Who decides the fine line between absolute and relative freedom of expression?

Moving the discussion further on Pragmatics between moral police and one’s freedom of expression ,my friend Indyeah has a great post,a well thought and well put post on Freedom.. She makes her point clear- in the case of MF Hussain paintings and Rushdie’s Book

Reasonable restrictions can be imposed in the interest of public order, security of State, decency or morality.The government restricts these freedoms in the interest of the independence, sovereignty and integrity of India. In the interest of morality and public order, the government can also impose restrictions.

Agreed.I agree completely.. Then she refers to the case of pub attack ..

It is the equivalent of barging into an artist’s house ,his/her personal space ,tear a painting off the wall of his home ,claim that it offends and then proceed to beat up the artist. Now these men could have registered their protest by filing an FIR ,perhaps citing obscenity and god knows what else,(as others like them hounded Khushboo)but they infringed upon the personal freedom of these girls ,the moment they laid a hand on these girls.

WHEN I SAY FREEDOM SHOULD HAVE BOUNDARIES I AM TALKING OF SELF IMPOSED BOUNDARIES AND CULTIVATION OF A SENSITIVITY.

I have no second opinion in all she said..But I have some doubts on how and who will define the boundaries..Afterall,we don’t live in an ideal utopian society where people behave well.. Sharing my comments on her space.

I agree with all  thoughts on putting restristion so that society moves forward in a good way.But what about work of Taslim,Lajja,and a book(forgot its name) based on inside stories of women abuse in Saudi kingdom .Both of these were banned,in the name of hurting sentiments of both nationalists and religious people.Now that both these books have lot of truth inside them,should they be banned,simply for the sake of satisfying my ego?? Now,who sets limits here? Secondly,when you talk about Sri RS,you said that it is fight against human rights,one’s persoanl space.

This is crazy discussion,but there is no such thing as absolute personal space.We don’t live in isolation,but move collectively in what we call society.Am i right to worng? Now that we live in a society, don’t we have the responsibility, like what you said -freedom with responsibility,so that we don’t misuse our personal freedom. As like the example you said about religion,the same logic holds true here too..Drunk people have no control over mind and body,and they make problems not only to themselves,but also to people around,don’t they? A drunk husband is excercising his freedom of expression,is he? He has the right to use his personal space,and as a human,he has the right to get drunk..But when he comes home and beats his wife,has his alchocolism affected another person’s personal space?We are not living in Utopia where one gets drunk and still ahve full control over mind and body.

Now we say ‘Drink in limits’..Who sets limits here?? You and me (i said so bcoz your thoughts are exactly mine)contradict each other in two instances-but you justify one as responsible expression,other as human right,but is there really a difference between both? Now you ask me what my stand is,lol,i don’t know..I am confused… I appreciate and i loved your post..you have written exactly my thoughts..But as i said,there is some contradiction in our thoughts.. My head is burning and expelling fumes 😦

In no way am i against pubs or any sort of recreation..I am against stereotyping pubs as Bars where people come to drink alone and engae in immoral activities alone.. But the problem here is,as per a report in TOI,the legal age to go to a pub is 25(assuming that people grow mature by 25),but currently,60% of pub goers are below 25..Now one may argue that we have the freedom of right,ever since we are born into this world…But what should be done when minors go to pubs?Do they have the maturity to make choices,responsible choices? So now,who makes choices for them?When parents do it,obviously by preventing them from going to pubs,are they infringing kid’s personal space and human rights?? the more we talk of this,the more complicated it is,…

Many days back,we had a news on police raiding and arreesting many boys and girls from a luxury pub,i thik Shakti kapoor’s son was invloved,and later it was found that most of them were using drugs..Nevermind,but why didn’t anybody come out in support of those boys and girls for excercising their freedom of personal space and human right to enjoy..

We can see lot of contradictions around dear.For instance, the name barber in Billu barber is seemed offensive by some people ,and SRK has removed it from the title..Now tell me how justified is that..Shall i call barbers, hair-cutting specialist?or cutters? In my thought,the end point is what Charakan said, if we start setting limits,everbody will push their agendas into the system,and finally freedom will be in Guantanamo jail..

My thoughts aren’t organized..I am just thinking aloud..Do correct me if i am wrong..

 

Edited to add :

It is indeed hypocritical to say that protests against Danish cartoons are justified on the basis of ‘sentiments’ where as protest against Hussain’s cartoons is termed ‘right-wing extremism’..Both are the same.Period.

 

bottom line is the same as Charakn said -People are insecure about their faith and morality,so they want others to keep mouth shut,no matter how good or worse their beliefs are..Strange and sad that in most cases,we sing along their tunes…Can there be a change ?Can we stop from moral policing others,for our inferioirty complex sake?

 

THANKS TO IHM FOR POINTING OUT THE SPELLING MISTAKE IN TITLE..Bad careless me 😦

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  1. Hi Nimmy,

    I’m actually an advocate for strong freedom of Expression.

    Taslima Nasrin is most welcome, as is Salman Rushdie.

    I think the boundaries of freedom can be decided by how much your actions are going to cause damage to others.

    Salman Rushdie may write all he wants. Geert Wilders can slander Islam or Buddhism for all I care. It’s their individual freedoms. Words never killed anyone.

    But when thousands of people resort to violence and thuggery around the world, incited by their ‘religious’ leaders, it affects others – you and me – directly.

    Drinking is your choice. But drinking and driving on roads used by others is NOT.

    But true absolute freedom can only be achieved in an ideal world where every person is educated, ethical and responsible as a citizen.

    But we’re nowhere near that. Not by a long shot. Hehe. So we’ll still have genocide mongers getting repeatedly elected by ignorant/irresponsible/chauvinist people.

    Well.. that’s my take on freedom.

    ————————————–

    Hi Yaamyn,long time no see 🙂

    A quick question..What if i say that Sharia should be reformed as to suit today’s requirements? Now this is going to affect millions of people,even though the majority ahve no idea of what sharia is and what is the need for a reform, should i opt to use my freedom of expression and try to make some changes,or should i sit silent and watch the show as it is running…Any thoughts? -Nimmy

  2. How much freedom is too much? Well! I can give a simple example which in my opinion shows the limits of freedom or I would say freedom with a price.

