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Thursday, December 20, 2007

India's still a democracy, isn't it?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought India was a democracy and an advocate for free speech.

Recently, Actress and former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen stated in the newspaper The Tamil Daily that “No Indian has chastity or virginity anymore.” Her words did not only cause some anger from the "moral police, but also from legal authorities. She was issued a notice under many counts, including one that said she used a "word gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman."

It seems ridiculous to me that Sen's comments, which can be seen as a reflection over the massive change in India over the past decade, have resulted in legal action. Obviously, she was exaggerating when she referred to every Indian as having sex. But, using the law against Sen because her words could "affect the moral fabric of India" is regressive and a lame attempt to justify the legal action taken.

There definitely is a struggle between India's growing modernization in big cities, and the "moral police." Sen's comments were apt in that they were representing this new India that is often overlooked by segments of the country. India isn't what it was ten years ago, and people need to recognize that.

I'm not advocating for or against "pre-martial sex"-- but come on, aren't there more important issues that the police and courts need to worry about than what an actress said in an interview?