Vir Sanghvi is one of my favorite analysts on the Indian scene. Most like to get branded and then leave their principles. They would change their arguments and principles because they are either right or left. Vir Sanghvi is not like that. The following really explains the point beautifully!!
Where’s the consistency in those positions? Why is it a question of freedom of expression when Husain paints nude portraits that many Hindus find offensive? And why is it a question of protecting the feelings of a religious community when somebody paints the Prophet?
All the arguments used to dismiss Hindu objections can be used to dismiss Muslim protests. Of course Muslims are forbidden from visually representing the Prophet. But why should that injunction apply to non-believers or to those who choose to lead secular lives? If Muslims are offended, they shouldn’t see the paintings.
The Husain example is hypothetical. But the case of the Danish cartoons is not. Most liberals will tell you that they were appalled by the death threats and the hysteria generated by religious leaders in India and abroad. But they will also say that the cartoonist should not have visually represented the Prophet and that papers should not have carried the cartoons.
Does this make any sense? One rule for Hindus, another rule for Muslims?