Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi Arrested: A Mockery Of Democracy

by Prasant Naidu on September 10, 2021

in NEWS

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The Indian government is systematically clamping down the voices that formed the India Against Corruption movement. Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who had started a campaign against corruption through his website ‘www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com’ was arrested yesterday by the Mumbai Police’s cyber wing on charges of sedition and insulting the national emblems in his cartoons.

Cartoons_against_corruption

On the first day of Anna’s fast during the ‘India against corruption’ movement last year, his website was banned following a private complaint. There was no legal notice, no court order, no advance warning and not even a letter/email requesting to remove the objectionable content. However, he continued with his campaign through the blog ‘www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.blogspot.in’. In addition, he founded ‘Save your voice’, a campaign committed to raising a united voice to save our freedom of expression, along with journalist Alok Dixit.

No doubt the High and Mighty forces had an eye on him. In January, a case of sedition was filed against him at the Beed district court. Last month, the court had issued a non-bailable warrant against the cartoonist accusing him of putting ‘ugly and obscene content’ on his website. He has been charged under 124a sedition, 66a of IT Act and National Emblem act.

Ever since, the Twitter world has been abuzz with outrage in the form of #AseemTrivedi trending at the top. Majority of the tweets are condemning this act while a few seem to be offended with his cartoons.

Mahesh Murthy, a man who builds brands and a social media influencer, has changed his DP to reflect one of the ‘alleged’ cartoon and has urged others to do the same.

As can be seen, Aseem’s version has ‘Bhrashtameva Jayate’ meaning ‘Corruption Alone Triumphs’ instead of the original ‘Satyameva Jayate’ meaning ‘Truth alone Triumphs’ in his version of the National Emblem.

It is evident to any sane person that Aseem was pointing to the rampant corruption in our system and not insulting anybody. “Just gone thro’ Aseem Trivedi’s cartoons. They r hard hitting, but I find nothing wrong in that. His imprisonment is mockery of democracy”, tweeted Nikhil Wagle, Editor of IBN Lokmat.

While many blogger activists have voiced their concerns, a public petition by Change.org, addressed to R R Patil, Home Minister of Maharashtra demands to release him immediately on the grounds of ‘Right to freedom of speech and expression’ as granted by the Indian Constitution. The online petition has so far collected 1710 signatures.

Interestingly, the arrest has come at a time when he was scheduled to visit Syria to collect the ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’ on the 12th of September!

In a country where we have seen an uninterrupted barrage by the Indian government to censor free speech, this does not come as a surprise. In April, Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal got Prof. Ambikesh Mahapatra, a Kolkata professor arrested for forwarding a cartoon spoof on her. He had been charged with eve-teasing (Section 509 of the IPC), defamation (Section 500 of the IPC), humiliating a woman (Section 114 of the IPC) and causing offence using a computer (Section 66 A (b) of the IT Act). Twitter saw an uproar in the form of #arrestmenow where lakhs joined to condemn the arrest, but justice is still delayed.

Aseem’s Save Your Voice, had protested this by making cartoons on the burning issues of West Bengal at the India Gate. Now its our turn to protest against his arrest.

Prasant Naidu

Founder and Blogger at Lighthouse Insights. Loves to experiment in social media and believes social media is a game changer for SME's.

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  • JD

    You quote Nikhil Wagle??? Well, that explains it.

  • Prince

    fansi dedo ise toh jo bharat maa ke gang rape ka cartoon banaye

    • BIDHAN CHANDRA SINGH

      IT SEEMS YOU HAVE NO WIT AND INTELLIGENCE TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN AN AFFRONT ON NATIONAL SENTIMENT AND A TRUTHFUL STATEMENT OF THE PREDICAMENT OF OUR COUNTRY WHICH SUFFERS OUTRAGIOUS ATROCITY IN THE HANDS OF SOME ROTTEN POLITICIANS.YOUR JINGOISM IS MISDIRECTED AND MISCONCEIVED .IF YOU ARE A TRUE NATIONALIST ,STEP OUT OF THE COCOON OF NEGATIVE CRITICISM AND STRIVE AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR CONTRIBUTION IN RESTORATION OF OUR COUNTRY TO THE STATE OF GLORY.CAN ONE STAND THE PAIN OF ONE`S MOTHER BEING RAPED AND NOT BEAR WITH THE TRUTH OF BEING ACQUAINTED WITH THE SAME?

