September 14, 2012

An intolerant and irrelevant government's draconian sedition law

The Indian government is becoming a joke by the day! Now The Economist, my favorite magazine, has written about the irrelevance of Rahul Gandhi in an article asking, “What’s the point of Rahul Gandhi?” Before that, TIME magazine had dubbed our Prime Minister as an underachiever! The harsh truth is that the term ‘underachiever’ is such a mild word to use for a politically comatose man who has been literally sleep-walking in his monotone voice over his two stints.What a letdown for a democracy and the electorate, for never has India had a worse and more inactive man as its Prime Minister. And then, of course, Washington Post came down heavily on him. And what was the Indian government’s reaction? Well, like immature intolerant fools, they lodged an official protest – exposing to the world that the article was indeed right and more; exposing to the world the government’s mindset, which looks eerily similar to that of Mamata, who shows complete disdain for democratic values and goes about arresting lecturers to farmers – and betraying the sentiments of the same democracy and all those voters who brought her to power. And if that was not enough, then the Indian government gets a cartoonist arrested by using a law that should have been discarded ages back. Yes, it is the same mindset which protests against a Washington Post article, that gets a professor arrested for sharing cartoons on Facebook, that makes an Aseem Trivedi a victim of an archaic law! The way this law has been used to suppress the voice of Binayak Sen earlier, and that of his likes, stinks of an intolerant and draconian government that is becoming irrelevant by the day. It is a matter of utter shame how even today, we cling on to our colonial past and their discriminatory laws, which were crafted to bootlick a select few who ran the government.

The completely shameful arrest of Aseem Trivedi has brought to light again this prevailing archaic law whose legitimacy can only be comprehended after going into its historical milieu and the reason why it was drafted. As I wrote last year during the Binayak Sen case (Read my two related editorials at http://arindamchaudhuri.blogspot.in/2011/01/binayak-sen-victim-of-state-and.html and http://www.thesundayindian.com/en/story/-change-sedition-law-free-binayak-sen/13763/), in the Indian context, sedition dates back to the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, wherein the objective was to forcefully suppress the democratic aspirations of a particular section of society. The skeleton of this section was derived from the common law of seditious libel, meant to control press and publications during that time. This law, regardless of being touted as curbing resistance, is nothing but a rotten remnant of the colonial past with the sole intent of suppressing potential paradigm change-makers. In its current state, the yardstick that gauges the amplitude of disaffection and the resultant violence is very vaguely defined and is highly subjective.

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23 comments:

Epicresearch3 said...

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Deepak Verma said...

Sedition law really should be abolished…..what’s the purpose of the law when the citizens have freedom to speech as one of their rights?????

Rajesh Sharma said...

Today its Aseem Trivedi…….yesterday it was someone else……..why is the govt. so hesitant to face the bitter truth, these people have only expressed the reality….govt. has no choice, either they like it or not.

Sudhir Kumar said...

Why only people like Aseem???There is no strict action against two Muslim youths who were arrested for attacking the memorial with kicks and iron rods during the violence that erupted at Azad Maidan on August 11. Why was even Thackeray’s recent anti-Bihari speech ignored, where he mentions that biharis should be asked to carry & wear badged (like the jews in Nazi Germany durings Hitlers reign) and bluster against north Indians in his speech. Isn’t this a kind of insult to the nation and its people.There are many such cases and it’s a shame that some are prosecuted while many are let off!

suman kumari said...

Aseem is not the only one…..there are many famous personalities who have been prosecuted for the same.

neerajpanjiyara said...

sir you are absolutely correct, indian political condition is hopeless. BJP is organisationally weak without a leader. congress have to face its callous attitude towards problems of common people in the form of antiincumbency, also it is overburdened with dynastic politics. regional parties including left parties couldn't be able to project a viable alternative. knowing this, political parties including the governments have no faith in election results(coming 2014), and hence not interested in showing responsibility towards people. step to increase the price of diesel and lpg is just a manifestation......after a long list of scams and irregularities in governmental functioning.

Alok said...

It's a shame that anti-govt.
expressions are termed as anti-national…..we all have the right to express ourselves I guess!!

Dipti Nayak said...

For me sedition law should be abolished but I won’t say using the national emblem to attack our corrupt politicians was the best thing by Aseem…..he is an artist and could have done that in a better way!

Amit said...

The politicians are looting the country and engaged in anti India activities and at same time imposing strict laws on common people who are spreading awareness and doing good jobs.

pankaj said...

This is indeed a sorry state…… India's law and order has come to such a stage that innocent people, and patriots are booked for sedition while the corrupt, and traitors of India are given respectable posts, honour and power!

Alok kumar said...

The way our govt. has been behaving, I don’t think the day is far when the entire nation will do the same as Aseem.

Deepak Verma said...

How does a common man express his anguish???? Shame on the Government that it has to resort to such action. I believe none of the politicians in the present scenario are pure and truthful.

Raj said...

I wish India had someone like AB Vajpayee as a PM…..please get rid of Manmohan Singh and his corrupt ministers ASAP!!

Vijay Singh RY said...

PM Manmohan Singh is not at all affected or moved by any allegation against him…..he should have resigned by now.

anup said...

British govt. was far better administrator, at least they never went to this extent to curb a revolution and if they did it was expected from them but these people are Indians and are supposed to serve their people and not make them suffer!

Philip said...

Great article there. The government seems to be forever in a coma. And now it has announced some big bang reforms. Hope they dont go back to sleep again.

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Vijay Singh RY said...

Govt argues that FDI in retail will built cold storage chains etc. Why don't the govt give tax incentive to the people for the development of cold storage facilities?

Suchindranath Aiyer said...

Every fundamental Right has been hedged in India's Animal Farm Constitution with Government's powers to curtail. Only the gullible, the naive and those born yesterday would believe that India is a democratic republic.

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