For free speech

India created a law which is used against free speech, the basic human rights.

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act

Note: The Information Technology Act, 2000 was amended in 2008. The amended Act which received the assent of the President on February 5, 2009, contains section 66A.

66A. Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.

Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,—

(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or

(b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,

(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.

Explanation.— For the purpose of this section, terms “electronic mail” and “electronic mail message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, images, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.

I am challenging the anti free speech IT act.

Taslima Nasrin vs State of UP [W.P.(Crl) No. 222 of 2013]
| FEBRUARY 8, 2014

This writ petition was filed by Bangladeshi author and activist Taslima Nasrin, under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution for quashing an FIR filed against her under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Said FIR was filed against the petitioner in the city of Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, in the wake of her tweets regarding a ‘fatwa’, (a virtual bounty of Rs. 5,00,000/- on her head) that was issued against her. It is premised solely on a press report on said tweets published in the Hindi daily ‘Amar Ujaala’ in November 2013, which purportedly offended the religious sentiments of an Islamic cleric, around whom the tweets were centered. The petitioner argues that the FIR was registered without a preliminary inquiry towards ascertaining whether any cognizable offence had been made out against her. Moreover, the petitioner submits that even if all the averments in the complaint and the FIR are accepted, no offence can be said to be made out against the petitioner. In the complaint, neither are the actual tweets by the petitioner extracted, nor is a copy of the said press report annexed with the FIR. For these reasons, it is submitted that the FIR is a motivated and malicious one, aimed at wreaking vengeance against the petitioner. It is essentially an abuse of legal process. In addition, Section 66A can easily be clubbed with other provisions of the Indian Penal code, including Section 295A, by deliberately giving any statement made on the internet a religious color or flavor and misreading the same.

It is argued that Section 66A violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The language and phraseology of the Section is so wide and vague and incapable of being judged on objective standards, that it is susceptible to wanton abuse. All terms constituting an offence under Section 66A have not been defined either under the IT Act, the General Clauses Act or under any other legislation. The Section would be indiscriminately clubbed with other provisions of the Indian Penal Code, as has been done in the petitioner’s case.

Further, the freedom of expression is a recognized human right under various international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Section 66A of the IT Act is wholly inconsistent with these conventions, and constitutes a severe, regressive and wholly undesirable restraint on this hallowed right. While the petitioner, not being an Indian Citizen, does not herself invoke Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, she requests the Court to take judicial notice in the interest of the citizens of India, that Section 66A of the IT Act is totally inconsistent with Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, and virtually takes away this right insofar as the medium of the internet is concerned. It is submitted that the invocation of penal provisions on tenuous grounds has a ‘chilling effect’ on free speech, that is to say it severally disincentivizes citizens from exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech for fear of frivolous prosecution and police harassment. The Supreme Court has held in a number of cases that the constitutional protection of free speech is calculated to insulate the freedom from such a ‘chilling effect’. It would amount to little consolation to say that the right to free speech of a citizen will be eventually vindicated at the end of an extended legal proceeding. The very fact that the machinery of the criminal law is set in motion against citizens on frivolous grounds amounts to harassment that is inadequately mitigated by the eventual discharge or acquittal.

Thus in light of the above circumstances, the petitioner prays that:

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, be declared unconstitutional and void

A writ in the nature of certiorari and/or any other appropriate be issued writ to quash and set aside the FIR registered against her

No news yet from the Supreme Court. 66a is still there. Free speech is still under threat.

Teenage girls gangraped and hanged by men

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Two teenage girls were abducted, gangraped and hanged by men in India.

Villagers found the girls’ bodies hanging from a tree on Wednesday morning, hours after they disappeared from fields near their home in Katra village in Uttar Pradesh state.
The girls, who were 14 and 15, had gone into the fields because there was no toilet in their home.
Hundreds of angry villagers spent the rest of Wednesday in silent protest over alleged police inaction in the case.
Indian TV channels showed video of the villagers sitting under the girls’ bodies as they swung in the wind, preventing authorities from taking them down from the tree until the suspects were arrested.
Police arrested the three men later in the day and were searching for four more suspects.

