Archive for February 12th, 2009

Calcutta editor arrested for Independent article

12 February 2009

Many years ago, a news editor of Indian origin was arrested in Dubai for having carried a Peanuts cartoon strip that was not OK with the censors.

In a similar incident, the editor, and publisher and printer, of The Statesman, Calcutta, were arrested yesterday on “a specific complaint” from a resident of Calcutta against the republication of an article from The Independent, London, which was deemed to be offensive to “the religious sentiments of a minority community”.

The editor, Ravindra Kumar, and the printer-publisher Anand Sinha, were later granted bail, but the arrests, under sections 295A (maliciously insulting the religions or the religious belief of any class) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, underlined the growing perils of editors and publishers even in “secular” Bengal.

Only last year, the exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, who had made Calcutta her home, was forced to flee after a few lines from a short story were deemed offensive.

The original Independent article titled “Why should I respect these repressive religions” was by Johann Hari—the youngest person to be nominated for the Orwell Prize for political writing. The Statesman carried it as per a syndication arrangement with the London paper.

Read the original article: Why should I respect these repressive religions

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