Thursday, February 12, 2009

The right to criticise religion

Does section 295A of the Indian Penal Code prohibit us from criticising religion? In an outrageous act, police arrested the editor and publisher of The Statesman for re-publishing an article by Johann Hari entitled 'Why should I respect these oppressive religions?' The article ostensibly hurt the sentiments of Muslims. The arrests only prove Hari's point that 'whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say they're victims of prejudice.'

Section 295A requires 'deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings'. How can we claim to adhere to a secular ethic without permitting genuine criticism of religion?
Post a Comment