FORMER Ambassador Shri OP Gupta and noted educationist and convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti Shri Dina Nath Batra jointly served a legal notice to Frontline for hurting their sentiments by using the words ‘Hindutva Terror’ and ‘Hindu Terror’ in the story published in the issue dated August 13, 2010 under the title ‘Short cut to Hindu Rashtra’. The notice, served on September 7 by their counsel Monika Arora, has been served to N Ram, Editor-in-Chief of Frontline, P Ranga Reddy, Printer, Ms Purnima S Tripathi, correspondent and Ms TK Rajalakshmi, correspondent.
The news magazine has been demanded to tender an unconditional apology and to withdraw the aforesaid article/cover story from the magazine with an undertaking not to use such derogatory and offending words in future which hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindus, failing which, an appropriate legal action would be taken against all the four noticees after 15 days of receiving the notice.
“My clients have a strong objection to the usage of such derogatory, defamatory and insulting words used by you in connection with the great religion Hinduism which believes in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) and Ekam Sad Vipra Bahudha Vadanti (All paths lead to the same God),” the notice said.
The notice further said, “By connecting the word ‘Hindu’ with terrorism, you are branding every person who professes and propagates Hindu religion as an agent and exporter of terror thereby defaming and derogating an entire community. In the aforesaid article you have not even thought it necessary to define the words Hinduism and Hindutva. If certain fringe elements, who happen to be Hindus, resort to violent and aggressive activities then those offenders should be dealt with in accordance with the established law of the land. That due to the terror activities of certain people, it is wrong to brand an entire religion or an ideology or a philosophy to be engaged in terrorist activities.”
The notice alleged that the Editor, Printer, Publisher and the Correspondents associated with the news magazine have intentionally, deliberately and maliciously incorporated the offending words knowing fully well that they would severely hurt the emotions of the people professing the aforesaid way of worship.”Even the United Nations has defined terrorism as a criminal act with the intention to provoke terror among the masses in general irrespective of any religion. Because of the violent activities of certain unlawful elements who happened to be Hindus, you noticees got an opportunity to derogate an entire community and a great religion. It is an offence punishable under the provisions of Section 153, 153A, 295A, 298, 505(2) of Indian Penal Code,” the notice said.