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Posts Tagged ‘israel’

The diplomat, 47-year-old Rowan Laxton, allegedly shouted “f***ing Israelis, f***ing Jews” while watching television reports of the Israeli attack on Gaza last month.

He is also alleged to have said that Israeli soldiers should be “wiped off the face of the Earth” during the rant at the London Business School gym near Regents Park on January 27. […]

After a complaint from a member of the public, Mr Laxton was arrested for inciting religious hatred – which can carry a seven-year prison term – and bailed to reappear at a central London police station at the end of March.

Here’s the full report.

The wisdom of having a law directed against incitement of racial hatred is questionable; the particular application here borders on the absurd. Or perhaps I am merely arguing from a strictly American viewpoint — courts here have repeatedly ruled that “incitement” must always carry an element of imminence — which might not apply in the land of the Queen.

Anyway, the point is, a person would never be prosecuted for a racial tirade in the US. Reminds me that in many ways, the US still offers free-speech protection far superior to anywhere else. I should do some research on Switzerland law before I move there.

Also read: My short post comparing free-speech protections in some selected countries.

Update: I should add that the free speech protections in this country exist primarily because they are constitutionally granted. If the present public had its way, it would certainly get diluted, as it has in so many other places.

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Aamir Khan writes in his blog that the caretaker of his Panchgani house has a dog named Shahrukh. He emphasises that he had nothing to do with the naming of the dog.

I’m sitting under a tree, on the edge of a valley, approximately 5000 feet above sea level. The river Krishna flows far below us snaking its way among the Sahyadri mountains. A cool breeze is blowing, jannat ki hawa (breeze from the heavens), as my mother calls it. Ammi, Ira and Junaid are by my side and we are in the middle of one of our favourite board games ‘Settlers Of Catan’. Shahrukh is licking my feet and I am feeding him biscuits every now and then. What more can I ask for?

Now, before you jump to any conclusions let me add that Shahrukh is the name of our dog. And before you jump to any further conclusions let me add that I had nothing to do with naming him. In fact Shahrukh is the dog of the caretakers of our house. When I bought this house it came with the caretakers and their dog! Apparently Shahrukh (the actor) was shooting for a commercial in this house a few years ago, and that very day the caretakers bought a pup…, and named him Shahrukh. What are the chances of me buying a house which comes with a dog called Shahrukh!!!

Shah Rukh’s supporters (who clearly can’t read) react:

The shocking display of insolent humor has sent shock waves in the otherwise-insulated and unconcerned film industry. Says a very popular character-actor who has worked with both the actors, “I guess the freedom provided by a blog tends to loosen tongues. Amitji has never been known to be as undiplomatic as he’s on his blog. Aamir must have thought it’s time to increase the odds, what if Amitji’s blog gets more eyeballs! Also, his nephew’s film is around the corner. During the release of Taare Zameen Par, Aamir created a controversy by taking on Amitji and Black. Now for the nephew it’s Shah Rukh being called a dog. All I can say is life’s a bitch.”

Shah Rukh remains characteristically unfazed and humorous in the face of his colleague’s uncharitable and tasteless remarks. When this writer expressed shock and indignation at Aamir’s remarks, SRK responded, “Earlier on, people used to name their children after famous people. Somebody naming a dog after a known person is a new beginning in that direction. I don’t have a copyright over this name if used non-commercially.” But a close friend of SRK on promise of anonymity reacted far more aggressively. “Aamir’s megalomania has been brewing for a while. Earlier he declared himself No.1 as compared with SRK who took it smilingly. Now Aamir is down to street-level provocation…”

But it is not just excitable fans who indulge in such mischaracterisations. Big political parties are equally adept at it.

Or perhaps I should be generous and put it all down to cognitive dissonance.  

Update: This blogger goes on a rant about how lowly Aamir is and then links approvingly to my post. What on earth is wrong with the world? Can no one read? Is the stand I take in the above post so hard to gauge? Also see the amazingly nonsensical comment 1 below. This after going through my post.

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