Whatever happened to freedom of speech and expression?
Once upon a time, there must have been a leader with a world changing idea, but he did not have the advantage of an audience until he was able to spark a fire with his bare hands; but that struggle wouldn’t be necessary today. Today, the voice that brings clarity to a situation that we know exists, can reach an audience much faster and with no scope for distortion; thanks to the internet.
So, when the political situation is frayed, when numerous scams are detected, technology manages to capture the wider conscience. The manner in which, Aseem Trivedi chooses to present his argument is through caricatures uploaded on his website. Unfortunately, the administration has a problem with it. Specifically, with a cartoon depicting the national emblem where, the lions have been replaced by wolves and the slogan “Satyameva Jayate” has been replaced with “Bhrashtameva Jayate”.
The complains put forward by Rajendra Pratap Pandey, a local Congress leader; Hanumant Upare, a Dalit leader; and Amit Katarnaeva, a member of the Republican Party of India, are not justifiable on grounds of free speech. According to them, Aseem’s cartoons hurt the national sentiment. Thus, presenting a seditious caricature of the cartoonist, the three politicians have made sure that Aseem was arrested on Saturday at Bandra Kurla Complex, in Mumbai.
However, Aseem, all of 25 years, is by no means subdued; he promises to continue serving the nation as a political satirist. If you were to ponder upon it, such conviction is a result of the often politically-motivated actions of our administrators. Otherwise, why would the ones responsible for siphoning huge sums of money in the numerous scams still be wondering scot-free; and the ones who portray such realities are immediately handed over to the police?
When the internet did not exist, probably, the administration did not need to restrict such attempts; because they knew for certain that the rebel would die trying. Today, they are worried because a rebel can add volume to his argument just by uploading his idea onto the internet; hence making the administration vulnerable. Besides, even if too many people decide to become critics, there are a million more that can put an end to their high-handedness; without any government intervention.
Now, that is democracy.
Image courtesy: cartoonsagainstcorruption