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“Instead of Aseem Trivedi Government should make self-arrests of some of the cartoons running this country” - twitviews over arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi

 
 

"The arrest of Aseem Trivedi has become the hottest subject on blogs and twitter timelines drawing condemnation to the government and the cartoon by members including celebrities like Kiran Bedi and Press Council of India Chairperson Justice Katju. With the news of Aseem’s arrest featured on the board, twitted and re-twitted reactions in numbers hit the board on the subject."

 
Monday June 09, 2014 INDIA, CARTOONIST ASEEM TRIVEDI, FREEDOM OF SPEECH  
Basudev Mahapatra  
 

For publishing online a cartoon quite resembling to that of Indian National Emblem but with three wolfs instead of the lion heads with a message in Hindi meaning – ‘Don’t worry for the number of lions is reducing drastically because we have lakhs of wolves to replace’, cartoonist Aseem Trivedi has not only been arrested but also was tagged with charges of sedition and mocking the Indian Constitution.

However, the arrest of Aseem Trivedi has become the hottest subject on blogs and twitter timelines drawing condemnation to the government and the cartoon by members including celebrities like Kiran Bedi and Press Council of India Chairperson Justice Katju. With the news of Aseem’s arrest featured on the board, twitted and re-twitted reactions in numbers hit the board on the subject.

 

While Rahul Kanwal @rahulkanwal of Headlines Today reacted saying on his timeline, “Being a cartoonist is probably the most dangerous profession in India right now. Terrorists get away, but cartoonists get arrested. Shame!”, re-twitting Rahul Kanwal, an MP from Biju Janata Dal, Baijayant Jay Panda (@Panda_Jay) twitted, “Indeed…evn rioters safer!!!” Seemed, Panda achieved two targets – one condemning arrest of the cartoonist and mentioning the word ‘rioter’ that his party leaders have been frequently pronouncing these days.

Terming the arrest as encroachment of government and its police into the fundamental rights of the citizens of India, Dipak Bhattarai ‏@dipakbhattarai questioned on his timeline, “Is this the freedom of expression that #India is practicing?” same was also the view of Rashmi @rush2mee who made her point by re-twitting @Vidyut – “As usual bang on! And here is the Aus PM in a cartoon I clicked in a humour museum. Well, isnt this what a cartoonist does, satire?”

But Somesh Dubey Jims,iipm, placed the cartoonist at fault and while commenting on the cartoon in discussion itself wrote, “This is awful Aseem & for me you are not a hero & never be until you apologies for this;; not to government but to people of India. We, people of India know how big is this menace of corruption, but that does not gives you a chance or authority to play with emotions of every INDIAN or its greatest picture that sets a benchmark in world history just because you have IAC on your back to support you. The above Symbol was not made by some greedy netas of today, same has been made by our hero's of Independence. This is perfect example of cheer-haran of India's respect by the hand of an Indian which is some un-matured & over aggressive cartoonist. LET ME TELL, THE PLACE YOU ARE IN TODAY IS THE ACTUAL PLACE FOR YOU [JAIL]. May be when you get out you will realise the fact that such work does not affects culprits in anyway, but the same affects 1.22 billion Indians.” Somesh also reminded, “In the end I must say remember the word RESPECT.”

However, Atul Sharma Director- Asia Operation at SAB LOGISTICS PRIVATE LIMITED, who made a comment on the cartoon as, “also MP and other Minister who (are/ is) happy to cut indian national flag's cake on their birthday is no detained as well as ...but we are happy to (see) other side of coin.....MP and G...i parivar kya mai baapa hai jo hum dekh ke bhi ignore kar dete hai(?) (Transcript: is the G…i family the father and mother so that their faults are always ignored?), made another comment by writing that, “dear bro....a person who can open the eyes of blind people is always criticized so Aseem too....”, may be in reply to Somesh Dubey.

The debate got a fresh energy with a series of twits from Press Council of India Chairperson Justice (KatjuPCI @katjuPCI). Justice Katju posted his opinions in following 6 twits.

1.           My opinion is that the cartoonist did nothing illegal.

2.           In fact arresting a cartoonist or any other person who has not committed a crime is itself a crime under the Indian Penal Code (Cont.)

3.            ... called wrongful arrest and wrongful confinement.

4.           So policemen who make such illegal arrests cannot take the plea that they were obeying orders of political superiors.

5.           In the Nuremberg trials the Nazi War Criminals took the plea that orders are orders, and that they were only obeying the orders.. (Cont.)

6.           of their political superior Hitler but this plea was rejected by International Tribunal which held that illegal orders shd be disobeyed.

Justice Katju has also posted his view on the arrest of the Cartoonist at his blog Satyam Bruyat (Speaking Truth).

While expressing its surprise by writing, “Aseem Trivedi arrested for "sedition"!”, newslaundry @newslaundry linked a page ‘Media in the Dock Timeline’ of its website ‘Newslaundry.com’ that shows data about actions initiated against journalists and cartoonists of India by different governments from the year 2000 till now.

“Aseem Trivedi got arrested for this (the Cartoon)? We are officially losing it as a country or what?” asked Shailesh Kapoor @shaileshkapoor when SonaliRanade @sonaliranade condemned the arrest as, “Aseem Trivedi is facing sedition charges: To prosecute a cartoonist so frivolously is a disgrace”.

“Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi makes "cartoons against corruption" and is arrested for sedition. Never knew corruption was so dear to our state,” wrote Faking News ‏@fakingnews. Blaming the government further, FakeJourno ‏@FakeJourno twitted, “Utterly shameful and disgusting that govt cant arrest rioters and terrorists but slap sedition case against a cartoonist.”

A Collumnist, Journalist and Tech Writer with Hindustan Times, Madhavan Narayanan ‏@madversity posted, “When Truth is boring, politicians put it in committee reports. When it is funny, they arrest the one telling it.” Comparing the government’s brand value with ‘Amul’, Kiran Bedi twitted, “Brand Amul on Top (Because of Integrity). Brand Government at Bottom (Because of Corruption)! Case for Sedition? Or Correction?”

A celebrity author SUHEL SETH @suhelseth hit at the government and its act of arresting a cartoonist by twitting, “Instead of arresting Aseem Trivedi, the Government should make some self-arrests of some of the cartoons running this country..” However, demanding a self introspection by people in power, a filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit @ashokepandit mentioned on his timeline, “If Aseem Trivedi is arrested fr making insulting the parliament then all those who threw mikes at each other in parliament shd be arrstd”.

[Announcement: twitted messages are given as-it-is. Only in a few cases words are put in bracket where it seemed missing]

 
 

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