Take Care

Blogging away can be fun...

Blogging away can be fun

It can also be dangerous. We as humans are a very emotional species. We are likely to be carried away in our expression, and what we consider free space is certainly not. While there are no set of laws or rules in force in India, since the blogs are published on the World Wide Web, there is always a chance that you could get into trouble.

For instance, pornography, if you have posted sexually explicit images with or within your blog, especially child pornography, you could be in serious trouble. Or even tried to have made sexual innuendoes about your old flame, ex wife, or ex husband, and so on.

You can write as you please provided you remain within the broad ambit of the law of defamation, which varies from nation to nation and is subject to many criticisms. For instance, take the case of Anna Hazare.

If you write paeans of praise for the man, you are okay, but the moment you start being bitterly critical you could invite a notice of defamation, so you have to ensure that even in criticism you are not over stepping the laid down boundaries.

Please remember that you can write what you want, and we live in a democratic society, unlike China, or even Pakistan, our neighbors, but at the same time you cannot let fly bad words, abuses or innuendoes on a blog unless you have substantial proof, written, photographic, or video-graphed to back up what you say.

I am taking the liberty of pasting below, a critical blog written with all the above in mind, and published over a year ago, to give you all an idea of how self expression can be “blogged” without upsetting the proverbial apple-cart! Here goes……

“If I am denied my fundamental rights, and I ask for them, does it make me a fundamentalist? I hope not. What I fail to understand, is that if I chose not to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments, why are my fundamental sentiments hurt? Why can’t I demand to do what is my right within the prescribed law and do it without disturbing anyone?

A case in point is the closure of wine shops on certain holidays. Let me make a confession here, I am not an alcoholic, anonymous or otherwise. I don’t touch hard liquor or even wine. Occasionally I like to “cheer” up with a couple of beers. This is either at home, or my fave watering hole, the “Only Beer” joint, “The Grand” in Pune. Why then am I deprived of my fundamental rights, as an adult in Pune, to do so when I feel like!

I do not drink and drive. I do not drink in a restaurant after closing hours. But why do I have to be forcibly not allowed to drink on a “dry day”. What is the meaning of a dry day? Why is it shoved down my throat?

Does the government mean to tell me that those who believe that a particular religious day should be alcohol free will drink if wine shops or beer bars are kept open? Shame on their self control and faith. Will regular tipplers, unlike me, not stock up and drink to their gills on such days? Are we living in a Talibanesque society where a government agent, sporting Hitler’s swastika will invade the privacy of my home and smash my bottle of bubbly?

Why dry days on vote counting, or Election Day have, does the government mean to tell me that people do not get drunk and untoward incidences are reduced by this draconian step? What about the countless moonshine speakeasies which operate on the sly, do they keep closed? In fact, those who may not get their certified bottle of government stamped poison may end up in the morgue consuming illicit liquor, just because some “babu” wants to please bigots. What about the crores of rupees lost to the exchequer?

Let me tell you one thing straight up, on the rocks as the theme goes, I am not in the mood of getting my beer, on this dry day or any dry day for that matter, but yes I am damn well in the mood of knowing why my fundamental rights as an adult citizen of India, Maharashtra, Pune, I am denied my beer when I want it. Give me a logical answer and I will never again touch beer too!”