    We talk about outdated practices in one religion like Manu Smriti which we discussed on IHM’s blog, it is to bring change. Not to get stuck in the muck. The bad elements from all religion MUST go and speaking up against it would only bring good to humanity. If that hurts any fanatics then they can take a hike. As long as we are speaking up to unite people and bring harmony we are right in our freedom of speech.

    But a caricature of religious belief is about money and power. One earns popularity by doing that. It doesn’t help anyone. You draw blasphemous pictures hurting sentiments and fill your pockets. You must notice that most art forms these days be it movies or drama manipulates the religious sentiments of people. The gain is entirely there’s. No use to common man. Now that kind of freedom come with high price. You want your TRPs raised so you use a convinient tool of creating disharmony. Now that is freedom with a high price.

    More on this later….

    Thanks for bringing up a balanced approach as always, Nimsum.

  3. I dont think muthalik and sena were against pubs… its quite blatant but the fact of the matter is they are only trying to control our women.

    The fact is some rotten minds are yet to come to terms with the fact that both sexes have equal rights….

    Pubs is a new name… but bars have been for ever… dance bars have been for as long as we can remember…

    Now that Women also get a place to sit and enjoy and do the same its starting to make the earth quake under their feet for these idiots…..

    one of my office colleague tells me ram sena was simply jealous, these women dont sit with us so we will beat them up as they are sitting with some one else….

    some idiot once pointed out – Even Raja’s and Nawab’s went to “Kotha’s” that is our culture… But have you heard any Rani going to any kotha …

    Freaking Culture any one ???

    This valentine although we dont drink, me and my wife have decided to wear the most modern outfit we have and visit a pub(first time for us) and drink pepsi !!!!

    But pub we must vist !

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    🙂 Welcome to my blog Dhiren..lol,you landed here for the first time on a crazy post,nevermind,keep coming. Good luck and have a great valentine’s day!! -Nimmy

  4. Just adding some more…

    True freedom is a Utopian philosophy. We are never going to achieve that because we are bound by laws.

    • Nimmy
    • February 10th, 2009

    Will be back after a 2-3 hours..thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts..Good day to all

  5. I fully agree with Yaamyn. And Nimmy, as far as I can make out, you are a very secular person. Or do you oppose a uniform civil code and want to live under Sharia law in India?

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    You are asking me a complicated question..Will have a post on this later..Now i am mentally drained of reading on freedom..Thanks for coming 🙂 -Nimmy

  6. hmm…the cats are going protest for using billu…it sounds similar to billi … 😛

    we are free to create rockets and shuttles and we can go to the space but we cannot take a space walk without O2…now that is freedom…

    And well democracy is the biggest hypocrisy…

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    lol..yeah,billis make file case..This is getting worse day by day..

    democracy is the biggest hypocrisy…???? can you explain more,i don’t get it…-Nimmy

  7. I am going to make my usual point that these are the problems of a small percentage of women in India.

    Some years ago a law was passed that if 25% women (having voting rights) in the concerned area gave a written application to the authorities that a specified liquor bar / pub should be closed, it would be. And some bars were closed, much to the relief of the women whose husbands used to come home drunk and beat them.

    This affected mainly rural women, so of course urban pub-going women were not concerned with this problem. No pink campaigns for victims of violence in the home, because of drunk husbands.

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    I totally agree with you..The majority of women in india have no idea of what pink and blue is.Though many activits are working in grassroot level,their work never gets media attention,which may enable more participation and solutions. But then again,as IHM said,when urban women can’t do it,who else can?Maybe fight for pub,may motivate village women to ask for their rights to go for a movie atleast.I see this as a symbolic fight for equality.Chaddis are disguting,but the message is that goons too are disgusting.. -Nimmy

  8. Read this article: http://indiatoday.digitaltoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27577&sectionid=4&issueid=92&Itemid=1

    We need a good law enforcement. Everyday such incidents are rasiing their head. Solilo wrote a post about protest against tattoos, and now billo barber..i cant even undersatdn what was wrong in that. Peopel are protesting about things that are unfathomable and not having iota of our attention. They protesta nd then things are in news, in media.Protesters gain free publicity. So at the end of the day are they doing for publicity. Whatever, we should have implementation of laws to reduce this, as we already have laws. These things are happening because we are land of lawlessness..

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    Thanks a ton for the link Poonam,indeed helped in making out a new perspective.We need to put an end to this,else tomorrow,it may become uncontrollable,when each and every person makes harthals and bandhs in the name of freedom -Nimmy

  9. There is no way to define freedom of expression/speech without defining, accepting and providing Property rights.

    Without property rights, one can keep discussing about the senseless senstivity and emotions, but emotions seldom provide reason to make a distinction.

    if W.Bengal government can force Taslima Nasreen to leave W.Bengal just because a group of Muslims feels it is against Islam to let her live in West Bengal, then it shows one thing, that there is no safety of any sort of property rights.

    If in an art exhibition, certain sect of goons enters and marauds the paintings, which obviously are the private property, and government fails to protect it, it shows government just don’t care for property rights.
    Now Indian government seriously does not care for property rights, in fact it even do not provide any sort of property rights, it provides a limited permission for Indian citizens to use certain property and that too, the government can take away anytime at its whims.
    Just because of this, a gang of goon can force enter a pub and start beating the pub visitors, and government would do nothing against it, why?
    because the owner of that pub is just for namesake, he actually has no right to own the pub. And since he has no rights, government won’t safeguard it too.
    What if same guys and girls has arranged a dance party in some of their own house, instead of a pub?
    What if a Muslim guy arranges a party at his own home and invite his hindu and muslim and christian friends at his house and there they dance and talk and probably mate together too.
    Even than, such goons won’t flinch from attacking the house of that Muslim guy, claiming that it is against Indian culture, or they may accuse him in some different way, like such parties creates disturbance in the neighborhood etc..and government again will be helpless (willingly or unwillingly) to protect that muslim guy and his friends against the goons why?
    because there is no property right even at one’s own house.

    When the Danish P.M said that he can do nothing against the Cartoonist who drew cartoons of Allah, Indians were shocked, how the hell the head of a government can say that he can do nothing against a cartoonist?

    The thing is, Government is limited there not the citizen, the government is server/slave there, not the Individuals. The function of government there is to protect the individual liberty and property rights.
    The news paper for which the cartoonist drew cartoons was Private, the cartoons were private property of the cartoonist, and he had proper property rights to use it any way he preferred, thus he did no crime. And when he did no crime, how could the Danish PM accuse him or punish him?
    In india there is no role of property right hence no individual liberty, liberty of individual to think and express.

