Month: September 2012

The Angry Cartoons

According to media reports Mr. Trivedi was arrested under the sedition laws. I am not sure if any other charges have been applied against him. It is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that the Government does not act beyond the powers given to it by law. Prima Facie the court has not rejected the charges against Mr. Trivedi and has in fact remanded him to judicial custody. How can the Government be blamed when the accused has been provided access to the courts? If people are not happy with the existing laws then they should demand a change to the laws. Don’t blame the Government for following the law.

There are many democratic countries where it is not considered inappropriate to make bikinis or footwear out of the national flag. But India is different. Here we worship the national symbols to the extent that symbols attain more importance than what they represent. Little wonder that we have laws that are designed to protect the sanctity of these national symbols. One such law is the State Emblem of India Act 2005 (Sec 4). To what extent have these cartoons violated these laws will be determined by the courts but they certainly violate the cultural sensitivities around these symbols.

Communal Sensitivities

For the millions of followers of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the constitution is not just a legal document. They revere it. Mr. Trivedi in one of his cartoons shows a dog with the head of Ajmal Kasab urinating on the constitution. I am not sure about the message that cartoon is trying to convey but it is obvious that it is grossly insensitive towards those who revere the constitution. I am not surprised that complaint against Mr. Trivedi has been filed by a member of the Republican party of India. Will those people who are protesting against the arrest of Mr. Trivedi react in the same way if he had depicted the desecration of Geeta instead of the constitution?

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