Parth Sanyal / Reuters
Section 295(a) allows the government to dictate expression of religious identity according to what a populist or powerful element defines as hurtful – it is, in essence, a blasphemy law. It legitimizes traditionalist and conservative voices in the name of authenticity, and presents a threat to freedom of religion and the right to examine the claims of the faithful.
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A society where the truth cannot even be told in stories must surely be an uncivilised one. A nation where fanatics can control a writer's imagination signals the end of our imagination as a people. An administration that voluntarily participates and colludes to violate and illegally suppress the freedom of speech of a well-known writer is no different from the ISIS. All you need to say is the word "anti-religion", throw in a few protests and the state bends to please. Freedom is our first and easiest casualty.