    All property is collective, hence one need to think for the majority group.

    if a group says one should not write anything from Holy Quran on walls or body, or even a paper, then it becomes an obvious crime, as it hurts the sentiments* of that group, and hence that group gets a religious authority to attack and abuse that person. (like Saba was beaten for sporting a tatoo, or M.F Hussein’s exhibitions were attacked.).
    For such brutality, there is only one solution, acceptance of Individual liberty and that is possible only through property rights.

    if One want to dance nude at his home, its his freedom. if one writes against Barkha Dutta at his blog, it is his freedom. if Barkha Dutta and government understand and accept property right of the blog writer on the blog, they won’t harass him, rather they will refute the allegations that blog writer put forward by writing another piece of blog against it on their own property. And that is the peaceful way of criticizing someone or showing opposition or disagreement.
    if someone do not like What Rushdie wrote, he can oppose his book, criticize it by writing a book review or writing another book or by any other means using his own property in a peacefull manner. if in any situation, the opposition takes upon a shape of physical assault on Rushdie or his property (burning of books, or paintings etc) than it is crime, it is physical assault.

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    I agree with many thoughts Gargi.Your line of thinking is that of Charakan’s ,that the artist or paniter has full right o use to freedom of expression,where as the other end point,the mass doesn’t have the right to protest on roads and assault somebody or burn public property..But is that for real? Over time,by understanding human behaviour on how they behave when provocked,i don’t think that people (mass) will prefer to make a candle lit protest or sign petition..But all this doens’t happen in India and when we ahve such a realization,it is better to take preventive measures,rather than crying about it later..Thanks a lot for your comments.Good day -nimmy

  10. /*This is crazy discussion,but there is no such thing as absolute personal space.We don’t live in isolation,but move collectively in what we call society.Am i right to worng?*/

    You are absolutely right Nimmy. We have to respect other spaces. What if one’s sentiments afftected by one’s acts? If it is intolerable to one.. he/she must shut their eyes.. and move out. Instead of that throwing their arm at them is not acceptable.

    What will solve this problem is Self-realisation… As you have mentioned in the end when the people have people have strong belief in their faiths this will not happen. The day they think that they are alone, they will cry and make everybody to look at them.. These religious goons really makes me sick.. There are people who are not having proper food or shelter.. instead of fighting for their goodwill they are playing fool games…

    The day they understand that god is in everything, everywhere and everybody.. we will live in a world of real freedom 🙂

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    Thatz a wonderful commtn kanagu..Honestly speaking,i have seen that majority of religious people have no idea of spirituality…For them,rituals are just mechanical stuff,which repeats on it on..If people have some self-realisation and some sense of spirituality,all these issues would not have happened..But until the majority evolves into that stae,the govt needs to keep check -ON BOTH ends-both the atrist’s and the mass’s freedom should be in control .I know many won’t agree with me,but this is what i came into conclusion at the end of this discussion -Nimmy

  11. What if a Muslim guy arranges a party at his own home and invite his hindu and muslim and christian friends at his house and there they dance and talk and probably mate together too.
    Even than, such goons won’t flinch from attacking the house of that Muslim guy,

    Ohh I just forgot to mention, there is already a state in India where individuals are not allowed to drink alcohol even at their homes.

    And Nah, its not a law enforced by some saffron group, infact when the most saffron BJP government of Gujrat tried to relieve the prohibition on alcohol in Gujrat (since 1947, Alcohol is censored, prohibited, restricted in Gujrat, because Gandhi took birth at Porbandar) Congress opposed the move, saying alcohol is against ghandhiji’s ideals, it is against Gujrat culture.
    Now thats vote bank politics.

    ———————

    May it be in the name of Gandhi,or Ram or Jesus or Allah (or even Nimmy 😉 ) , Alchohol as such is a bad thing and there is no problem if Gujratis are prevented from ‘enjoying’ the freedom of booze..lol… Good for all -Nimmy

  12. I will repeat what I said on Indyeah’s blog here again.

    I am very vary of limitations on Freedom, because for one thing, who draws the line? Who decides how much is too much?

    And secondly how do we maintain these boundaries?

    We have seen who has the maximum Freedom of expression in recent past?

    No it isn’t MF Hussain or the man who posted a film on Gandhi on You Tube, or that Danish cartoonist or Taslima Nasreen or movies like Water and Fire or our Fashion Shows. The ones with unlimited freedom are our various Senas/gangs.

    Taliban also has a lot of freedom to express their angst and hurt sentiments!

    In fact all these guys are the only ones who seem to have all the freedom to express their hurt sentiments at every stroke of brush or pen, or at every swirl of fabric (or at lack of it).. at every inch of skin displayed, or every sip of wine sipped or words spoken and maybe soon of blogs written …?

    I fear that if freedom is controlled, it will not be that of the powerful Senas and goondas and political parties, it will be OUR FREEDOM.

    So give me some cartoons, books, paintings, irreverence and films any day 🙂

    I agree with Yaamyn above.

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    Thanks for coming IHM..Lot of thoughts..mmm,i agree that it is the fundamentalists/goons who are misusing freedom,but…AAAWw grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I have stopped thinking about freedom,i am tired and depressed..Now i want freedom from these thoughts of freedom ..lol..

    Yaamyn amkes contradictory statemenst..Yaamyn didn’t respond to my question..I guess he is confused,like i am..lol -Nimmy

  13. @Manju

    The problem is not just about women going to the pub or drinking , it is about – can any man or group of hoodlums beat or molest any girl from any section of society, and then claim they punished them for doing something they did not approve of?

    Women from the lower classes and poor sections will be the first victims if such a trend was to set up … their families, as it is hesitate to send them to study because of street sexual harassment, this new harassment will compel them to keep their girls and even women at home.
    Or at least under more restrictions.

    Also the news and speeches and justifications by these hoodlums will be heard by all other men and even educated men on blogs are saying this violence will teach the girls to give up drugs!