    • Jay Hind

      Main aapke saath hoon. Agar aap Aseem ko Phansi dene ki baat karte ho jisne bhara maa ka cartton banaya hain, toh isse pehle, un sabhi bhrast netao ko phansi dedo jo bharat maa ka bhrastachaar se rape kar rahe hain. Aur, agar yeh nahi kar sakte, to apna muh band rakhen.

    • Kumar

      Abe pagal ho gaya hai kya tu . .. thoda bheja laga. . yeh admi teri ankh khol kar dikha raha hai, ki asliyat main kya ho raha hai. Agar fansi lagana hi hai, to us gang ko pakado jo parliament main baidh kar sare kukarm kar rahe hain.

  • Reply to Prince

    @478396960f9e77870371494de6d20808:disqus but isnt that whats happening with our mother india. Is the corruption declining, no it isnt, instead politicians are trying out new ways of how to stop people from complaining about the corruption. I do not see them as offending coz i accept that this is the state of our nation. It is a shame on the politicians (good and bad) coz they are the ones responsible for this kind of situation. It is said that just for an evil man to succeed it takes millions of good peoples silence and that is what happened with our nation. We have not raised our voices regarding even small level of corruption hence suffer the consequences

  • Nanda Ni

    The corruption going on in India is something seriously wrong, but insulting our constitutional emblems, showing that Mother India is being gang-raped, using the parliament building to draw a WC, re-writing the words “Satyam-eva Jayate” as “Bhrashtam-eva Jayate”; these are seriously wrong things to do. One must understand the difference between criticizing the politicans and disrespecting the national emblems and temple of democracy. If someone is misbehaving in a TEMPLE or CHURCH, it doesn’t mean we disrespect the TEMPLE and CHURCH. Mr.Aseem Trivedi sadly has crossed the fine line between what’s criticism and what’s downrigtht offensive. His cartoons are highly condemnable and apparently he’s lost his mind in differentiating between Politics and Democracy.

    • DS

      You sound like a stuck record. And a little low on intelligence. You are unable to see that the cartoon is NOT INSULTING the National Emblems/Institutions. The cartoon is very clearly showing that the National Emblems and Institutions that need to be protected and respected are infact being insulted and defiled by the corrupt politicians. Please remove the blinkers from your eyes and brains. Hopefully, you will be able to see and understand what is really depicted in these cartoons. If you want to be offended, get offended by the way the police officer was brutalized by the PSO of the Congress Minister in the J&K government. Now, this is what I would call as insult to the National Emblem which is personified in the form of a police constable and this offence is a fit case for sedition charges. If you have the guts, sense and some decency, rave and rant about this.

  • M3N0N

    digusting & distastefull. In a country with great political cartoonists aseem’s is crass & a shame. There should be stern action taken against him for hurting the sentiments on patriotic citizens of this nation. Like how it is illigal to show racist or cartoons insulting religious sentiments similarly for people who’s religion is their country showing kasab urinating on our sacred constitution is un acceptable. Aseem is a foolish miguided idiot who is being lionised by a bunch of ignorant fools.

    • Nanda Ni

      U are absolutely right. In fact I doubt whether those who are condemning his arrest, did actually see all those dreadful cartoons. Aseem Trivedi doesn’t seem to be in right mind, since he doesn’t seem to understand the difference between criticizing corrupt politicans and insulting Mother India and National Emblems. U put it so well, Aseem does seem to be a misguided moron and he’s being lionised by a bunch of igonrant fools.

      • vikram

        Nandani ji, just because you dont like it. it doesnot mean others are fools. before pointing fingers at others look at ur self, have you ever voted. what aseem trivedi has shown is thew truth this is happening in india. so please do not bask in ur ignorance and have the courage to look at the truth. the politicians ARE raping YOUR MOTHER INDIA, what the hell are YOU doing about it???????

        • IAC

          u SOB .. u dont understand the true meaning of protest .. may be your education would have taught you the difference between insult and protest ..

    • http://www.facebook.com/rahul.kale.1614 Rahul Kale

      When fighting takes place in Rajyasabha, crores of ruppes of corruption, croores are rupees are wasted and parlment did not run - all these and so many these types of things bring proud ?

    • Kumar

      Use the meat inside your skull.
      The person is just trying to make you aware of the disease, our country is suffering from.
      He just has experssed how much pain he feels about it.
      A bunch of politicians are raping the mother land. They have sold the natural resources to China make thousands of crore rupees in swiss bank. They have black money more than you and I could count in our life time. They have made sure that their next 70 generation can live the lavish life without doing anything. They take bribe for every thing they do.
      Now, its all happening because people like you vote such politician and try to supress persons who try to raise their voice against the current system.
      You support criminal politicians, vote them and then cry for the condition of the country.

