse du droit international est, selon notre juriste, négative : « Cependant, cela signifie simplement que les États qui fournissent des armes ne peuvent pas se prévaloir des droits des États neutres, par exemple celui d’obtenir la réparation d’éventuels dommages collatéraux subis en raison d’un bombardement sur le territoire d’un État partie au conflit. En revanche, la perte du statut d’États neutres au conflit en Ukraine ne signifie pas que ces États sont devenus parties au conflit. »
Notre juriste croit donc qu’il existe, relativement « au conflit en Ukraine », des États ni neutres ni parties au conflit. « Cette situation, » de partie au conflit, « qui impliquerait notamment le droit de la Russie de cibler les forces armées de ces États, ne se produirait que si celles-ci prenaient directement part aux hostilités ». Les États de l’OTAN sont donc sortis de leur neutralité mais, comme ils ne prennent pas directement part aux hostilités, ils ne sont pas non plus des parties au conflit. Cela confirme l’analyse russe de la « guerre par procuration » menée par ces États. En effet, si ces États ne faisaient pas la guerre, ils seraient neutres, or ils ne sont pas neutres, et s’ils prenaient directement part aux opérations, ils seraient parties au conflit, or ils ne le sont pas non plus : ils font donc la guerre par procuration (proxy war). L’analyse russe est entièrement conforme à ces éléments juridiques.
La suite de l’article tend à montrer que ce comportement est « internationalement licite ». Tout d’abord, le Traité sur le commerce des armes n’est prétendument pas violé, car les États n’ont pas connaissance, au moment de fournir ses armes, qu’elles « pourraient servir à commettre » un génocide, des crimes contre l’humanité ou des crimes de guerre. Cette clause du traité est cependant suffisamment générale pour que des livraisons d’armes lors d’un conflit en cours soient susceptibles de servir à commettre de tels actes. L’article ne dit pas en effet que les fournisseurs n’ont pas connaissance que leurs armes « serviront à commettre » des crimes, une formule qui serait moins contraignante pour les fournitures d’armes. On rétorquera peut-être que, de la façon dont je l’entends, peu de fournitures d’armes resteraient licites, mais n’est-ce pas précisément l’intention des concepteurs et signataires du traité que de lutter contre la prolifération ? En l’occurrence, exclure que des crimes de guerre puissent être commis par l’une des parties lors d’un conflit en cours est ou bien de l’angélisme ou bien un parti pris belliqueux qui ne peut être conforme à l’esprit du traité.
Cependant, l’UE a souhaité se garantir à ce sujet, en introduisant une clause suspensive en cas de violation du droit international par l’Ukraine, ce qui est interprété par notre juriste comme une preuve de respect formel du traité par l’UE. Voire ! Cette clause montre au contraire, selon nous, que l’UE se doute que ces armes « pourraient » servir à commettre des crimes de guerre etc., et qu’elle n’a donc formellement pas le droit de fournir ces armes. En prétendant prévenir les crimes de guerre etc., elle avoue être consciente que de tels crimes pourraient être commis, et c’est précisément cette prise de conscience qui devrait l’empêcher de livrer des armes.
Enfin, la résolution ES-11/1 de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies ayant qualifié l’opération russe d’agression, l’Ukraine est « indéniablement » en légitime défense. L’auteur précise certes que la résolution onusienne est « dépourvue d’effet obligatoire et silencieuse sur la fourniture d’armes » (ce qui est un peu regrettable en termes de droit positif) mais affirme que c’est une « interprétation authentique de la Charte, objectivement valable pour tous les membres ». Ce qui est objectivement valable et en même temps dépourvu d’effet obligatoire, est surtout dépourvu d’effet obligatoire, en droit. Autrement dit, la question de l’agression et de la légitime défense reste ouverte. Le traitement des minorités nationales en Ukraine invoqué par la Russie est en débat. Or c’est la légitime défense qui est le principal élément de justification des nations de l’OTAN. En légitime défense, « [l]’emploi de la force de sa part [l’Ukraine] est licite (art. 51 de la Charte des Nations Unies) et ne peut pas engager sa responsabilité (art. 21 des articles de la Commission du droit international sur la responsabilité de l’État pour fait internationalement illicite), ni celle des États qui l’aident et l’assistent. » La légitime défense est plus qu’une légitimation, selon cette présentation, c’est un véritable blanc-seing (et la présentation est donc douteuse : certaines violations du droit naturel ne peuvent recevoir aucune justification et engagent toujours la responsabilité). Mais c’est aussi un point contestable, l’Ukraine ayant peut-être conduit sur son territoire une politique contraire au droit humanitaire envers la minorité russophone, et contraire également aux intérêts fondamentaux de son voisin, comme le prétend la Russie s’agissant des régions frontalières du Donbass et autre, dont la situation extrêmement troublée avant l’intervention russe n’a échappé à personne.