Autopsies confirmed the girls had been gang-raped and strangled before being hanged, police said.
The villagers accused the chief of the local police station of ignoring a complaint by the girls’ father on Tuesday night that the girls were missing.
The station chief has since been suspended.
The family belongs to the Dalit community, also called “untouchables” and considered the lowest rung in India’s age-old caste system.
India tightened its anti-rape laws last year, making gang rape punishable by the death penalty.
Records show a rape is committed every 22 minutes in India, a nation of 1.2 billion people.
Activists say that number is low because of an entrenched culture of tolerance for sexual violence, which leads many cases to go unreported.

I don’t get surprised anymore. Men are the most cruelest, nastiest, filthiest immoral creatures on earth. Men hate women. They can do anything against women. They can murder all women. They can make all women extinct.

Science and religion

I have never seen any place in the world but India where science and religion are taken cared of at the same time as if they are siblings. Unfortunately I haven’t met any doctor in the Indian subcontinent who doesn’t believe in god. I have no idea how doctors who are fine scientists find it so easy to believe in mythological gods or superstitions.
Today I talked with a few doctors working in a reputed hospitals in Delhi about my mild health problem. Everybody advised me to have faith in god. Then the medical clinic I visited this evening was having a god at their gate. It is almost impossible here to keep science and religion separated.

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The only good use of gods

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I took two pictures this morning while walking in the streets of Delhi.

We all know that Indians have more mobile phones than toilets. We also know that India needs more toilets than temples. We should also know that most public toilets in India stink, and women wait until they get a toilet even though public toilets are stinky, but men do not wait for anything, they urinate in public. Volunteers tried to stop them from peeing in the streets. They shamed men with their zippers down by drumming and blowing whistles, but it did not work. Men continued peeing and spiting everywhere. They love to pee on the wall. There were campaigns against peeing on the wall, there were posters like ‘Please don’t pee here, thank you’, ‘Please don’t urinate here’, ‘You have to pay fine if you pee here’ etc. But nothing worked. Men continued peeing on the wall. But when god’s pictures were put, men stop peeing on the wall. God is the only thing that can prevent men from urinating in public. I do not know any better use of gods.

You are against embroidered burqas

Men do not wear burqas, they force women to wear burqas. Not only that, they decide what kinds of burqas women should wear. They hate embroidered burqas.

Muslim women in Aligarh are increasingly using the traditional burqa as a fashion statement, embellishing it with designer touches. Burqas inspired by English gowns or those with Chinese collars, are doing brisk business. So are the modern abayas from Dubai beautified by laces, pipings and pintex design.

These changes may be redefining the garment – observers say some two-piece burqas have the chutzpah of cholis and the flirty feel of frocks – but the makeover, expectedly, hasn’t gone down well with the city’s maulanas. “Women are precious in Islam and the purdah was introduced to protect them. The new style of wearing fitting burqas, and adding studs and stones to them attracts attention and emboldens rapists,” says Mufti Shamun Qasmi, vice president, All India Imaam Council.

All India imam council’s Vice President claims burqas are for women’s protection, but fitting burqas or designer’s burqas attract rapists. It means, not really burqas, but the embroidery works on burqas make men’s penises erected and they can not control their desire to rape the persons hiding under embroidered burqas.

Muftis are allowed to issue fatwas. So the fatwa is, women should not wear nice looking burqas, they should wear plain burqas without embroidery designs.

These fatwabaz men are very busy thinking about women. But obviously their brains don’t think, their penises think. All they can think is how to fuck women. They dream of fucking women. They like embroidery design, so they have to fuck. At home they rape their wives. Their holy books say whenever men want to fuck their wives, wherever they are, whatever they do, they have to run to their husbands, so that husbands can fuck them. It is not sex, it is rape. These fatwabaz men think all men are like them, rape. They can not stop raping if they see women’s face or neck or arms or shoulders or legs, or even embroidered burqas.

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Asjad, a mufti from a madarssa adds, “This is a disturbing trend. Women should avoid wearing garments like these if they want to keep themselves safe.”

These misogynist muftis and maulanas want to be designers of burqas. They believe they are big well wishers of women folk. They believe they are able to keep women safe. The truth is, women would never be safe if these ignorant misogynists do not stop controlling women.