    So this one act becomes a precedence of sorts 😦

  14. I second Yaamyn’s views!

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    🙂 -Nimmy

  15. The book was the “The Girls of Riyadh” by Rajaa AlSanea. Though I don’t own that book, I was lucky enough to get a copy to read. The book is basically about the open hearted confessions of 5 women who are born into a world which is different from the movies they see, the books they read and the husbands they would like to marry. But Nimmy, that is Saudi Arabia. They even cut the pictures of girls in the magazines when selling them in the bookshop. The Al-Saud family which rules Saudi with an iron hand banned the book fearing revolt not fearing the hurt in some fundamental cleric’s eyes.

    Every democratic freedom is bordered very well by our constitution. We have a set of rules defining the limits. If people want to drink, they can; walk home after a drink, they can; sit in a park and dream, they can; go to a public place and eat, they can but what they can’t do is have a drink and walk away without paying, beating up the bartender, stand in the middle of the road and distrupt the traffic or for the matter go home and beat his wife. There is no question of freedom of expression and personal space here. He simply cannot do the above even without a drink. It is not even limited to his own body – He can’t simply drink and even take his own life. So we summarize that drink or no drink, he simply cannot do whatever he wants.

    Now the topic of maturity – Does maturity have an age factor? At the age of 100 years an old man will still consider the guy who’s 50 immature than him.

    A point of view:

    Most of us are afraid of drugs and okay with having a drink or two. Imagine tomorrow the world legalizes drugs and India follows suit. Many of us may try it if this is available in the market with a smiling Shahrukh marketing it but there may be some who would not try it and call it “anti-Indian” and start some protests. Right? World is like that. Each one thinks that the other one is not mature enough to take their own decisions!!

    ——————————

    What you said about Saudi is 101% true…

    So we summarize that drink or no drink, he simply cannot do whatever he wants.

    Agreed,but usually government,in its circus to be ‘politically correct’ doesn’t stand with justice.Just for instance,the women who beat that girl weren’t arrested.

    and yeah,you are right,everybody thinks that they alone are right and are guardians..I ahve no prblem with them,until and unless they force it upon me 🙂 -Nimmy

  16. Hi Nimmy:)

    I did not understand what Yammyn said above….

    the Rushdie’s and the Taslima’s can write what they want because words never hurt anyone…(as Yaamyn says)

    Now Yaamyn says ..
    ”But when thousands of people resort to violence and thuggery around the world, incited by their ‘religious’ leaders, it affects others – you and me – directly.”

    Pray ,what are the issues that these ignorant religious fanatics use to incite you and me and others?

    The same above said words right?
    Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.
    Words can inflame,incite and make one’s blood boil.
    Please note that I am personally and otherwise not against either Rushdie or what Taslima writes..(and she writes damn well)

    MY point is this,when Yaamyn says,
    ”But true absolute freedom can only be achieved in an ideal world where every person is educated, ethical and responsible as a citizen. ”
    ”But we’re nowhere near that. Not by a long shot.”

    So should I take this to mean that then therefore in this world which is not ideal by a long shot,no one’s freedom is absolute?
    And if no one’s freedom is absolute,then why shopuld certain souls be given the right to do so in the name of creativity and artistic expression?

    How is it that certain liberal souls will decide for me the common woman and man that these souls can write what they please?

    Did I give them the right to speak for me?
    Are the liberals not being rather grand and quite superior when they are the ones who are slotting incidents in separate categories?

    An excessive liberal says Rushdie can write what he wants….
    fine…
    my opinion is that I am offendede and he shouldnt write

    Who is right here?
    I or the excessive liberal?
    Who decides?

    What about me then?
    Should I or could I write and paint these above said things ,incite feelings and violenece and then say that it was creativity?

    Other points I will just write about in a bit..Nimmy:)

    Was just wondering about Yaamyn’s…

    and I do not see any solution or middle ground in Yaamyn’s statement.
    What is the definition of freedom as it should be practised today in our country today Yaamyn?Keeping all the tensions in mind?

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    lol..Yeah,even I didn’t understand what Yaamyn said,so i asked him a question..I think he forgot to come back,usually he never runs away just like that..

  17. Nimmy:)wasnt able to reply to you there..on my post…will get to doing that
    so here goes..:)
    please reply and comment as much as you want to..I am okay with it..:)

    Nimmy your question is valid…

    This is what I said right?
    ”WHEN I SAY FREEDOM SHOULD HAVE BOUNDARIES I AM TALKING OF SELF IMPOSED BOUNDARIES AND CULTIVATION OF A SENSITIVITY.”

    SO you asked a vaild question,
    ”Now that both these books have lot of truth inside them,should they be banned,simply for the sake of satisfying my ego?? Now,who sets limits here?”

    True…I think I am also somewhere lost on this..

    But can the fact that we do not know who will set the imits on freedom ,…result by default in absolute freedom for all?Absolute freedom where one can do whatever they want without a care for the others sentiments??

    Isnt that like saying ”We dont know the rules…..so there are none….”

    On a different note I do have a problem with this…and thank god that you said this…it is indeed hypocrisy of the first order!

    ”It is indeed hypocritical to say that protests against Danish cartoons are justified on the basis of ’sentiments’ where as protest against Hussain’s cartoons is termed ‘right-wing extremism’..Both are the same.Period.”

    Charakan I will use the word now(not for you)and say that the above case smacks of pesudo secularism.

    How can you just believe that muslims were offended by the cartoons and yet refuese to believe that Hindus had no right to get offended by the painting?
    Arent those double standards?

    Why is it that hard to believe?
    just because you thought the painting was fine does not mean it was so for others too
    and just because you consider the cartoon offensive does not mean I do..I might find the cartoon perfectly fine and very artistic!
    what then ?
    Who is deciding what to fight for what to speak up for?

    MY only problem with the Hussain issue was this,that goons,hindu fundamentalists jumped into the fray and hijacked the whole issue…and made it seem like it was all a naatak…that there was nothing to get offended about…

    and so secularists jumped in and started shouting themselves hoarse that this was yet another Hindu vote bank raajniti being played out…

    What about the government?Was it impotent?Shouldnt it be doing what it is supposed to do?
    Governments can first maintain law and order and then ensure freedom of expression that one craves for…

  18. Nimmy, Drugs are illegal in India and drinking if you are of the right age is not..–

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    Thanks a lot for the reply dear..Pls give me some time to respond back..I have some work now..ok..good day -Nimmy

  19. @ Indyeah- Am impressed with what you have written. It is clear that you form opinions keeping an open mind. And well thought out opinions they are, too!