“UP [Uttar Pradesh] Boy Kills Self Over Study Pressure | Another Life Lost In Kota.” (Mirror Now, YouTube) [Kota is known as India’s “cram city,” where “students from across the country pay steep fees to be tutored for elite-college admissions exams.”]
Given the Tunisha Sharma precedent (see “Breakup as abetment to suicide” in Law 28), I assume someone’s got to be arrested. As breaking up with one’s girlfriend can be construed as abetment to suicide absent any clue of mens rea, most certainly academic pressure is “cram jihad.” Find the culprits and act; do not wait for your BJP MLA to scold you.
BJP MLA: “If this is cram jihad, justice shall be done!”
Marital Rape or the Offense of Sex Denial?
The notion of marital rape is a scam designed to destroy the institution of marriage. Marriage duty is a thing, and these duties include sex. A woman who does not want sex with her husband should file for divorce. If something must be criminalized at all, it should be denial of sex to one’s legitimate spouse, because it is fairer overall to criminalize a denial of rights than one’s getting their due.
In case so-called “rape” applies to acts of torture on occasion of sex, then said crime is torture, battery; a new crime of marital rape is not needed at all. And if the wife does not accept acts that a court would perhaps be reluctant to characterize as torture, she should file for divorce. As soon as she makes her wish to divorce known, sex without her consent could be deemed a crime. This is no “marital” rape yet because the marital duty would be suspended during the divorce procedure.
The Indian Supreme Court is set on canceling the so-called “Exception 2 of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)” about rape, which decriminalizes marital rape: “Sexual intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, the wife not being under 15 year of age is not rape.”
The first part of this short essay (paragraphs 1 & 2) tells you about my position on the Supreme Court’s intentions. I now would like to comment on this “Exception 2.” The mention of the wife’s age is strange because: “Marriage for men below the age of 21 years and women below 18 years is a punishable offence under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.” Even if Exception 2 mentioned the wife’s age as “being under 18,” rather than 15, that still would be strange, as it makes no sense to hypothesize a situation where the wife is under 18 because if the wife is under 18, then, given the 2006 Act, marriage is void; it is no marriage at all but rather a criminal offense, and there cannot be a “marital” rape where there is no marriage in the first place.
“Police Files Case Against 8 People for Dancing with [17th-century Mughal King] Aurangzeb’s Photo in Maharashtra.” (Times Now, YouTube)
What is their crime? I mean “dancing with Aurangzeb’s photo” may be an obvious crime but what is it? I’m a foreigner.
Answer from a YouTube user: “Aurangzeb killed and forcefully converted many Hindus and demolished thousands of temples. This was done by all kinds of Muslim rulers actually, but celebrating and chanting slogans [praises of a man] who destroyed India, it is obvious good people with sentiments and non-Muslims will get hurt. This is the same as if one were celebrating and dancing with the picture of Osama Bin Laden, who killed thousands of Americans and destroyed the Twin Towers, and expecting Americans not to feel bad about this.”
So, the crime of dancing with Aurangzeb’s photo is incitement to terrorism (even though Aurangzeb lived more than three hundred years ago)? American law does not care about people’s feelings being hurt by this kind of political speech, because the law promotes free speech and the free flow of ideas. “Because of the First Amendment, incitement to terrorism or other forms of crime and unlawful violence is constitutionally protected free speech, unless it can be proven that the speech is ‘directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action’ and ‘is likely to incite or produce such action’.” (Wikipedia: Incitement to Terrorism) People dancing with Bin Laden’s photo in the U.S. would not be arrested or summoned, and tried, even if angry mobs wanted to lynch these people, in which case they would get police protection.
Media: There is no offence in a saffron bikini, India guarantees freedom of speech. Media: FIR [“first information report” by police] against 8 for dancing with Aurangzeb’s photo. [For an explanation of saffron bikini, see Law 29: “Saffron Bikini.”]
Year in, year out, in all museums and galleries of world capitals, there are permanent and temporary exhibits on Mughal art, Mughal miniatures, Mughal civilization, Mughal history…, but here “FIR against 8 for dancing with Aurangzeb’s photo.”
“Ahead of the 2024 General Election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the BJP workers against making irrelevant remarks against movies as it hampers the development agenda of the party.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Jan 18)
Avoid remarks on Raj Kundra porn case and Bollywood filth as if the party’s finances depended on it!
Remarks on lowbrow movies are necessary.
