Such reasonable liberalism.
Such civilized libertarianism.
I appreciate Rushdie’s call for true liberalism and freedom, not Justin Trudeau’s socialist slant, who is the epitome of what Salman Rushdie speaks about with grave concern. He speaks about how political ideological people try to whip the every day people up these issues up, saying they are always top down. These are not from the bottom up, people at the top stirring for their purposes. Everyday people are more sensible than their leaders (at 29 minutes). The number of people who are verbally or physically assaulting gays, transgenders, Muslims, Jews, blacks etc, are not as common as they would have you believe. Ideological driven people are creating a sense of hysteria. Most people are fine. The ones who are not, there are laws for them. Rushdie would be banned from speaking in Canada, or called a hate speech advocate. Goes to show how insanely we have drifted to the radical left in Canada.
Just watch the whole video.
“The idea that this is somehow a wrongness (To debate religions and use Satire) has crept in much more recently and does great disservice to all of us. What has happened the weapons used now to to impose this idea of “Wrongness” (Of course the old weapons of blasphemy and heresy are there) but there are two new weapons which are the ideas of respect and offense.
Now, when I use the word respect it means that I take people seriously. I engage with them seriously. It doesn’t mean that I agree with everything they say. what is happening now is that the term “Respect” is being used as a way of demanding “Assent“. If you disagree with me you are disrespecting me, and I will get very angry, and I may even pick up a violent weapon, because that is my way when I am disrespected.
The other word “Offense“.
Again, a culture of “offendness”is growing up. Not just in this country, in other countries too, but, very much in this country, where your “offendness” defines you. Who are you if your are not offended? Who are you if nothing offends you? You’re probably a liberal (Laughs). And who would want to be that? (Jokingly)
The fact is that in any open society people are constantly saying things that other people don’t like. It’s completely normal that that should happen. And, in a confident, free society, you just shrug it off and you proceed.
There is no way to create a Free Society in which no one ever says things other people don’t like. If offendedness is the point at which you have to limit thought, then nothing can be said.
There might be people who are offended by various kinds of literature. I myself am not very fond of…… …… yet I believe that such writers have the right to publish, and of course, to Live.
The point is that behind these ideas of “offendedness” and “respect” is always the threat of violence. Always the threat is, “If you do that which disrespects or offends me, I will be violent towards you.” (Authors note – or seek laws to punish you, charge you, fine you).
So the real subject is not religion, it’s violence. And, how do we face up to the threat of violence? And, that is something we need to think about.
We see these things happening every day, every day. We see gay artists in Galleries in India being attacked by Hindu hooligan mobs. These are the cases which make the headlines, you know.
Behind all of that, it seems as if every day now, somewhere there is a piece of bleeing by Muslims or Hindus, of groups they believe in some way offend them, and voices are being silenced.
Voices are being silenced, Publishers are frightened to publish. Galleries are frightened to display certain kinds of art, certain kinds of films will not be made that would have 15 or 20 years ago. The chilling effect of violence is very real and it is growing in this country.
And I have to say, this is where the other part of the story, which involves all of us, comes in. Which is a public apathy towards this.
….. and these ideas, these ideas, these ideas that you should not upset people, you should not upset religious groups – these have broad acceptance in the public mind.
They (say) “Who gives you the right to upset people?”
I would say, Who gives people who are upset the right to come and attack me?”
The question is not disagreement, the question is the violent implementation of disagreement. And, the threat of it which prevents dissenting voices from speaking. That is what’s going on and people here are asleep, very largely asleep to what’s going on, and you need to wake up. You need to wake up!
There is a line in my novel, Shalamar the clown, in which one character says to another, “Freedom is not a tea party, India. Freedom is a War.”
You keep the freedoms that you fight for, you loose the freedoms that you neglect. Freedom is not absolute. It is something which someone is always trying to take away from you. And, if you don’t defend it, you will loose it.
You will loose it!
– Salman Rushdie – Liberty Versus: I am What I am and That’s All That I Am. Closing Session at India Today Conclave, in New Delhi, March 17, 2012