AMU Social Media Controversy – The Story:
Three guys and one girl met another guy near they AMU campus for dinner and drinks. The three guys and the girl are supposed to be rather nice people, they are known atheist (atleast three of them are) and are known to criticize religion rampantly on their fb profiles.
The guy whom they met calls himself an atheist but his posts reeks of Islamophobic posts which are aimed more at being derogatory towards the religion than being critical of certain practices. This guy is also a close associate of Tarak Fatah, and anyone knowing TF would know what this means.
After the dinner, this guy posted a pic on the Social media of him drinking with these four people which was put up with a caption which was a direct derogatory attack on the Muslims, as per them.
The AMU students grouped together and highlighted this said post, while confirming that they planned to take action against these three guys and girl (who are deemed as AMU students, not confirmed).
The friends of these guys, however, went about on the social media asking people to stand up for the “Right To Offend” of these four people.
The AMU students actually filed a FIR with the police station against three of these four people. The guy who was actually instrumental in making the original post was not included in the FIR (to the best of my knowledge).
The AMU stand:
The AMU students claim that this is a deliberate attempt to malign and offend their religious sentiments and that as these guys have the right to offend their sentiments, they also have the right to follow the due course of law and file and Police complaint under the valid sections of IPC.
The Three Guys and Girl’s Friends stand:
The friends maintain that they have a right to abuse and make derogatory comments against anyone but there should be no reactions to such abuses and people should sit and listen. So basically, I can abuse you and call you names and you cannot file a defamation suit against me.
The Death Threats:
It was also claimed that death threats were issued against the three guys and the girl. As far as I have checked I did not come across any death threats issued on social media. The best I could find was someone saying, “Aastin ke saap ko maaro” which is as much of a death threat as saying “Killing two birds with one stone” is attempted murder. If however any death threats were made to these people which I haven’t come across, they are highly condemnable.
Two Guys (out of the three) and one girl have submitted written and/or videographed apologies. They, in their apologies, have clearly stated that the post made was offensive and they have dissociated themselves from the post on the basis that they hadn’t made it but were unwitting parties to it. The FIR made by the AMU students still stands.
My Take on the AMU Social Media Fiasco:
Religion is a personal business. A secular constitution gives us the right to practice our religions in our own space as long as it is not imposed on others.
Freedom of Expression gives everyone the right to say and do anything, however the IPC and the Constitution itself restricts us from being abusive an derogatory about any religion with the deliberate intention to offend it.
The three guys and the girl appear to have unwittingly walked into a neatly laid trap by the person who made the post, whose intentions have always been to malign one particular religion and take a perverse pleasure out of doing so.
The three guys and the girl could have complained to the Police and sought their protection against the death threats which they have allegedly recieved. But they didnt do so. This might be because
(a) No credible threats of such nature were directly issued to them which can be cognizable offences.
(b) The people are scared and want this matter to end.
If the (a) holds true, then this is a much ado about nothing. If threats were not given, then it was one person abusing another religion and the other person filing a case about it under the provisions of the law. Both doing what they felt is the best thing to do without resorting to non-constitutional or illegal means.
If (b) holds true, then such death threats are absolutely condemnable and they people should file a police case instead of apologizing, especially in a country and a state which is ruled by the RW governments at the moment where they would be assured protection against the “Muslim Fanatics”
However, one should always remember that if you go about offending religions because you think its well within your Rights and Freedom of Expression, then you might as well have the spine to stand up for what you have done. And if you are going to apolgize for it later on and accept that it is derogatory and abusive then dont do it in the first place.
Disclaimer: It is rather sad to see young impressionable minds being influenced, manipulated and misled by some smart people with an agenda, who then leave these people to face the flak ,in real life, all by themselves while they themselves are more interested in getting Likes and Shares on their posts in an attempt to detect and find more such young impressionable people. The names have not been taken because these people are in enough trouble already, without me having to add up to those.
This post was first published by the author on his Facebook profile.