Pioneering Menstrual Leave in Communist Kerala
“Pioneering Move by the Kerala Government | Menstrual Leave for College Students Announced.” (Mirror Now, YouTube)
One fails to see the point of a leave for students unless there are the same kind of truancy rules for students as for school children. In Europe, university students are free to attend the lessons or not; their presence is expected only in case of assignments. If students think they can pass exams without attending lessons, the choice is left to their own appreciation. Therefore, a leave would not make any sense there. This is not the workplace. But a menstrual leave at the workplace, which would allow women to be on paid leave about one day per month (one day out of twenty days), while their male colleagues must keep working, would have, in reaction, consequences you do not want to imagine.
Menstrual leave for university students means there are truancy rules at Kerala universities same as for school children. Where students are free to attend lessons or not (absent individual assignments), a leave is meaningless, for you don’t need a leave where to show up is up to you. This tells you all you need to know about Communism in Kerala and its “pioneering” measures. Either they’re all children or their measures are window-dressing. Try the same at the workplace and we’ll see how frivolously shifting greater workload on men’s shoulders will be welcome.
“Harmeet Dhillon, a prominent Indian-American attorney, has claimed attacks by her fellow Republican party leaders over her religion. Dhillon, who is running for Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman, has alleged that she is facing bigoted attacks because of her Sikh faith.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube)
As she says in the tweets presented in the video, she received “threats” by donors that they would stop donating if she adopted this or that line of conduct. Strange as it may seem, such kinds of threats by donors are supposedly illegal in the U.S., so a donor is supposed to give money to a candidate without knowing what the candidate’s choices will be once elected. The law was designed to prevent corruption, but what sense does it make? It’s as if a donor were blindfolded and threw a cheque in the air and the candidate on which the cheque falls could pocket it. No, people donate because they wish this or that policy, and the American anticorruption law is absurd.
As to Dhillon’s religion, as more and more GOP candidates define themselves as upholders of Christian values, you bet they find the idea of a Sikh chairperson a little odd. She can cry about discrimination but party members chose who they want as chair, and if they don’t want a Sikh woman, and even don’t conceal they don’t want her because she is a Sikh (or a woman or both), to the best of my knowledge there is no civil rights recourse open to her because the GOP is a private organization, like a club, and same as the law does not compel you to invite Sikhs at your wedding party, which is private, it does not compel you to have a Sikh chair if you don’t want a person as chair because she is a Sikh. She nonetheless has the right to complain about discrimination before the public opinion.
According to the film The Gandhi Murder, 2019, by Karim Traïdia and Pankaj Sehgal, British and Indian police knew there was a plan to assassinate Gandhi but decided not to prevent it, that is, they are complicit in the assassination.
Entrapped by the Commission for Women
“A day after S. M., the chief of the Delhi Commission for Women, alleged that she was harassed and dragged by a drunk driver, a video of the incident shows her confronting the man, who has been arrested. S. M. has alleged that when she tried to stop the driver, her arm was trapped in the car window [she apparently tried to grab the keys in the car] and she was dragged 15 metres.” (NDTV, YouTube, Jan 20)
This “inspection,” as the DCM chief calls it (“We keep doing inspections but this one was different, I decided to stand alone on Delhi streets. I wanted to understand what a woman goes through.”), looks like entrapment to me. This is a police job, as kerb-crawling is illegal: Is she a police officer? Even if she were, I disapprove of entrapment and many judges disapprove of it too. With these kinds of “inspections,” you prepare the police state where police entrap poor men from the lower class by promising them crores of rupees and providing them with guns and bombs, and then arrest them for terrorism for saying “yes” (when, in fact, the man only wanted to swindle them and go away with the money 🤑). I disapprove of the Commission for Women’s methods. And of S. M.’s trying to grab the driver’s keys.
Sorry but if this man is condemned there is something wrong with India. He is an altruist. Imagine you contrive a completely unnatural situation, a lone woman on the roadside in the dead of night pretending she’s waiting for her relatives to pick her up but they are not coming. The man stops his car, asking, out of human benevolence, if she needs a lift. She says she is waiting for her relatives to pick her up, so he leaves. Then, he drives by again, say fifteen minutes later. The woman is still there. Shame on her relatives to let her wait alone in the dead of night! He offers to give her a lift again because he sees that her relatives are not responding, are not reliable on this occasion (he doesn’t know it is a made-up story). She then starts to scold him and tries to grab his keys. Who in the world would not think she is a psycho and he must flee? Normally, when police start to act rough, they must shout “You’re under arrest!”, so that people realize what is happening; here I think she started acting rough without disclosing her identity and the driver thought he was assaulted.