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Such views are vehemently opposed by many of the city’s women who find nothing wrong in the desire to look good despite being covered from head to toe. “In today’s world, when everyone is trying out new things, what is wrong if burqas, too, are becoming fashionable?” says Zainab, a college going girl, who often wears a trendy umbrella-style abaya on campus.

Dear modern women! If you want to try new things, why don’t you try to remove burqas, instead of making your burqas look beautiful. It is like you want to put colour on your shackles instead of breaking your shackles.

Shopkeepers in the city say that demand of the garments is high, despite what the orthodox voices may say. “Around 60% of my customers come looking for designer burqas,” says Rehaan, a burqa-seller at the city’s Amir Nisha market. “They are also viewed as a status symbol since many of the pieces feature intricate zarkan embroidery. Today, many women are working and they want to assert their empowerment through these designer abayas.”

I don’t think any real empowerment possible through burqas or designer burqas. I don’t find any difference between simple chain and colourful chain. The burqa is a symbol of oppression and slavery. If you don’t abolish oppressive patriarchal system and slavery against women, you are responsible to force half of humanity to be in prisons only because they lack penises in between their legs.

Fatwa cannot be forced upon people, Indian Supreme Court rules.

Indian Supreme Court says, fatwa cannot be forced upon people. But fatwas are forced upon people.

Fatwa issued by Muslim clerics cannot be forced upon people and the state has to protect persons who are harassed for not following such diktats, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said while expressing reservation in interfering with shariat courts.

Holding that it’s a matter of choice for the people to accept fatwa or not, the apex court said running of institutions like Darul Qaza and Darul-Iftaa is a religious issue and the courts should interfere only when someone’s rights are violated by their decision.

“We can protect people who are subjected to suffering due to this. When a pujari gives a date of Dussehra, he cannot force someone to celebrate the festival on that day. If somebody forces them on you, then we can protect you,” the bench said after the petitioner pleaded that fatwa issued by clerics is unconstitutional.

The petitioner says fatwas or religious edicts are unconstitutional. If democracy, human rights, women’s rights, freedom of expression are constitutional, fatwas automatically become unconstitutional. I didn’t know before reading this news that fatwas were not illegal in India. Why does India need fatwas?

It said fatwa issued by clerics or prediction made by pandits do not violate any law and so courts should restrain them from doing so.

Fatwas violate laws, human rights and freedom. Fatwas are for violating rights. If fatwas did not violate laws, there would not be any fatwas. Laws made by gods or worshipers of gods and laws made by modern rational humans are completely different. God’s laws are bound to violate human’s laws. It is better to make fatwas illegal rather than judging each fatwa whether it violates any law. A secular state must not have religious laws or edicts. The state that is separated from religion is called secular state.

“Which law gives power to issue fatwa and which statute gives pundit power to make horoscope? Court can only say that the state will protect the people if one is subjected to suffering due to fatwa,” the bench said adding some fatwas may be issued for the welfare of the people.

“These are political and religious issues and we do not want to go into it,” the bench said while hearing a PIL filed by an advocate Vishwa Lochan Madam challenging the constitutional validity of shariat courts for allegedly running a parallel judicial system in the country.

It is like putting a poisonous snake in your room and assuring you that if it bites you, you will be taken to a hospital for treatment. Why don’t they take the snake out and let you live peacefully?

All India personal law board submitted fatwa is bot binding on people and it is just an opinion of Mufti and he has no power and authority to implement it.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the Board, submitted if a fatwa is sought to be implemented against the wish of the concerned person, then he can approach court of law against it.

The petitioner submitted the fundamental rights of Muslims could not be controlled and curtailed through fatwas issued by qazis and muftis appointed by Muslim organizations.

A fatwa was issued against me by All India Muslim Law Board. No action was taken against the men who issued fatwas. The issuance of such fatwas was against the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution.
An unlimited amount of reward money was offered to my would-be killers in Kolkata. It happened in broad day light, and in the middle of the city. No one was arrested for setting price on someone’s head.

If they can get away with declaring fatwa once, they will declare fatwas more. Fatwas are contagious. Because fatwas were issued in Kolkata, fatwas were issued in Uttar Pradesh and other places. Others learn to issue fatwas, to create terror in society. The fanatics are having wonderful life. Nobody even questioned them for their crimes of setting price on people’s heads.

