Blasphemy in India

Hurting religious sentiments


Deservedly So...

Indian man arrested for insulting deities after they didn't answer prayers

Link Here 30th July 2012

Two brothers were arrested for supposedly hurting religious sentiment by posting an 'inappropriate' picture of a deity on a social networking site.

The youth who had failed Class X examinations four times in a row was apparently angry with the deity for not answering his prayers and posted the picture of the deity as an act of revenge, police said.

According to senior PI N Mhetar of Shahu Nagar police station,

Mani Tirupati had prayed to the deity to help him clear his class 10 mathematics paper but he failed for the fourth time. With the help of his brother, he posted an inappropriate picture of the deity on a social networking site.

The picture started doing the rounds of the site earlier this week, and police tracked him down. They were arrested under Section 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and Section 66 (A) of the Information Technology Act. They have been remanded in police custody till July 30th.



Update: A Church Background...

Indian catholics wound up a dancing priest in a movie

Link Here 24th September 2012

The movie Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal has ruffled nutter feathers even before its release.

A delegation of Catholics met with the Censor Board authorities to register their protest against the disrespectful portrayal of a Catholic priest and the community in the promos and advertisements . They also demanded that their requests for a permanent representative on the Censor Board in Mumbai be immediately fulfilled.

The secretary ofAssociation of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), Judith Monteiro told DNA that they've mailed the minister for Information & Broadcasting, Ambika Soni and the Censor Board chief Leela Samson conveying the community's displeasure.

Gen Secretary of Mumbai Youth Congress Agnelo Fernandes announced that the screening of the movie will not be allowed till the supposedly objectionable scenes were deleted.

The supposedly objectionable scenes include:

  • a priest dancing in a party with a person lying in a coffin with the crucifix beside him
  • the portrayal of a Catholic priest dancing with a lottery garland around his neck, with the church in the background.

Just because we don't protest like other communities, this has extended to ridiculing clergy. Do authorities react only to aggressive and violent protests? Are they pushing us towards it? asked Joe Dias, Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) general secretary.



Update: Dancing for Joy...

Indian catholics pleased as dancing priest is censored from movie

Link Here 2nd October 2012

The movie Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal has ruffled nutter feathers before its release.

Christians complained of supposedly objectionable scenes:

  • a priest dancing in a party with a person lying in a coffin with the crucifix beside him
  • the portrayal of a Catholic priest dancing with a lottery garland around his neck, with the church in the background.

However the scenes supposedly objectionable to the sentiments of Catholics have now been deleted from the film following the information & broadcasting ministry's intervention, a rights group said.

Accordingly, Catholic groups in Maharashta have withdrawn their protest and boycott of the movie. Judith Monteiro, secretary of the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), said that representatives of various front-ranking groups watched the movie on opening day:

This is a victory of sorts for maintaining sensitivity while dealing with religion in the film industry. We have always been taken for granted just because we do no resort to violence. Hopefully, this will serve as a deterrent for future movie-makers.

Bishop Agnelo Gracias of the Archdoicese of Mumbai said:

I'm happy that the objectionable scenes have been deleted. Every religion should be treated with the respect it deserves. I hope the Censor Board will maintain caution in future while granting certification to movies.

However, Catholic groups are still firm on their other two demands: removal of Censor Board chief executive officer Prajakta Thakur; and nomination of a permanent Christian representative for film certification.



Update: Hurt sentiments...

TV comedian briefly jailed for blasphemy against a cult leader

Link Here 14th January 2016
A day after he was arrested and forced to spend a few hours in an Indian jail for mocking a self-styled religious sect leader, popular comedian Kiku Sharda called the experience traumatic, sad and sudden.

The comedian was arrested for mimicking Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in an episode on December 27.

Amid nationwide outrage, Sharda was also sent to custody for 14 days but released after a few hours in jail, soon after the Dera chief said he forgave him. But around 10 pm, he was detained again and then released this morning.

Thankfully I didn't spend 14 days in jail, Sharda remarked, joking, however, that he did feel more secure in jail than outside because of the crowd of Baba Ram Rahim's followers in court. There was uproar when I came. It was scary.

The comedian, booked for hurting religious sentiment, said he had faced this sort of trouble for the first time in 13 years.

The Dera Sacha Sauda, a sect that has a strong presence in Punjab and Haryana, describes itself as a social welfare and spiritual organisation with millions of followers in India and abroad. It doesn't sound a very noce group though, with police investigating claims that 400 followers were forced to undergo castrations so that they could get closer to God .


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