When we talk about any matter related to freedom of speech and expression, our opinions are biased to either of the two contrary ends – the one whose freedom is taken away and the other whose sentiments have been hurt. In such cases, the vital point is missed or ignored which can only be seen when this matter is looked into bigger picture.
In any democratic setup, the freedom of speech and expression comes along as a right to its citizens. Any artist through his or her creative work may criticize or satire a current issue not in pubilc interest. Still, there is a border. The one which must not be crossed at any cost. Also, I must also make it very clear that crossing that border is not an invitation to anyone who has objection with the creative result to attack the artist. Someone has beautifully put five simple words together to form an impressive lesson – TWO WRONGS NEVER MAKE A RIGHT.
The last few occurrences on global level relating to the same matter have divided the world into two parts. The one who are with the artists and the other with the ‘victim’ of the art. The need is to look these matters in the light of the above written quote. Observing the situation from any of the two ends will not result in any solution, it would rather only cause polarisation in thoughts.
In the case of Charlie Hebdo versus Hardcore islamist, one just cannot take any side. Both of them are at fault. One might be a little less than other. Just because you are from the creative field, you cannot jump and yell ‘Je Suis Charlie’. Also, your religion never gives you such a vast power of killing anyone in its name.
Cartoons have a great place in the field of journalism. They are an essential tool to attack the policis of the government, cultural as well as economical issues, depicting the society and its ills in a very easy and funny way. A Cartoon may appear funny at one end but deep within it deals to a subject very seriously. It carries some sort of ideology and opinion. Religion is a very personal matter. For some, there might be other theories to believe as far as power of religion is concerned but for some there is an emotional connection. Fellows who think that a cartoon could not hurt anyone are a serious bunch of idiots. We all are emotional somewhere inside. it is alright to make fun of anything which is against the public interest but to make fun of a god of a religion followed by a major chunk of the population is not acceptable and no democracy or republic gives you such freedom.
I stand with those in these times of grief as we all must do but I am certainly not with the creative policy of Charlie Hebdo. And those hooligans who killed the cartoonists in the name of religion can never be called religious by any sane mind on earth or believer in god. The attacks on Charlie Hebdo cannot be justified in any court of law, neither its cartoons.
Another bawl we heard came from North Korea which wanted a ban on the Sony Pictures movie ‘The Interview’. This movie purportedly shows the assassination of the current leader of the North Korean state Kim Jong- Un. Sony Pictures is a Japanese owned company which has its headquarters in United States and this is where it all gets filthy.
The North Korean Government had been criticizing and protesting against Sony Pictures ever since they announced this movie. President Obama might have come to rescue for the movie but that only don’t change the fact that ‘The Interview’ shall never have been made with such scenes of assassination. Why do you want to make a movie killing the current head of a state? Is there any politics involve? Would States have accepted the release of such movie if it involved the controversial killing of its own leader?
A Frontline Magazine’s report will suffice us with answers.
“Senior Sony executives, both in Hollywood and Tokyo, had expressed their serious misgivings about the juvenile yet incendiary plotline of the movie but Sony Pictures went ahead. ……….when it announced the date of the release in December, the North Korean government reacted angrily. It said the movie was a provocative act and was part of Washington’s game plan to destabilise the government in Pyongyang. The movie’s co-director, Seth Rogan, had in interviews confirmed that he had consulted U.S. intelligence officials while finalising the script of the movie. He told the New York Times, “Throughout this process, we made relationships with certain people who work in the government as consultants, who I am convinced are CIA.”
The co-chairman of Sony Pictures is Michael Lynon also is on the board of trustees of Rand Corporation, a private consulting firm with close links with CIA and the pentagon. It is believed that Rand’s specialist on Korea impressed on Sony to base the film on the assassination of the North Korean leader and not any fictional character.
So, here is the behind the curtain story of ‘The Interview’ controversy where people objected the North Koreans for banning the movie and hurting the right to expression. North Koreans are no nicer in the controversy as the ‘Guardians of Peace’ – a group which halted the release of the movie by hacking the Sony Entertainment’s computer systems are believed to be from North Korea only and this act is as big a crime.
Without knowing the complete story, how could one take a stand with any of the parties in such matters. Yes, I am always with the creative lot in the world and their freedom of expression but not when they are on the wrong side.