The state is now protecting me. It is the same protection Supreme Court offers to persons who are harassed by fatwas. Protection alone can not give a tension free life. I have been living in constant fear. Anyone can kill me at any moment. Fatwas are still there, not a single fatwa was withdrawn. I could get a life without being surrounded by police if there were no fatwas. The state could save money.

Mullahs have been issuing fatwas against women everyday. Women are not allowed to use mobile phones, to work for private companies, to go anywhere without wearing hijabs or burqas etc. Who will provide them protection? If fatwabaaz mullahs roam around free, and if they are free to issue fatwas against whoever they want, women won’t feel protected, they won’t enjoy their basic human rights.

A woman was gang raped on the orders of a village council. Her crime? She fell in love with a man outside her community.

A woman was gang raped because she was in love with a man outside her community.

A WOMAN was gang-raped by 13 men on the orders of a village council in eastern India as punishment for apparently having an affair.

The council ordered the horrific penalty to be carried out in a village in West Bengal state on Tuesday night after the 20-year-old woman was discovered with a man from another community, a senior officer said.

“The girl was gang-raped for having an affair with a youth of another community and failing to pay the fine which was imposed by the village council,” district police superintendent C. Sudhakar told AFP.

“The head of the village council held an urgent meeting in the village square on Tuesday when the girl and her lover were called,” Sudhakar said.

“The girl and her lover were tied to two separate trees and fined 25,000 rupees each as a fine for having an affair,” he said.

“As the parents of the girl, who were also present at the meeting, expressed their inability to pay the fine, the head of the village council ordered that she should be raped by the villagers as punishment,” he said.

The man apparently involved with the girl was freed after he agreed to pay the fine within a week, he said.

The woman was recovering from the attack in a hospital.

Last month, India marked the first anniversary of the death of the 23-year-old student who was gang-raped in New Delhi on a moving bus, in an attack that sent shock waves across the nation.

Despite tougher laws and efforts to change attitudes to women in India’s deeply patriarchal society, the number of reported sex crimes continues to rise.

We are raped, it is our fault.

It is actually our fault that we live with our oppressors, abusers, rapists, murderers.

Fundamentalists decide what we should write, draw, say and think

My interview is in the times of India.

1. There is renewed efforts by some religious fundamentalist groups demanding your expulsion from India. Do you get a feeling of deja vu?

Ans — Yes I do get a feeling of deja vu. They have been issuing fatwas against me since 1993. In this part of the world, fatwas are contagious. If a fatwa is issued against you and if the fanatics can get away with it, they become more emboldened and consequently gain the will to issue more fatwas. I became an unfortunate victim of religious fanaticism. In a democratic country where fatwas are illegal, fanatics who set price on people’s head walk away as happy men. They have never been questioned or confronted; on the contrary they have consistently been courted by so-called guardians of democracy. Rather, I was thrown out of my country and forced out of the state which I considered my second home. In the meantime, I have kind of got used to fatwas. I would most likely continue to get harassed, threatened, expelled and killed by the fanatics for the rest of my life. I am not afraid of them. Come what may, I would never compromise with them and I would never be silenced.

I am a writer. I write books on humanism, feminism, human rights, equality and justice. My writings are to encourage women to fight for their rights and freedom, and to change the patriarchal mindset. I have written 38 books. I am one of the very few authors who have twice received the Ananda purashkar, the most prestigious award for Bengali literature in India. Why should an award winning, bestselling author, who has won numerous accolades from international literary and human rights organisations, be expelled from a country? Simply because some anti-women and anti-free speech fatwabaaz goons want to expel her for their own misogynistic interests?

The government of Bangladesh has been preventing me from entering my country since 1994. India is the only country in the subcontinent where I can live and be in touch with my language, heritage and cultural roots. This is the only other nation which has a populace who speak my native tongue, and read my books untranslated. My roots are Indian, but because of the certain political blunders the country was divided. I am now considered an outsider, and even though the war in Bangladesh in 1971 proved that two nation theory was wrong, my outsider status has not been withdrawn. As an atheist, I never can accept the barbed wire between Bangladesh and India that is based on religion.