      • Kumar Prabbhakar

        We know the meaning very well ,there are many other means to percieve the scenario around in this era of modernisation.Speaking is not the only way to protest the government ,portaying is quite easy and undferstanding the meaning
        it leaves is the other. Our culture doesn’t allow such cartoons and we don’t need to depend on this ugly and immoral way of expression.

  • Anando

    though its definitely in bad taste, all this is just over reaction.

  • anarjit

    if aseem is a desh drohi then who are these corrupt politicians who are destroying the economy of India by using it outside the country. what happened when the big bollywood stars i wud nt like to name them as the national flag was used against the country, the celebraties misusing the national flag by using them as an undergarment. where goes the nationality. it is shamefull by the government to use dirty politics by using it as a primary “hathiyaar”. aseem is only being used as a bait for the destruction of TEAM anna. shame on them…..

  • vikas

    he is telling us the truth.. nthg is wrong in it… sirf cartoon dekh kar hum dar gaye hai..agar hum desh ke haalat se aamna saamna ho gaya to shayad sucide kar loo geee…we shd support Trivedi..

  • Karma

    Aseem Trivedi in his cartoons has expressed his anguish at the deplorable state of affairs of the country today. There are millions who feel the same as Aseem does. Unfortunately, they cannot draw as well as him. As for the charges of sedition, I wonder who deserve to be charged for sedition - the corrupt, inept and deplorable politicians , the limp, lethargic and compromising buerocracy or a nationalist Indian like Aseem. The nation will judge. This is just the start of an awakening which will sweep the nation sooner than we all think, for there are millions of Aseem’s waiting in the wings. God bless India. Jai Hind.

  • DILEEP KUMAR KANPUR

    LOKTANTRA KE AAYINE SE ETNA DAR GAYEE HAI SARKAAR KI IS DESH MAIN BHRASTCHAAR KA PARDA PHANS NA HO SAKE ISLIYEY.
    CARTOONIST KI AWWAZ KO DABAANA CHAHETI HAI.
    ASEEM TRIVEDI NE JO KIYA WO SAHI HAI

    AUR ABHI BHI IN BHRASTCHAARIYO SE HISSAB NAHI LIYA GAYA TO DESH KA YOUNGESTER ISSESE BHI BADA KAAM KAR KE DUNIYA KI NAJRO MAIN IS DESH KI SAHI TASVEER DIKHAYEGA JISSE KI AMERICA HI NAHI AUR BHI DESH HAR ROJ SACHHE HINDUSTAANI KO AWARD SE NAWAJE GI AUR HUM GARVE SE KAHAINGE ………………………………………………..YEH HAI MERA ASLI BHARAT JISE IS DESH KE NETAU NE LOOTA HAI. BACHCHEY BHOOK SE MAR RAHE HAI / GAREEBI CHARAM SEEMA PAR HAI / NETA KE GHAR MAIN BEY HISAAB PAISA HAI.

    INKA HISAAB MANGNA RAAJ DROH HAI.

    DILEEP KUMAR (YOUNGESTER)
    KANPUR

    • Bhileep Bhumar Bhanpur

      All-caps use karne se point prove nahi hota,

  • SoS

    The problem with Aseem-Anna supporters is that they rarely talk sense. It is impossible to interact with them on logical grounds. Try sticking to the issue at hand, and they start waxing eloquent about corruption, mother india, taxpayers money and other irrelevant issues. Important, but irrelevant.

    The thing here is simple and clear. A man commits an act (drawing defiling cartoons depicting National Emblem) and there exists a corresponding law which makes him liable to be prosecuted and penalized (National Emblem Act). So by protesting the arrest of a miscreant, you are actually suggesting that there should be differentiated application of the law!! I hope you people still have some sense left to comprehend the diabolic implications of this demand. You may be extremely frustrated by the state of affairs, but that does not give you the right to breach laws.

    • Jay Hind

      Dear Friend, you are right. But ask yourself, if you want to make your voice reach the other side of a shouting corrupt mob who is not willing to respond (I am talking about the corrupt politicians), then you have to shout with words greater then their sound so that your sound becomes audible to them. Do you think that Aseem Trivedi has got no sense at all or had no patriotism at all when he was drawing such cartoons. Now, when he has exposed all the politicians by means of these cartoons in a hyperbolic way, all politicians are shouting against him? If they would have listened to the calls against corruption earlier, this situation would not have arise. Decide for yourself, what is morality now for us?

