User’s guide to Indian free speech

A list of controversial subjects Indians shouldn’t write about if they want to avoid giving offence (and going to jail)

1) Dr Ambedkar, Mamata Banerjee, Bal Thackeray
2) Dead politicians
3) Living politicians
4) Mahatma Gandhi
5) And his sex life
6) Rama, Sita, Ramayanas, Ramanujan
7) Just kidding. You can write about Ramanujan.
8) Hindu gods and goddesses
9) The Prophet and Islam
10) Any other gods, goddesses, temples, mosques, gurdwaras, churches, systems of belief, places of faith past and present, religious rituals, scriptures, priests, followers etc.
11) Duh. Religion.
12) Sex is fine, especially if it involves starlets, but not if it involves 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
13) Savita Bhabhi. (All other Bhabhis are exempt.)
14) Maoists
15) Maoists masquerading as college girls
16) Anything about 1 to 15 on the Internet
17) Under the IT Rules, do not post anything on the Internet that might encourage terrorism, drugs, satire, political discussion, religious discussion, criticism of corporations, criticism of the Indian government, criticism in general. Spam and Shahrukh Khan jokes are fine.
18) If you intend to be disparaging about the IT Rules, do not write about it on the Internet, because the IT Rules make disparagement and certain kinds of criticism on the Internet illegal, even though they are legal forms of free speech. To clarify, you may disparage the IT Rules, which are about the Internet, anywhere except on the Internet. This is what literary theorists call “very meta”.
19) Since it is probably dangerous to write about sex, religion, politics, and the Internet, what can you write about? I suggest mangoes. This year’s crop is especially fine, and worthy of your attention.

16 comments

  1. In my opinion, freedom of writing, or in a more wholesome way, "creative freedom" is a blunt excuse for so called progressive writers who sell people's sentiment for their own materialistic well-being. First of all, nobody is creative. We all do copy pasting thing. We copy things from our circumstances, from nature (internal and external both) and weave it in our own way. The selection of words, sentence structure, style, pun etc. all are also thrust upon us, gradually in our up bringing. So, I personally don't like this statement creative writer. What we create? we create nothing. We only mold certain things in our own ways. Second, we can write anything we want unless we hurt other sentiments. Sentiment is not mere a word, but the greatest manifestation of our ego, and somehow we always feel happy to hurt others, so that it actually massage our own ego. The list is comprehensive but I think we can write about anything in this list albeit we minus our personal egotistical pleasure from it.

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