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    🙂 Yeah,indeed Indyeah has clear and solid thoughts..i am glad that she is part of our discussion -Nimmy

  20. What about the government?Was it impotent?Shouldnt it be doing what it is supposed to do?

    And what was government supposed to do? In which case?
    About the Sana case, the pakistani girl?
    Law/Constitution says one should not act in anyway to hurt other person’s religious sentiments.

    So yes Police might have arrested that girl Sana for sporting tattoos of Hadiths directly from Holy Quran. But then, the girl was already punished by the Sentimental islamic women group which belonged to a helping NGO.
    So government thought its enough, if the girl who was assaulted gives the police a written apology, then there is no need to arrest her or file an FIR against her.
    Government and police acted according to Constitution.

    or are you talking of SRK case?
    Constitution says one should not express anything which shows any sort of discrimination against some/any caste. So when SRK used “Billu Barber” the caste barbers had a right to oppose it, they did, they did it constitutionally.

    or are you talking about the Pub Case?

    That group tried only to oppose Pub, government have tried many times to censor and restrict and even completely deny the right of an individual to decide whether he should drink alcohol or not.
    In Gujrat, Alcohol is abolished completely since last 61 years.
    its all governmental. When government considers drinking alcohol even at your own home as immoral and anti-india anti-gujrat, anti-gandhi, how can you expect government to support an alcoholic pub?

    Too much wrong expectations from the government, Government is the devil.

    ———————————

    I disagree,in all cases you said,it is the fault of recieving end..In tattoo case,the women ares illy enough to get offended and they are WRONG to beat a girl to satisfy their ego..In SRK case,the barbers are even more silly..If they ahve inferiority complex,why would they put up boards ‘BARBER SHOP ‘,above their building?Even they just seek attention.The same about people who filed a case against ‘slumdog’.. In pub case,though the basic intention is to suppress women ,which is wrong,they may hve felt insecure about young people getting drunk..As i said,majority pub visitors are underaged and it is illegal for them to do so..But beating them up,as in the case of tattoos is WRONG

    We can’t just say that it is the fault wiht government.we amke the government..This is democracy and we need to speak put and act agiainst the ministers,it they aren’t doing anything. Get them down,put good people and run the government,rememebr,we are part fo the process -Nimmy

  21. @Gargi WHen I say government I mean the kind of government that should GOVERN properly,The kind of government that I voted for.The kind of government that will not let hooligans take over.
    And sadly all political parties upon forming the government are the same.
    Apathetic and merely spectators to the miseries of the common people..
    The example that you have given Gargi underline my point that there is no government which is even close to being perfect.And till a government comes along which does what it is supposed to do according to law and the Constitution let us not talk of absolute freedom.ABsolute freedom as a freind Yaamyn says is possible only in an ideal society and we are not even close to being one.

    How can we be close to being an ideal society when our governemnt is itself nowhere close to being one?
    Infact as you rightly say the government is the devil.
    And that is the whole point.You merely helped my case further thanks:)

    @Manju Thanks:)The encouragement helps a lot:)

  22. Loved your post… you write really well… 🙂
    and yes, I do agree with what you have said…

    —————————


    🙂 thanks Pixie.But more than my input,it is the readers who ahve contributted more thoughts and they deserve the appreciation,not me 🙂 -Nimmy

  23. @Gargi
    sorry this got left out
    1)”But then, the girl was already punished by the Sentimental islamic women group which belonged to a helping NGO.”

    ”So government thought its enough, if the girl who was assaulted gives the police a written apology, then there is no need to arrest her or file an FIR against her.
    Government and police acted according to Constitution.”

    How did they act according to the Constitution?
    What about the girl who was beaten up?Why didnt the police arrest those women who were hooligans themselves?

    2)”Constitution says one should not express anything which shows any sort of discrimination against some/any caste. So when SRK used “Billu Barber” the caste barbers had a right to oppose it, they did, they did it constitutionally.”
    Well,to an extent no matter how much we rant and rave they did do it constitutionally.
    BUT who set a precedence ?Who set an example for the barber community?
    A politician thats who.
    Namely Mayavati
    Who literally jumped in with her ludicrous opposition to the lyrics of aaja nach le saying that mochi was offensive..
    Doesnt she have better things to do?Like taking her state forward maybe?
    BBut no madam saw an opportuniy to score political brownie points here to gain some votes
    (probably of the Cobbler community?IS there such a community as a cohesive whole?)
    and the goondaraj started from thereon.
    Every moviemaker started being blackmailed right before a movie’s release….and they had to give in coz profits were at stake,…where is the govt in this case?
    Ensuring that movie halls are protected and that no goon can come at his will and tear posters and threten the moviegoing public?
    So NO,the Government did not act in this case as it should have..

    3)”or are you talking about the Pub Case?

    That group tried only to oppose Pub, government have tried many times to censor and restrict and even completely deny the right of an individual to decide whether he should drink alcohol or not.
    In Gujrat, Alcohol is abolished completely since last 61 years.
    its all governmental. When government considers drinking alcohol even at your own home as immoral and anti-india anti-gujrat, anti-gandhi, how can you expect government to support an alcoholic pub?”

    Yes,exactly this is not the kind of government that I want,one which seeks to dictate terms to me.

    You say
    ”Too much wrong expectations from the government, Government is the devil.”

    yes government is the devil atleast in the India of today…
    but we elect them dont we?

    and expectations from a government can NEVER be too much…hell!they are supposed to fulfill all our expectations thats why we elected them…how can expectations be too much?from a govt?

    ——————————–

    excatly my thoughts ,exactly..but i think there is no problem in some enforcement as like in Gujarat,as alchochol is the main reaosn for domestic abuse.When men don’t kow how to drink in limits,let them not drink at all 😉 I am surprised bcoz i read this after replying to Gargi and now i see that what you and me have written the same thing..Indeed a match in wavelenght 🙂 -nimmy

  24. I am back. I had asked both Solilo and indeah what they meant when they mentioned psuedo secularism when we were discussing artists freedom for expression in nimmy’s previous post,but they did not answer.
    Now I think there is an answer here in this post. Indeah have acccused me of hypocrisy .She says
    “Charakan I will use the word now(not for you)and say that the above case smacks of pesudo secularism.

