Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dr Frazer gets his right to free speech, loses honor

There is a lot of noise and muck the “intelligentsia”, is making on this topic. The more I see these jokers, the more I believe that the money spent on education all these years has leaked out to sewage.
There is one reason why the letter, written as an individual or as a Principal, is not a back breaking issue; that is ‘free speech’. None of the people I saw opted to say this as the only reason and no more to drive home a very strong point. The BJP spokesperson from Mumbai gave a back handed support by telling that had Dr Frazer sent the letter as an individual he would not have had the same problem but would have had with the content.
 Though I am a declared BJP supporter, I have always qualified it with a line that I support BJP because it to the right of all the political parties in India, all of which are different shades of leftist, yet walks and talks like a left party.  After Modi gained winning confidence, BJP has started stealthily sliding to the right, but that is a different topic. Back to free speech.
When Azam Khan said that “It is mostly Muslims who died defending Kargil heights”, the outrage was deafening. I failed to understand what the fuss was about.
What Azam Khan said is a matter that can be verified as a fact. List of officers is available here.
Out of 29 Indian Army officers, one Muslim
0 out of 6 Air Force officers
Out of 39 JCOs 4 Muslims
0 out of 29 Sepoys
I could not find more details. But I am inclined to believe the story is the same elsewhere too.
Point I make is, what Azam Khan said was falsehood, in bad taste but he has a right to say what he said, but to impute that he said so to divide community to get vote is, even if not farfetched, is legal quagmire to get into. Also, I, as a ‘free speech’ constituency member, have a right not to get offended by such blabbering. I do not want to fritter that beautiful right away under any circumstances.
A fitting reply to that would have been publishing of real numbers to show what a measly liar Azam Khan is. A legal process and ban are waste of precious resources.
His comment of Puppy is in poor taste, calling Modi an SOB is still OK from ‘free speech’ context.  He is free to his opinion. It is up to the other side to put their case or ignore and it is a lazy response trying to shut him up. Free speech is not perfect but for those few pimples we are not going to remove the head.
Then there is the case of Imran Masood which is criminal in nature, provoking violence and there is no fig leaf to cover his crime. Except, Congress has enough fig leaves, large enough to cover a hundred Imran Masoods.  When Rahul shared the dais with his wife the next day, with diluted chiding, he showed which side of ‘free speech’ he stood.
In the case of Amit Shah: Amit used strong words, and in my view, did not say anything illegal and was well within his right. As ‘free speech’, supporter, I think he should be allowed to his views and cannot broaden the allegation as criminally divisive speech. Amit did not encourage violence but in fact discouraged with his speech. He spoke of injustice and raised the fact that the current SP metes out justice based on community which is not only anti-democratic but also something that cannot be tolerated. I stand firmly with Amit Shah and personally think that few understood the great message of ‘equality in the eyes of law’ and his call to fight injustice.
Then we have the interesting case of Giriraj Singh who gets my respect. Not for the content of what he said because that is a point of view, his opinion that he has no power to enforce. But for his conviction, that he stands by what he said and will not be cowed down by the collective braying for his blood by the politically correct. He has the ingredient that I think will save ‘free speech’ from the cowardly liberal crowd that is so scared of people who hold different opinions. When Giriraj stood his ground,  ‘free speech’ lived; to say what you think is correct and be courageous enough to face the consequence. Not like Shazia who says first it was ‘sarcasm’ then ‘it is pulled out of context’ and all sorts of clichéd denials we all are used to. Dishonesty and ‘free speech’ do not make good bed fellows.
Now I will come to the letter the Principal of St. Xavier’s college penned to his students.
Dr Frazer has anchored his ideology by defining what constitutes development and how it is achieved. It is not that human development is an absolute truth or there is uniform and singular perception of what constitutes human development. It is always painted in the ideological color and in the first sentence the Principal gave his game away. And then he leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind when he chose Gujarat Model as the theme.
We have a view that business brings employment, that puts food in more people’s plate, yet rewards  working people over free-loaders which is as ideologically colored as the other, that big business is per se bad and poor people have to be fed by taking the earnings of the rich. And Dr Frazer chose his ideology in his opening salvo. To say that he was beginning an open minded debate is bird poop. It is not that what Dr Fraze raises are not real issues worth debating, but it is also indisputable that he has chosen his ideology. Unfortunately, he did wear his ideology but stealthily, surreptitiously, failing us as an academician and teacher. For the topics he chose is not the real ones he fights but those he cannot say openly. He chose an ideology over the other, yet claimed that he is unbiased. More bird poop. 
He reconfirms his ideology by swearing by Amartya Sen, Jean Dreze, Aruna Roy et al, who constitute the ideology to which he stands committed. He seals his letter by appealing against ‘corporate capital and communal forces’, borrowing words from the BJP baiters.
Yet, I still think this does not call for any legal action.  Dr Frazer has his right to free speech and if he is shut down because BJP takes him to court or EC, there is no difference between BJP and Congress in this aspect and only in this aspect. In the larger scheme of things, BJP and Modi are miles ahead of, what I think is a cesspool called Congress.
Now it is time for my free speech.
From this episode, Dr Frazer came out as a coward. He made insinuations and came out as a bootlegger drawing attention to prospective customers, selling pornography hidden under the long overcoat, with his conspiratorial whispers and beckoning. He refused to stand up and be counted and failed as a Christian too.
And I think the real reason is, he believes that the shop that the Christian Institutions run on the sly, of trapping and converting poor and needy Indians, mostly Hindus, to Christianity, stands to get shut down if Modi comes to power, as it happened in Gujarat. But it is precisely this ‘elephant in the room’ no one wants to speak about, for want of honesty on the part of the Dr Frazer kind and for fear of falling foul of the politically correct and be screamed at by Arnabs and Barkhas and Rajdeeps on the part of BJP kind.
If this is brought up as the real reason, the attendant question of proselytizing   would also prop up inevitably, and that is not a topic any of these liberal apologists would like to discuss in public. As much as Dr Frazer has a right to his views, albeit the not through so reputable means of peddling as a Principal, which at worst is only morally abhorrent, he cannot escape criticism of being a cowardly fraud, just as Azam cannot be exposed for his falsehood. Dr Frazer also cannot be shielded from the criticism that the ideology may merely be a façade to hide his conversion racket. Which will take us to next levels of moral questions where the proselytizing vultures feel uncomfortable with, while caught feeding on poverty ridden souls.
Let us not shut down people, but encourage them to speak fearlessly; if not, how at all will we know what wolf lies hidden beneath  Dr Frazer frock?
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