|Drop sedition charges against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, or we will agitate, warns Arvind Kejriwal
|Updated on : 11-09-2012 | By Frontier
Trivedi, who is in jail in Mumbai, met this morning with activist Arvind
Kejriwal and other members of the India Against Corruption movement. Mr
Kejriwal warned that if charges of sedition are not dropped against Mr Trivedi,
activists will begin a demonstration outside the Arthur Road jail starting
"MPs who disrespect the national emblem... official papers have national
emblems printed on them ... they commit corruption and should be booked for
sedition," said Mr Kejriwal, who is also the right-hand aide of Gandhian
activist Anna Hazare.
The arrest of the 25-year-old cartoonist has provoked strong criticism. Mr
Trivedi says he is entitled to lampoon corruption and a corrupt government and
has refused to apply for bail; he says he will not leave jail till the charges
of sedition against him are dropped and the law itself is ammended. This was
emphasised in a letter, reportedly written by Mr Trivedi, read out by India
Against Corruption (IAC) members yesterday outside the Arthur Road jail.
A local court has sent him to Arthur Road Jail for 14 days.
Mr Trivedi's supporters allege that he is being targeted by the government for
supporting the anti-corruption movement championed by Anna and Mr Kejriwal.
Mr Trivedi has gone from little known to trending in a
matter of days. His arrest is based on the complaint of a Mumbai
lawyer who took umbrage at Mr Trivedi's anti-corruption cartoons, especially
one that re-interpreted the Ashok Chakra national emblem - wolves replaced the
three lions to show ravenous corruption. He has said, "If telling the
truth makes me a traitor then I am one."
The Mumbai police tried to reverse out of the controversy on Monday, telling a
local court that they were done with questioning him and were surrendering
custody. Mr Trivedi has been charged with allegedly uploading "ugly
and obscene" matter on his web portal and putting up objectionable banners
insulting the Indian Constitution during an Anna Hazare protest in Mumbai last
The government, on the back foot, has said people cannot be allowed to
"cross the line." Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika
Soni said, "We are not against democratic rights, we are all for free
speech... people have made cartoons of Nehru, Indira earlier. But there
is a thin line you draw between free speech and what can be termed as offensive
especially against national symbols."