IT is a given that you cannot be secular enough if you are not scurrilous enough. This being so, blasphemy is the barometer for measuring the height or depth of one'ssecularism. Still, is not this blasphemy business getting a little out of hand? Look what'shappening. All Muslims are furious with that Danish cartoonist for lampooning Prophet Mohammed, while some Hindus (repeat, only some) are somewhat annoyed with M.F. Husain for showing Hindu gods and goddesses having sex with animals.
The point here is, do Muslims have to be so disturbed by some dastardly Dane, and do even some Hindus have to be so pissed at some puerile Padma Vibhushan, for committing blasphemy, when neither of these two peoples has seen real blasphemy?I mean, the authentic, American article?
For if, in these days of globalisation, we go to America for almost everything, ranging from ball pens to branded shirts, that is where we need to go, to that ?God'sown country?, to see ungodly blasphemy perfected as an art and practised as a pastime. America is a Christian country where anti-Christianity blasphemy is a billion-dollar business that entertains Americans morning, noon and night.
So Satiricus has a simple piece of advice for touchy Hindus and touchier Muslims?if you really want to know real blasphemy, go to Christian America. It is there in American journals and books, on television, on radio?it is as omnipresent as God.
The latest issue of the mod music magazine Rolling Stone features a ?rap? singer wearing Christ'scrowns of thorns on the cover. Dan Brown's(in-)famous novel The Da Vinci Code posits Christ had sex. On television a programme called ?The spirit of Christmas? shows a fist-fight between Christ and Santa Claus that is full of obscenity. On the radio a morning show features a well-known comedian and his ?biblical sayings?, in which the disciples make shocking jokes?And these programmes are big hits, one and all.
So why is all this American blasphemy such an outstanding success? Because, says an article on the subject in the Washington Post, ?The right to be religiously offended is the right to be a modern American?. And what does that exactly mean? Not being a modern American but being a backward Bharatiya, Satiricus is not sure. All he can guess is that modernity and blasphemy must be integrally linked. Or is all this just as admirable index of the American sense of humour?
Oh, well, in that case the motto on the American dollar coin needs to be slightly improved upon. Currently it says, ?In God we trust?. It can be amended and improved to say, ?In God'ssense of humour we trust?. So how about some delightful denigration of desi deities?