Monday, March 23, 2009

Secular India: Arrest for Statesman editor, Honor for MF Hussain!

The Ravindra Kumar and Anand Sinha, the editor and publisher of the Kolkata-basedMuslims protest in Calcutta against cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 English daily The Statesman was arrested earlier last month for "hurting the religious feelings" of Muslims after they reprinted an article by The Independent's columnist Johann Hari. Titled "Why should I respect oppressive religions?", the piece was originally printed in The Independent on 28 January.

Subsequently, Sections of central Kolkata have been paralysed by protests

A note published on 8 February said The Statesman had reprinted Hari's article because

"it mourned the marginalisation of the middle, liberal path in modern society."The Statesman has always upheld secular values and has a record of providing space to all viewpoints, even contentious ones. If we were unable to fulfill this role, we would rather cease publication with honor than compromise our basic values.

The arrests came in spite of public apology by Kumar for reprinting the article.

Meanwhile in Kerala's, LDF government choose M F Hussain for the Raja Ravi Varma Prize, the state's highest honour for artist.

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