I love my FoS with two squares of restrictions
Freedom of Speech(FoS) is the new drink in the market. It's so potent that ideology seems to not come in it's way. In short, this is all about everyone wanting this drink. But all the folks are debating about how to have this intoxicant.
First a bit about the features about this FoS. It seems, US of America is pretty famous for it. Everyone typically talks a lot about how they even provide the special Flag charred variant of this. But, no one wants to talk about the hooters there. And that precisely is the difference between US and us. So,let us not talk about them.
Now, coming to the way we Indians prefer our brew. In the good old days(and in some remote villages even now), folks used to compulsorily carry a towel along with them, especially the younger folks hiding from elders(or sometimes, some elders trying to hide from other people). This towel is a very sacred piece of conviction. A conviction that covering a few inches will safely hide the face. (Most of you would have heard only about cats stealing milk by closing their eyes so that no one else knows about it!!) This towelization of FoS is only a natural way for us to have a drink.
Please don't ask: why towel? It's a genuinely tough question. It's tough to explain especially to those who have never had to use the towel. It's like the purdah in that famous song in Amar Akbar Antony. Don't ask why Akbar's(played by Rishi Kapoor) girlfriend had to wear that veil. But the beauty of the Qawwali is in having the veil hiding the face of the lover. These songs typically deal with three things(actually just one hing: love)--love for booze, love for girl and love for God. I'm telling you: all these three loves are pretty dangerous. Interestingly, all three use towels. But, I guess I already digressed a lot. Frankly speaking, I don't mind if you do a bit of hiding behind a towel if the FoS brand is a bit extra feisty. We use towel because that's how we manage to give the freedom to drink without compromising on the tougher task of owning the consequence as well.
There is another thing with FoS. It typically has a...how do you say it...a certain regional twist to it. It's something like bad handia(a local, horribly pungent brew). The other day, i saw a couple of drunkards fighting in the middle of the road. To make matters worse, they were standing in either side. The one on left was not allowing the one of right to move and vice versa. All of us were practically praying that the stop the fight or sober up soon, so that we can move. The worst part of all this: they were actually arguing whose brew is more potent!! I mean, here we have two drunkards. Both are blocking the road. Both smell like shit. No one really cares much about the place from which either have come. But they will block our road. I thought I would myself have joined one of the sides or decide to break up and form my own side if they don't stop. I tell you: no matter where the brew comes, there will be some drunkard who is always going to claim that they make it best in their village or village shop.
The problem with a large country like ours is that we have just too many brews, some even changing from one road to the next. So, especially in an Indian context, it's actually safer to sell the FoS in a dark bottle. I think a dark bottle, or a bottle marked with "Made in India" instead of the place name is the safest bet. I mean, no one is going to throw cudgels if they think it is for the good of the nation, right!
So, that sort of says why i like my FoS with the two restrictions--something to protect me from bloodthirsty fiends and brainless local hooligans.
(Please do read Jay Panda's TOI blog: Hypocrisy on free speech for more about FoS)