Blasphemy Laws- The height of absurdity - Unpopular Thoughts

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Blasphemy Laws- The height of absurdity


Today September 30th is International Blasphemy Day. This day is celebrated to defend the right to criticize the religion. On this day in 2005, the day Danish papers published cartoons of Muhammed. Riots ensued and 100+ people were killed. Today blasphemy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia , an ally of the U.S.A and in many more countries. 

Blasphemy
Blasphemy is considered as an act of insulting to religion, or sacred things associated with religion. In simple words, one can understand that the everyone should do, act and say which shows respect to god and religion.

Blasphemy and Human Rights contradictions
There are various practices in every part of the world, which are regressive, scientifically harmful and meaningless yet in the name of custom and religion those are practiced.

When activist try to bring reforms, in highly orthodox societies, they are treated badly. In some part of the world, social reformers even get death penalties.  Blasphemy Laws were introduced by highly religious orthodox communities in primitive societies. The regret is that blasphemy laws are in the laws in 21 century as well.   Some countries use Blasphemy laws as hate speech laws. In both cases, the attack is for the people who criticize religion. 
The question is- Raja Ram Mohun Roy stood against Sati Pratha in which women were burnt alive with husbands, and that could have also called blasphemy. At that time perhaps it was blasphemy but there was a little scope for criticism. 
Criticism is the basic part of evaluation, how can religion be away? On the grounds of humanity, there remain certain practices which need to be abandoned and removed.

Recent acts in India against Blasphemy

The Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018, mooted and passed by the Government of Punjab seeks to amend Article 295-A to make the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib, Koran, Bible and Bhagavad Gita a punishable offence attracting life imprisonment.

Attack on secularism in Indian context
The Punjab legislation can lead to other states to ‘accept’ the demands of different communities and groups. Such legislation would hinder the possibility of the immanent critique of religious/community practices, beliefs, and norms, as blasphemy laws strengthen the position of the dominant within the community by accepting their interpretation as authoritative.
Such legislation indicates to the extremist and vigilante groups that their actions have the state’s backup. Therefore, the bill needs to be seen as a vigilante legislation that could potentially legalize vigilantism- or mob lynching, as communities will come into conflict with one another.
Legal protection for the text because of the  believe to be sacred, even as hate speech and hate crimes against human individuals and collectives go unabated and unpunished, is a definite indicator of the extent of erosion of the secular principle in polity and society. 

International Example of ‘Blasphemy Laws”

The progressive strengthening of anti-blasphemy laws during the Seventies was a sign of a toxic combination of greater intolerance and authoritarianism.
The state needs to use coercive power in deference to religious sentiments is against liberty.
In Islamabad, Pakistan man was given death sentence for criticizing the particular religion.  Saudi Arab and many more countries do exist which use blasphemy laws to curb the freedom of expression. 
Religion makes an army of tyrants who get offended when something is questioned, and morality is so degraded that 'death- penalty' is the only solution these hatred mongers have instead of convincing and bringing the fact to prove their point. 
The fear does not last, may be they kill now, but how long an idea can be stopped? Sooner or later, people are going to understand that Religion is the cancer for human race. The regret is that even after this is a disease but less people are aware about it. Religion is seen as inevitable part of life, so is the blasphemy laws. 

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