Thursday, September 29, 2022

Time to do away with Chapter XV of IPC

editorial Low Quality 1

Indian Parliament should seriously think of obliterating the entire Chapter XV of IPC. That is – the entire chapter relating to offences against religions and not only 295A.

If the foundation of religions are so weak that they can be outraged, injured, defiled or damaged so easily, and need to be protected from citizens cracking jokes on social media, they better wither away under the assault of their critics.

Newton’s laws need no protection from any jokes or comments or lewd remarks. So many people keep questioning these laws everyday, in science labs and in discussions. Why? Why no law yet?

Why should a secular state protect a religion, any religion, when it enjoins in its constitution, in Article 51A (h), that one of the fundamental duties of the citizens is ‘to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform’?

Do we have a law to protect an asthmatic child from pollution caused by vehicles or factories? His pain and hurt is real and physical and is not limited to feelings? So why not?

You can not have an Article 51(A)(h) and 19 (1)(A) in the constitution coexist with 295A or 298 of IPC.

That is a big joke.

In fact, those who speak against religions and find contextual loopholes in religious texts should be rewarded by the President every year ceremoniously with a Galileo or a Kabir Award.

We should reward the blasphemers of all religions, instead of scaring and restricting them and their spirit of enquiry, because the bigger blasphemy they make, the farthest they push the humanity towards a better world and a better future.

Were Einstein, or Voltaire, or Kabir, not the wisest of all the blasphemers that the humanity has produced till date? 

Ours is a crap system, if in 2022, one cannot question the idea that a Spiderman could walk on walls vertically.

And it is utterly idiotic for an entire nation to have an elaborate chapter in its penal code to ensure that no one deliberately hurts the sentiments or feelings of ardent fans of spidermen franchises by questioning or mocking their vertical walking ability.

Think of it! 

If you injure or defile a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class, the punishment may extend to 2 years, or fine, or both.

However, if you, with deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utter any word or make any sound in the hearing of that person or make any gesture in the sight of that person or place any object in the sight of that person, you shall be punished with imprisonment of 3 years, or with fine or with both.

Wounding the religious feeling?

What about protecting someone’s romantic feelings? Why not have a section for that?

A law to protect someone’s feelings?

So, IPC will send to jail an imagined Aurangzeb for defiling a temple for 2 years, while a Galileo, or a Richard Dawkins, runs the risk of spending 3 years in a jail for saying that theory of evolution seems to be correct.

Utter illogic. Or even better, holy crap!

Which uttering of a Galileo Galilei or a Richard Dawkins will not attract Article 298 of IPC?

Or will not hurt religious feelings of some snake oil buyer among 125 cr odd people?

You only need one idiot to get outraged by anything in their books or speeches and file a case in the nearest police station.

That earth revolves around the Sun is blasphemy against all religions.

Theory of evolution is blasphemy against all gods.

NCERT books, or most science books, unless published in Pakistan, can be termed blasphemous by an overly enthusiastic or mobbed or highly religious judge.

Why do you want to protect any religion, any that is, from the sharp lenses of a Galileo or the sharp tongues of a Dawkins?

If we want to progress into a modern world and a modern nation, we must remove the entire Chapter XV of IPC in its entirety, completely and fully. 

Modern societies can move ahead only when they learn to rein in the religious and superstitious instincts of its citizens. 

Religions are the most egregious anachronism in the modern era. The earlier we got rid of them, the better.

Why should we protect outdated religions and save them from those who question, examine and blaspheme against their illogical and nonsense ideas and traditions?

Why do you want to punish your Carvakas and Kabirs?

Such geniuses are not born frequently. Why not treasure and nourish your Kabir or Galileo minds?

If a spiderman franchise needs to exist today, it must learn to withstand the lenses of Galileo and tongues of Dawkins as well as bewilderments of a curious child who may dare to wonder if the spiderman needs to visit the loo ever, or not.

And only such offensive and seemingly vulgar spirit of questioning and enquiry needs protection of modern constitutions in a modern world from the idiocy of imagined spiderman franchises and their fans.

Not vice versa.

Sample these five sentences that can hurt the sentiments of any spiderman fan of any brand of  franchises and thus attract section 298 of IPC.

  1. Earth is ellipsoid, and not flat.
  2. There is no evidence of a heaven in the skies.
  3. Sun does not revolve earth.
  4. Universe is far older than earth.
  5. God could not have been the first creator, because the one who created god first would be the first creator.
  6. Spiderman is a figment of imagination of its writer that survives because its fans foolishly want to believe in its stories, for some reason which has nothing to do with facts.

imagine 100s of FIRs being filed against you all over India for uttering any of these above sentences.

And then imagine the entire state machinery working hard to punish you and protect the easy-to-hurt sentiments and beliefs of spiderman fans.

What a mad, mad, mad world we live in. And it is only getting madder with time.

(The featured image quote has been taken from and belongs to magicalquote.com while the quote belongs to Voltaire himself. We are grateful to both.)

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