I feel India is my home, just as I feel Bangladesh to be my home. I have dedicated my life for the secularization of the society, then why should I be expelled from a secular democratic society which is supposed to believe in freedom of expression?

2. What do you think sparked this latest bout of Taslima phobia?

Ans— They never can say what exactly makes them angry with me. Every now and then, the Islamic fanatics claim that I hurt their sentiments, so I must be deported, or killed. None of them read my books or show any such evidence from my writings that is not the truth. Should we not tell the truth only because the truth hurts their sentiments? We know that they always do it for their own political gain, and it has nothing to do with my writings or sayings.

It is dangerous if the government tries to deny the freedom of expression of people in order to protect the sentiments of a group of people who do not believe in democracy, and the people’s rights to express their opinions.

3. You had hopes of returning to Kolkata after Mamata Banerjee came to power. But she banned even the telecast of the serial, Duhshahobas, based on your writings. How do you see the fabled ‘paribartan’ in West Bengal?

Ans—There may have been many paribartans in West Bengal, but there is no paribartan in my case for sure. The previous government threw me out of West Bengal and banned my book, the current government does not allow me to enter the state, banned the inauguration of my book and forced a private TV channel to cancel my mega serial. It seems the current government is following the footsteps of the previous government, especially when it is about me.

4. Is it a global phenomenon that more and more space is being ceded to fundamentalists in all spheres, including politics, art or even international relations? Is self-censorship growing among authors, film makers etc?

Ans — Islamic fanatics want to make the world darul Islam, the land of Islam, as it is the ultimate purpose of Islam. They have been attacking intellectuals, thinkers, humanists, feminists and whoever is critical of Islam, and there is indeed more and more leverage gained by these intolerant groups over various spheres of civil society.

Self censorship is the worst form of censorship. Governments have been banning my books, the editors have been censoring my writings, but I try my best not to censor myself. In countries where writers, artists, film makers’ freedom of expression get constantly violated, it is obvious that they would self censor themselves. And such societies are bound to become sick if this continues. If religious fundamentalists decide what should people read, and draw, and say, and think and the authorities violate the freedom of expression of writers and artists, then it is not really a secular democracy, rather it is well on its way to become a theocratic democracy. This is an alarming trend.

They are going to kill me.

I write books on women’s rights and humanism. But the fanatics won’t let me live. Just got this news. 200,000 ulemas will sign the petition demanding my deportation. Then 2 million Muslims in urs celebration will get crazy to throw me out of the country or to kill me in the name of Islam. It is so easy for Islamists to kill and destroy human lives. They only need to think of Allah and his messenger in order to become cold blooded murderers.

A Muslim cleric from UP, who had filed a police complaint against Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, is now at the forefront of a campaign demanding that she be expelled from India for spreading “anti-Muslim feeling.”

“We will start a campaign for expulsion of Taslima Nasreen. She is against our religion and has hurt our clerics,” said Hasan Raza Khan alias Noori Miyan, son of the ‘sajjadanasheen’ of Bareilly’s Aala Hazrat Dargah, Maulana Subhan Raza Khan.

He said the demand will be raised during the last day of annual Urs-e-Razwi of Imam Ahmed Raza, commonly known as Aala Hazrat, in Bareilly on Monday.

Noori was also felicitated by Raza Academy of Mumbai during the urs on Saturday for taking “the initiative to lodged the case against Taslima.”

Noori had lodged the case with Bareilly Kotwali on December 4 against Taslima for using abusive language against Muftis and hurting the feelings of Muslims.

“We will collect signatures of nearly two lakh ulemas demanding expulsion of Taslima. Nearly 20 lakh people come during the urs celebrations and we will put forward our demand before them,” he said.

Noori said Taslima is a foreigner who is “spoiling the atmosphere of our country by spreading anti Muslim feeling”. “I don’t see any point in Taslima being given asylum in our country. She should be immediately asked to leave,” he added.

Earlier, Noori’s uncle Tauqeer Raza Khan, the chief of Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC) had allegedly announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh on Taslima’s head if she remains in India.

Taslima had reacted after Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal had met Tauqeer Raza before Delhi Assembly elections soliciting his support.