The article “The rising menace of intolerance” (Feb. 14) provided an insight into how freedom of expression comes under threat in spite of its valiant and repeated defence by the Supreme Court. But our democracy has always resorted to compromise — a shrewd act to tide over the situation from time to time. Kamal Haasan indeed surrendered to fringe elements to release Vishwaroopam. He compromised with his conscience.
One who firmly believes in a functioning democracy cannot but endorse the impassioned appeal in the article. One of the main reasons for intolerance stems from a misreading of religion. Bigotry and obscurantism are man’s inventions. The greatness of a religion lies not in its power to black out unacceptable views, and silence contrary opinions. The primary function of a religion is edification. It gives man the requisite courage to grapple with baser and unscrupulous desires and tendencies, and overcome them. Nothing would be a graver injustice to a religion than trying to wreak vengeance on those whose artistic portrayals and creativity run counter to established dogmas.