Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Vulgar Vs Obscene

Updated: March 21, 2015 3:35 pm

India that is Bharat

POOR knowledge of English being the stock-in-trade of an English-language journalist, it is in the fitness of things that Satiricus should not know the difference between the meanings of “vulgar” and “obscene”. Was the recent show of a comedy group vulgar or was it obscene? According to legal defence, it was just vulgar, so legal, and not obscene, so illegal. And of course as a law-abiding citizen is a good citizen, it follows (or should follow) that what is lawful is good. So vulgarity must be good because it is legal and obscenity is bad only because it is bad in law. See? The law may be an ass, but Indian law is an Indian ass, which can discern between the vulgar and the obscene, not the indiscriminate ass of American law, as imaginatively described in a best-selling novel. It describes a fictional court case in which a person charges another person with abusing him with the expletive “mother*****”. On hearing the plaint the judge laughed and said, “Why, that’s a common word in my neighbourhood, nothing special to it.” He dismissed the case. The defence lawyer, who won the case, approached the judge to thank him, and politely said, ‘Thank you, mother*****?”

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