    “How can you just believe that muslims were offended by the cartoons and yet refuese to believe that Hindus had no right to get offended by the painting?”
    Arent those double standards.
    Now I once again read everything I said in Nimmys previous blog.I could not make out where I said such a thing..Can somebody help me?

  25. This is what I said of Danish cartoon.in previous post.

    The cartoon was a deliberate attempt to incite,not a work of art.Still why you should be incited?Do you think your religion will be destroyed becasue of that?Then you dont know religion

    Now whose double standards and hypocrisy are you talking about.?

  26. Everybody here [may be apart from IHM} , is confused.Is there anything to be confused here.
    We were talking about artist’s freedom for expression right?
    EACH AND EVERY ARTIST SHOULD HAVE FULL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
    why there should be a confusion?
    A modern State in the 21st century should ensure such freedom.
    Suppose if you are offended by the work of an artist,your sentiments were hurt. Then you can write in the Press,your blog,in the opinion book left open in the Gallerry, email the writer/painter etc etc.Or you can just ignore him/her,ask all your friends and family members to do so and even put some notices asking people to boycott him.Or you can hold a peaceful dharna [after getting prior permission from the police] in front of the artist’s house or Gallerry.All such avenues of protest are there,so why you worry?

  27. But Charakan when you say,”The cartoon was a deliberate attempt to incite,”
    Areyou not accepting that it was infact something offeensive,something that could incite?
    I know I am getting too much into semantics here…

    No,I am not training my guns on you.
    After your first response on the last post I did go on your blog ,read your old posts and came to the conclusion that you are NOT pseudo secular nor are you biased….

    Please notice that I am not accusing you of being any such thing…
    In a heated debate or argument one tends to use words like ‘you’ as if adressing an invisible opponent..
    however that opponent is not you..

    If you are my opponent then whom do I call a liberal and a friend?:)

    the reason everyone is confused Charakan is because this is an issue which has no absolutes,no fixed solutions…
    I am sure much
    as I respect your views and IHM’s ,please tell me
    If You ,I and IHM and all the others on the blogworld ignore such issues,will the issue go away?

    Are you and I the ones who burn embassies?

    What of the masses?
    I know they are gullible and stupid fools one might call them..
    But in their gullibility they take lives and give their own..

    Is our responsibility not towards them?
    OR will we let them burn because freedom is our first priority?

    Charakan you say ,
    Amodern State in the 21st century SHOULD ensure such freedom.”

    Please note the emphasis on should..(my emphasis)
    That means that you accept that the modern state has been unable to do so…that the modern state has been unable to ensure freedom.

    If that is the case,is it not our responsibility to act as responsible citizens and ensure that while the masses stay within their limits and not start getting violent at any opportunity
    but also that the artists should be held accountable?
    That they shoul dbe gently told to avoid a thing or two once in a while?
    Atleast till the state is able to ensure that the artists are secure and free to express whatever they want..

    In times like today even the lives of artists are in danger because of goons..
    let the government stop the goons first which will stop people from getting agitated(because no goons will be left on the streets to incite them)
    and THEN,the artist can have as much freedom as he/she wants..

    Charakan please do not take what I say personally..

    I merely attemt to answer questions that even I am confused about…

    Believe me when I say that your opinions and mine match on a lot of levels..
    However,I am willing to keep the janta in mind when I speak of liberalism …I think of how it might affect them…

    You do too….
    but why give freedom only to a chosen few?

    In a democracy everyone is accountable for their actions
    Why should artists be any different?

    ”Suppose if you are offended by the work of an artist,your sentiments were hurt. Then you can write in the Press,your blog,in the opinion book left open in the Gallerry, email the writer/painter etc etc.Or you can just ignore him/her,ask all your friends and family members to do so and even put some notices asking people to boycott him.Or you can hold a peaceful dharna [after getting prior permission from the police] in front of the artist’s house or Gallerry.All such avenues of protest are there,so why you worry?”

    True Charakan as I do and believe in and will be doing so yet again…
    But what about those millions of others who get caught up in rhetoricof a few goons and start killing?
    can that killing not be avoided?

    • Nimmy
    • February 10th, 2009

    My small quick input..

    Charakn speaks about a society which is ureal,an utopian one,where people should be insentivie to incites by others..

    Indyeah speaks of real time situation,again an ideal one where people should act responsibly,but again,it is not going to happen as most people are irrespoosible or excericise their responsibility in a way which is ahrmful to us..

    The practical way is in between,maybe as Poonam said,by enforcing laws,on how people can behave..

  28. Indeay, The way the liberals [you and Solilo] jumped the gun on me without any reasons shows the level of intolerance that is spread by the fundamentalists
    About the cartoon .Its creator himself has said that it is to taunt Islam Salman Rushdie or Hussien have never said that

  29. Indyeah, you are so much worried about the masses,the poor illiterate ppl.As a doctor working in small town I see amd interact with these masses every day. Believe me they are much better tolerant than the rich educated ppl. No riot is spontaneous, all are engineered.The ppl involved are usually educated folks who wants power/money or pure criminals. How many lives has been lost in the world due to a work of art? You have any statistics? Communal Riots are fuelled by deliberate rumours and not by work of art.
    Instead of campaigning against hate-mongers of all religions we are putting the artists in the dock.s
    Why give freedom to a chosen few? Thats a funny question. Freedom is not given to a chosen few but to all artists who creat art..If I can draw or sing or paint I am an artist.You have also the same freedom. So everybody has that freedom.

  30. Indyeah, you are so much worried about the masses,the poor illiterate ppl.As a doctor working in small town I see and interact with these masses every day. Believe me they are much better tolerant than the rich educated ppl. No riot is spontaneous, all are engineered.The ppl involved are usually educated folks who wants power/money or pure criminals. How many lives has been lost in the world due to a work of art? You have any statistics? Communal Riots are fuelled by deliberate rumours and not by work of art.
    Instead of campaigning against hate-mongers of all religions we are putting the artists in the dock.s
    Why give freedom to a chosen few? Thats a funny question. Freedom is not given to a chosen few but to all artists who creat art..If I can draw or sing or paint I am an artist.You have also the same freedom. So everybody has that freedom.

    • Solilo
    • February 10th, 2009

    “Indeay, The way the liberals [you and Solilo] jumped the gun on me without any reasons shows the level of intolerance that is spread by the fundamentalists”.

