This was published in HuffPost India on Feb 8 2017. Here is the link. Below is an excerpt.
“These emotions are so subjective and varied that often even members of the same family are at opposite ends on whether, for example, a particular statement is offensive or not. In the Padmavati case also, while the attackers claimed to be offended (as members of a particular community) by certain aspects of the yet-to-be-released film, there were other members of their same community who dissociated themselves from the violent actions.
Besides, in any case, does feeling offended give one the right to commit violence?
Recently, for example, a Marathi play that allegedly justifies Mahatma Gandhi’s murder has been in the news. The director and actor of that play, Sharad Ponkshe, was also associated with another play in the 1990s which dealt with a similar theme, and which claimed to provide a voice to the man who assassinated Gandhi in 1948. It is worth noting that there have been no reports of Mr Ponkshe being physically assaulted by people who admire and love Mahatma Gandhi, and that all the protests against the play have been nonviolent and lawful.”