      • SoS

        We are back to square one! All said and done, he has violated the law and hence deserves to be behind the bars. Simple! His intentions were benevolent or not is an inconsequential datum. He chose to be unduly vociferous and as a logical progression ha to bear the consequences. Your dissatisfaction with the system notwithstanding, when you draw a desecrating cartoon or take to arms in protest, it is in violation of law, even if in varying degrees. Almost every criminal in this world blames the socio-poiltical system for his deviation. Poverty drives some and frustration the others. Are we then willing to reason the crimes of all of them away?

        • DS

          What law are you talking about? Something that the British made to ensure that Indians could be ‘appropriately managed’ ??? And these same very pathetic politicians take shelter behind to ensure that Indians are stiffled whenever they raise their voice against the nefarious activities of the politicians - activities which are really qualified to be ‘anti-national’ and worthy of sedition !!! Ofcourse, the wording of these laws do not allow the common man to use these laws against the corrupt and canibalistic politician. And we have people like you supporting these lousy politicians by using technicalities !!! Shame on you.

          • SoS

            Another one of the dumb lot! Why you fellas are so averse to logic, empirical evidence and so given to a-priori ranting, only god knows! Well, you carry on with your high pitched trolling. Arguing with you would be like mud-wrestling with a you-know-what. Toodle-oo!

          • DS

            I guess your comment above applies and reflects on your commentary much more than it does on other commentators here. You cannot even respond without using personalities or abusive language. And you say that Aseem is wrong !!! LOL

    • PCM

      Well Said…People are not getting this point.

  • mahesh

    assemv is right sach bahut kadwaa hota hey

  • sager

    carry on aseem we are with u

  • sager

    wagale u did very good job

  • Ankit

    Arresting Aseem will not stop people making such cartoons now ,instead it has provoked a sense among youth on how to burn the govt and politician’s ass by flooding internet with even more punching cartoons.

  • xyz

    if assem trivedi is booked for such a expression then why has the congress government not hanged ajmal kasab & afzal guru for attacks on india & conspiring against india? has asseem committed a more heinous crime compared with them? The government itself seems insulting INDIA & Democracy by keeping alive the nations enemies. so why shouldn’t your Honorable Mr. Prime Minister be also booked for a day for not doing his job with responsibility.

  • goku

    aseem bhai kaa cartoon adhoora tha. Usme teen bhediye zaroor bataye magar unka naam nahi bataya. Woh teenon congress ke teen kutte sibbal, chidambaram aur manmohan singh hain jo is desh ki asmat ko lutne mein lage jue hain.

  • http://twitter.com/navneetgarg Navneet Gupta

    Arresting Aseem will not stop people making such cartoons now…He is the true indian He’ll show the correct pic abt india……..I don’t think why india arrested him……more than 60 year for indian freedom bt we are using 18 century penal code why we havn’t new penal code for 21 century ……

  • http://www.facebook.com/utsav.mewada Utsav Mewada

    i think With the few days or months to remain on governance of this Congress merger might wana make more n more mistakes to get its biggest defeat of it era!

  • vivek

    we need more Aseems . Hats Off ! His cartoons only manifest the kind of anger against corruption today in India

  • janardan shetye

    Aseem Trivedi cartoonist ko agar deshdroh ka gunah lagaya hai… to desh ke rajkosh ka durpayog (like corruptions) karnawale congress ke ministers terrorist se bhi zada khatarnak hai to unko FASI deni chahiye…

  • janardan shetye

    Aseem Trivedi cartoonist ko agar deshdroh ka gunah lagaya hai… to desh ke rajkosh ka durpayog (like corruptions) karnawale congress ke ministers terrorist se bhi zada khatarnak hai to unko FASI deni chahiye…

  • http://www.facebook.com/loveisinthe Loveis Intheair

    if somebody is just drawing cartoon is put to JAIL & Punished …. then WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY DOING THIS TO INDIA… GOVERNMENT SHOULD PUT THEM ALL TO SERIOUS PUNISHMENT & DO IT FAST ON PRIORITY…

  • Hardy

    No doubt a mockery of democracy…The govt. knows the truth and still hides from it as if no1 will ever recognise. !

  • Kumar Prabhakar

    I support his accusal and his portay of indian scenario.But still i feel that he should have
    used some other referencing figures.Using national figures and the idea of showing the gang rape of mother india is just vague way and its immoral.

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