    I was refraining from commenting here but since you equate me to fundamentalists let me tell you what I think of you after reading some posts on your blog. You are one of those who dig on the past to create disharmony and jump the gun whenever there is anything connected with Hinduism.

    I didn’t jump the gun. I gave couple of scenarios but you actually ignored all and continued on MF Hussain which further confirmed my doubt about your stand.

    I have no problem any one maligning me or accusing me of anything. I usually ignore such people. But I am deeply offended by someone even equating me with a fundamentalist. Now that is what I call jumping the gun.

    All said internet is a virtual medium where it is easy to get misjudged so I would just see it as something like that and move on.

    • Solilo
    • February 10th, 2009

    Nimsum: Refraining from commenting here has nothing to do with your post.

    Just to clear that…. 🙂

    • Solilo
    • February 10th, 2009

    To answer your question Nims,

    I pondered and still have same views as before so have nothing to add further.

    “True freedom is a Utopian philosophy. We are never going to achieve that because we are bound by laws.”

    Also I believe freedom comes with a price. You gain something by inciting others then that is not freedom of expression.

  31. Nimmy you said what I said can happen only in a model state. Now 99% ppl India are like that.But the 1% of fundamentalists are holding the peace loving public to ransom. We all abide laws correctly,right. Why they the fundamentalsits cant do that?Somewhere indyeah said religion should be handled with kid gloves. WHY? is religion above law? all fundamentalsits want such an impression in general public,that religion is above law. NO. Religion is not above law.
    I said a modern state should ensure freedom.Yes I know India is not doing that.Why Indian government is not doing that? Because politicians believe that if a fundamentalist say something all members of that religion will follow suit. So they start negotiating with the fundamentalsits to get votes.How can we disaprove the notion that fundamentalsits have so much power? By not heeding their call when they [falsely ]cry ‘our religion is in danger and support us as we are the religion’s only saviour.’.
    The sad part is that freedom for expression in India is getting restricted day by day.Many films,books,Plays,Paintings,artists are offcially or unofficially banned.. It said that fascists always targets the artists first because they are the most vibrant part of the society and the most difficult ppl to get to fall in line.[as it happened in Germany].They know that the lay public will not bother about artists as seen from most of the comments here.But finally when they come for you ,you will be alone.

    • Nimmy
    • February 10th, 2009

    Will join the discussion tomorrow..Nimmy momma gotta go to sleep the baby 🙂

  32. Solilo read what I said again .I said you are a liberal.Then why you think I said you are a fundamentalist? I said you might have been influenced by fundamentalist propaganda.I said so because you kept on saying Pseudo secularism. Pseudo secularism is the term first coined by RSS. It exposes RSS’s double standard. When RSS accuses Congress and most other Parties of pseudo secualrism you may think that RSS believes in secularism and is pained by the psuedo secularism.What is the truth? RSS believes in political and cultural hegemony of Hindus and is for establishment of a Hindu Rashtra. [similar to a Taliban regime]. So it do not believe in secularism. So why should RSS accuse somebody of pseudo secularism? If you do not like communism will you accuse somebody whose policy you do not like pseudo communism? RSS is doing that because they know that in India everybody have high regard for secularism. So instead of attacking the ideology of secualrism [if they do it now there will be a backlash] they keep on attacking the secular credentials of other Parties.Thus they believe secularism can be defeated in India.

    This is my last comment in this whole issue.If I hurt the feelngs of any one of you I apologise.This is My Take on the subject.Every can have their own opinion and I will fight for your Right to have your own opinion
    Good Night

  33. Charakan you were really offended when you thought I was accusing you of being a pseudo secularist…..

    And yet you very deliberately go ahead and say,

    “Indeay, The way the liberals [you and Solilo] jumped the gun on me without any reasons shows the level of intolerance that is spread by the fundamentalists”.

    which according to me would be translated to mean that I am influenced by fundamentalists and that I am on the path of becoming one myself due to my intolerance….

    I am not offended Charakan.
    You know why?
    Because I do not believe in this George Bush view of the world which says that either you are against us or with us…there are no in betweens according to you.
    also I have that tolerance that you spoke of..

    In your opinion(as far as I have been able to interpret and understand it)
    I can be EITHER A LIBERAL ONE WHO IS SECULAR
    OR
    A FUNDAMENTALIST.

    Why?
    Why can I not try and tread a thin line between the two?

    I can unfortunately not give you statistics for all such incidentsas of now.
    However I can find out and get back to you.
    But in the danish cartoon controversy about a 100 lives were lost.
    When each life is so precious,how can one man/woman just because of his/her art lead to such mayhem which will take so many lives??

    Charkan I understand what you mean when you say that you work with the masses.
    However you work in Kerala , a state much ahead in terms of its thinking…I know you will agree with me when I say that the masses of Kerala are quite diffrent from the rest of India.
    also,how can just working with a few people give you the justification to say that this is how the masses think?
    Each state in India has its own equations.
    Going by your logic,let me say that I work in the Yamuna pushta slums of Delhi…and my experience has been that people are quite gullible and ready to follow anyonewhoincites them
    the people I have seen in the slums are not tolerant at all and they can get provoked at the slightest thing.

    ”The ppl involved are usually educated folks who wants power/money or pure criminals”
    How is this statement correct?
    The people who are killed are they rich educated people?
    Yes,those who want to get power start it all. but it is the commom man who gets caught in the middle and gets killed.

    Charakan,your statements are rather sweeping and tar evryone with the samebrush.
    You make generalisations based on a few things.
    We are discussing something else and you take the debate to Germany!!

    ”The sad part is that freedom for expression in India is getting restricted day by day.Many films,books,Plays,Paintings,artists are offcially or unofficially banned.. It said that fascists always targets the artists first because they are the most vibrant part of the society and the most difficult ppl to get to fall in line.[as it happened in Germany].”

    Are you comparing us with Hitler’s Germany?
    MY GOD thats absurd!!

    Charakan you also say that ”Somewhere indyeah said religion should be handled with kid gloves. WHY? is religion above law? ”
    Well then my friend you do not understand this country at all…
    Religion is blood and soul for these people .
    maybe not for you and me..
    but for them it provides them with solace…
    and if should NOT be handles with kid gloves as you say then why the MINORITY TAG?
    Why not be equal?to evryone?
    Why are some religions treated as very special by a government that should ideally and Constitutionally be secular..

