Not even one month passed since we celebrated our precious 66th Independence day on 15th of August. There were national tri-colors waving on almost everyone's social networking page and with patriotic messages. Not only in soft media, physically as well we all have waved the national flag. Even in space we have hoisted our national flag.
If we go further past by 4 days on 11th of August (2012), then there were Azad Maidan violence - where some sick people allegedly desecrated the Amar Jawan memorial dedicated to sepoys martyred in the First Indian War of Independence - Indian Rebellion of 1857. There were protests by millions and outrage seized the social networking sites with demand to hunt down them who vandalized national prestige.
When we look at these pictures we see overflowing emotion of our fellow citizens towards our mother India.
Apart from these two image, everyday we come across hundreds of cartoons slamming our political leaders. There are thousands of creative cartoons everyday generating and/or circulating - slamming our leading politicians irrespective of their position; be it president, prime minister, chief minister or any body else! Not even the ex-bodies are spared!
Here I would like to add few lines before going further. We are not insulting our respected constitution or constitutional posts by means of these cartoons - we are hitting them hard who are misusing these highly regarded constitutional posts. These are our constitutional birth rights (right of voting, right of free expression). We are doing good - may be a good change knocking at the door. These show our political awareness and our response towards the situation - overall a very good sign in the interest of the country. Coast ahoy!
Let's come back to present date and have a look to our networking pages once again. And what we see? We see there is Mr. Aseem Trivedi - a cartoonist who made a cartoon of wolves with the sign of danger and a message that reads bhrastamev jayate; a symbolic parody of our National Emblem. Mr. cartoonist arrested immediately (actually he surrendered) for charges of sedition on him. The arrest has sparked a nationwide outrage, political parties and civil society groups condemning the arrest and slapping sedition charges against him.
Wait a minute! In my eyes, this incident portrays exactly opposite image of the other images that we discussed earlier. I can understand our frustration, our anger, our agony towards our current government bodies and I can understand all those thousands of cartoons. But simply I can not understand this cartoon - poor me! What happened to my basic understanding capabilities within such a short span?
We all know our National Emblem by heart - Lion Capital of Asoka with a message of Satyamev Jayate. In my eyes the national emblem is no different than the national tri-color, the national anthem or the national song - all stands alike. These are what defines the Republic of India - Bharat Ganarajya. These does not define the post of our president or the post of prime minister or any state chief minister! These defines us - these together symbolizes 1.2 billion Indians. The basics of Bharat (the undivided nation) lies with all of these.
Like we cannot disrespect the national flag, or cannot make fun of the national anthem (or national song) similarly cannot portray an image which insults the national emblem. If we make parody in the tune of Jana Gana Mana or Vande Mataram to humiliate any individual or a group of people; if we make some protesting slogans (may be with F word) in the tri-color targeting someone then it is not insult of the targeted one. It is the humiliation of the whole nation - it is insult of all us (Indians). I do not understand what kind of protest is this? Against whom the protest is addressed? Is it against some group of people or against the whole nation? In this bhrastamev jayate cartoon row - I would like to stand in a different queue.
What is the difference between this cartoonist and that sick guy who allegedly desecrated the Amar Jawan memorial? If that was the insult of all the 1.2 billion Indians, then how come this cartoon is not?
My fellow citizens, my dear friends, please think a bit more (preferable more wisely) while utilizing our freedom of speech. Lets do not mislead (or misguided by media); lets do not divert from the main cause. This phase is crucial for our nation - many will try to break the unity. We shall always make sure that, our voice is never against our nation. The nation stands first, for which's betterment we are seeking a change. We are making a movement for a better future. The nation is the basic of all, if no nation then changes for what? and for whom?
|Jai Hind. Jai Bharat.|