Sorry but when you see helpless people, it is human instinct to try to help if one can, and we all know it is not safe for a woman to stand alone in the dead of night.
Entrapment is morally wrong
Entrapment contrives unreal situations where lawful citizens are pushed by police toward acceptance of crime. The official swindlers can easily persuade you to commit a crime because they are not afraid of consequences, as they are the ones whom criminals are supposed to fear in real situations. If we were criminals designing a crime, all of us would have doubts about outcome, risks, consequences, the worth of it, even moral pangs, and at any time one or several of us may desist. When police officers entrap a man, however, they have none of these doubts: therefore, they can be persuasive as no criminal can.
The entrapped man is persuaded that crime is riskless and the reward assured, his moral balance is impaired. Police are making him willing to act, sweep all his scruples away, on the notion that the deterrent effect of the law is nonexistent. Whereas we all agree that legal deterrence plays a major role in public order, police arrest a man whom they made believe in his invulnerability. This is the old tale of Gyges’s ring in Plato: Would you act the same if you possessed a ring granting you the power of invisibility? Turns out the ring does not exist, and police were spinning a tale; the only guilt of the man they arrest is his gullibility.
The salient point about entrapment is the superpower of persuasion held by law enforcement officers as comedians, actors, a power which no criminal can have because they all stake their own lives. I am not talking about covert agents in criminal organizations, who risk their lives if uncovered; entrapment is something different. With entrapment, agents have no greater stake than the success or failure of the operation, while the “victim” of their theatrical acting wants to think in real-life terms but is presented with a picture of reality that he would never accept had a police department not intended to alter his perception, and the more incredible the lies (they can give the illusion of invulnerability because they have the state behind them, with bottomless sources of cash and arms) the more impressive they must be.
The next day, Jan 21, the story took a new spin as some BJP members, finding that the driver was an AAP member, perhaps even AAP worker, claimed the incident was staged. (The two main political forces in Delhi currently are Hindutva BJP and Woke AAP.)
“Just a week after China and Bhutan held a meeting and decided to push forward boundary negotiations, India’s Foreign Secretary V. M. Kwatra made a two-day visit to the Buddhist kingdom.” (NDTV, YouTube, Jan 20)
The King of Bhutan is ready to be Dictator of India at the invitation of RSS-BJP, a Buddhist party that renounced the caste system following the teachings of Gautama Buddha.
Criminal v. Enemy
“US designates Russian Wagner mercenary force a crime organization.” (Al Jazeera English, YouTube, Jan 21)
They are defiling the language of justice by applying it to their discriminatory politics. If Wagner is a criminal organization, by the same token Blackwater (now Constellis) is a criminal organization, but as their politics is against Wagner and not against the underpinnings of the organization, which would allow a regime to criminalize Wagner and other such organizations, they are not telling the law but defiling it.
Someone, willing to establish distinctions, calls my attention on the fact that the Wagner group recruits members among prison inmates, contrary to Blackwater. This person thus believes the Wagner Group can be called a criminal organization and Blackwater otherwise. To be quite frank, he or she seems to have recanted this point of view, as the message only appears in my notifications, not on the public thread. Of course, the recruitment is completely immaterial, and the remark amusing at best, by showing how hasty reasoning (convicted recruits = criminal organization) can lead one astray. As the army itself is not infrequently a possible form of alternative punishment for convicted criminals (boot camps), the remark is even more futile. And if using the workforce of convicted criminals were itself criminal, the whole penitentiary system of the U.S. would be.
Absent a serious ground distinguishing the Wagner Group from other mercenary organizations, to label it a “criminal organization” is a misuse of law. The move shows the limits of proxy war. If America wants to act against the Wagner Group, it should declare it an enemy organization. An enemy is someone who, although they use the same means as us, acts contrary to our interests. Declaring Wagner a criminal rather than an enemy organization is contemptible on two grounds: 1) it allows U.S. to pretend staying out of the war; 2) it calls criminal an enemy, that is, someone using the same means as America (Blackwater). Again, if Wagner is criminal, Blackwater is criminal, and law enforcement that goes against one criminal and not against the other although both commit the same crime, is discriminatory.
“US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised alarm over Beijing’s intentions over Taipei and said China is ‘no longer comfortable’ with status quo on Taiwan.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Jan 22)
The U.S. is not comfortable with the status quo, as they went from “U.S. pledges support for one-China principle” to “Taiwan is a sovereign state” in November 2020. The one-China principle was the status quo, but the U.S. denounced it. This 2020 shift was an incredibly hostile move toward China. – America is the status quo breaker, but they are spinning a yarn where China is the status quo breaker. This is undignified.