Are we becoming a nation of blithering idiots?

# Today: FIR lodged against Anil Ambani and senior Reliance Communications officials in Lucknow, after an “emergent meeting” of the Lucknow Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee, for allegedly circulating derogatory jokes against the Sikh community through its mobile and internet services.

# November 2007: D. Gurumurthy, a Hindu Munnani activist in Kumbakonam, has lodged a complaint against actress Khushboo for hurting religious sentiments by wearing chappals in front of goddesses at a film muhurat in Madras.

# May 2007: Mahesh Tayade of Dalit Panthers in Amravati lodged a complaint against item girl Rakhi Sawant for hurting the religious sentiments of Buddhists by keeping a statuette of Buddha in her bathroom.

# April 2007: Rajasthan court orders arrest of Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty after the mock-slobbering of the Celebrity Big Brother winner by the Hollywood actor.

# April 2007: K.K. Pushpraj of Calicut has filed a petition against Mandira Bedi and designer Satya Paul after the television anchor appeared in a saree bearing a print of the national flag during a cricket telecast.

Have we become a nation of think-skinned idiots without a sense of humour? Is creeping political correctness the biggest disease confronting our increasingly uncivil society? Has our criminal-justice system been reduced to a joke at the hands of publicity mongrels? Or have out-of-work nuisance makers found a way of extracting their 15 minutes of fame before a media ready to slap the words “breaking news” on any story?

Above all, when there are thousands of cases crying out for justice, how do our courts, especially in the smaller towns, find the time and promptness to take cognisance of such ridiculous plaints? Is a “Taliban mindset” creeeping in the Indian lower judiciary as Soli Sorabjee says?

Also read: MIDWEEK MASALA: The frog and the sardar

Photo courtesy: Businessweek