    I am sorry Charakan I respectfully disagree with all that you say…
    quite simply because I do not see the openeness to new ideas
    I only see a rigid refusal to budge from one’s own stand and a staunch defence of that stand,,,

    This will be the last I answer of your questions.
    No this is not because I am offended …far from it..
    This is because I am exasperated by making that same point again and again…

    Call me fundamentalsit or a fake liberal.

    I do not care.
    The first and foremost rule in my book is the need for
    A sensible rational argument ,one which seeks to protect lives and not merely parrot high brow liberalism and parade lofty ideals..
    One which calls for a
    dialogue between opposing parties/individuals/viewpoints
    I fail to see that here.

    And yes Nimmy I do agree with what you said..
    .”The practical way is in between,maybe as Poonam said,by enforcing laws,on how people can behave..”

    True…but please try to explain to’everyone’
    that we are not living in a utopian society
    thatwe are indeed living in a country which is always simmering with religious violence,a country where people give tow hoots about freedom because they do not have enough to eat..
    a country where it is easy as hell to incite these same people merely by promising them a meal.

    At this point of history that we stand on…In India…Freedom is only for the drawing room conversations and for those whose bellies are full….
    the day poverty dies its death and people are educated then lets talk of ABSOLUTE
    freedom of expression..
    till then let us hope that the government will do something instead of the impotent being that it looks like now..

    Nimmy 🙂
    Understood your point fair and square.
    Try and get the point across to everyone if you can:)

    Solilo 101% stand by what you say,

    “True freedom is a Utopian philosophy. We are never going to achieve that because we are bound by laws.”

    Also I believe freedom comes with a price. You gain something by inciting others then that is not freedom of expression.

    Exactly freedom with responsiblity!
    are artists to have none responsibility thats is in their lives at all?
    are they such exalted souls?
    And if they do have responsibilities like you and me,then would someone please clarify EXACTLY what these responsibilities are??

  34. sorry a sentence got left out above..
    it should read as
    In your opinion(as far as I have been able to interpret and understand it)
    I can be EITHER A LIBERAL ONE WHO IS SECULAR
    OR
    A FUNDAMENTALIST.

    Why?
    Why can I not try and tread a thin line between the two?

    I am neither a fundamentalist nor a so called secular..
    I am merely trying to see if there is ANY way that more lives are not lost.

  35. and Nimmy?
    I am glad that I discovered you too!:)
    ((hugs))

  36. @Charakan please dont answer if you dont want to…becasue I ecrtainly am tired of it now…
    but you say
    About the cartoon .Its creator himself has said that it is to taunt Islam Salman Rushdie or Hussien have never said that

    so going by that logic we should wait for a person to say that yes,he/she did it deliberately?
    That yes the work was intended to incite?
    will they be honest and true?
    Or will they be the cowards that they usually are and hide behind freedom of expression and artistic freedom and creative license and other such terms?

    • Charakan
    • February 11th, 2009

    Nimmy, I apologise and regret at the way I jumped in to ur blog and started an argument. Looking back I realise instead of shouting all that I want to say in a not so dignified way I should have posted it in my blog. I think I said the right things(my opinion) in a wrong way at the wrong place. Good day

    ——————

    Hey hey,whatz up..Why are you talking like this..everybody appreciates your thoughts,except that majority felt of you talking about an ideal society,afterall we all look forward to an ideal society right?
    Don’t take this personally…We all learn from each other..I understand yours and Indyeah’s feelings bcoz towards teh end,only you two were talking and thus it became personal.As i said,it maybe bcoz the concpet is not clear to the majority so they choose to remain silent,as i did..Do be part of my blog 🙂 I am honoured to have a Doctor as a reader..We all should agree to disagree,shouldn’t we..Tka eit easy….Take a break from freedom thoughts 😉 and come back afresh ..k…Good day
    Nimmy

  37. phew… we bloggers are certainly not short of words are we…

    ———–

    lol…But i am sick of words on freedom,i want freedom from this now,atleast for a few days…-Nimmy

  38. In the case of Hussain’s paintings, they were not publicly displayed and not forced on anybody. Someone who saw them and was offended, chose to take the responsibility to be offended.

    We’re all adults, and I can decide for myself if something will offend me thank you very much. No need to ban it. I feel that freedom of speech should be absolute so long as it doesn’t intrude on one’s personal property (like blaring loudspeakers). After all, any fool can choose to get offended and we can’t please the whole world. If we do, then we might as well stop speaking since everything we say will offend someone.

    And no – there’s no need for freedom of expression to have intrinsic value. From the point of view of legality, crass and vulgar paintings should have the same status as enlightening ones. After all, there’s no objective measure of either, and the law should be objective. I can find a naked goddess extremely educational after all!

    • 🙂

      I don’t know..I agree that i have the right to express myself,but i am not really sure if i should touch sensitive issues,in fear of offending some people and create problems in the society..If something will cause harm,why do it
      ?

    • Sri
    • October 31st, 2010

    It started with who will judge ultimately what should be expressed and discussed?

    In the end, it turned out most do not support freedom of expression; they do but it comes with many distortions.

    Understand this properly: The one who decides, whether it is law or court or Govt., what is right to be discussed is more or less God.

    And we do not need God on earth as we already believe in non-existential ones.

    Just look at what they are doing to Ms Roy; she has shown her stupidity many times; her observations are not entirely improper. If we can not even speak on this kind, we better not call ourselves civilized or democratic.

    Remember, the oddity here. Few years back Vaiko was arrested on charges of sedition and was booked. But today, why is Govt. delaying the charges if they intend to? Not that I am supporting her arrest; but this shows how dangerous it could be to let politicians or law to decide what is worth discussing.

    The plain truth is Vaiko was hostile to parties in power; Ms Roy serves the ruling party; at least her rants against Hindus serves leftist and media agenda.

    Once we try to draw the boundaries on this, we can no longer be sure if people who should guard this boundary will be fair all the time.

    If some one doesn’t like what others said or wrote, just stay away from it or kick your fists against wall like I do some times to pass over instant anger.

  39. It feels like I’ve visited this blog before on but after browsing at some of the pieces I realized it’s new for me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking
    back often.

  1. February 11th, 2009
  2. March 21st, 2009
  3. January 30th, 2010
  4. January 30th, 2010
  5. February 1st, 2010
  6. February 1st, 2010
  7. March 3rd, 2010

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