September 10, 2012

"He is not Aseem but he is a storm, he is the nation's another Gandhi."

A protest chant, chanted in Mumbai, over the arrest of the cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, charged with sedition.
In one of his cartoons the customary three lions in India's national emblem are replaced with three wolves, their teeth dripping blood, with the message "Long live corruption" written underneath.

Another cartoon depicts the Indian parliament as a giant toilet bowl.

Government officials say that while they are in favour of free speech, there is a thin line between that and insulting national symbols....

28 comments:

edutcher said...

They did flirt with the Soviets for a long time.

That sort of mindset lingers.

Witness here.

Marshal said...

I root for India to get its act together. They're a natural ally and will become even more so over the next century. But their culture sucks in so many ridiculously cartoonish ways sometimes it's hard to be optimistic.

ricpic said...

OT: "The country's economy is going to collapse if Obama is reelected." Just spoken by Limbaugh.

Lyle said...

India is wonderful in so many ways. This is bunkum though.

The Crack Emcee said...

Government officials say that while they are in favour of free speech, there is a thin line between that and insulting national symbols....

Amazingly, that ALWAYS seems to be the case,...

Robert Cook said...

Many American citizens are in favor of criminal sanctions for burning the American flag.

gregq said...

Dear government officials:

There will never be a cartoon that it's acceptable to suppress for political reasons. If your "national symbols" can't handle the assault, it's because you're doing a poor job, and should be fired.

prairie wind said...

Interesting. Many Indians don't see Ghandi as the guru-for-peace that Americans think he is.

Many American citizens are in favor of criminal sanctions for burning the American flag.

Crazy thinking, isn't it? But there are criminal sanctions for just about everything nowadays. The Tea Party needs to push for cutting spending in law enforcement: fewer felons, fewer prisons, fewer prison guards, a less-powerful prison guard union.

Come to think of it, here's another great idea: Since no one in their right mind wants to live next door to a prison guard (I mean...really), let's make them register and then we'll put the registry online where everyone can see it.

Methadras said...

I've been redeemed. I've always called India a giant 8th world shit hole toilet bowl and it is. Their levels of corruption are open and outward and no one cares.

Shouting Thomas said...

Many American citizens are in favor of criminal sanctions for burning the American flag.

Yes, Cookie.

But, in their defense, they haven't strung you up yet.

Scott said...

The line Trivedi crossed was one that challenges journalists every day in corrupt countries around the world: You can say that the government performs its mission badly, but you can never say that the government is wrong.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Robert Cook said...

Many American citizens are in favor of criminal sanctions for burning the American flag.



Criminal sanctions, no, but I think it is very, very bad manners. I recommend shaming.

Andy Freeman said...

> Since no one in their right mind wants to live next door to a prison guard (I mean...really), let's make them register and then we'll put the registry online where everyone can see it.

Huh?

Why would someone object to living next to a prison guard? Do the same objections apply to living next to a police officer?

gadfly said...

Recently we heard that India cannot dig enough coal to keep its lights on and its power plants running because Coal India, the government-owned mines, are not modernized and imported coal is too expensive to turn turbines when prices are determined by government fiat. 25% of India has no electric power!

This cartoonist incident points to too much government also, but it is far less serious than the failure to provide the most basic utility infrastructure. I do admit, however, that having the man arrested is beyond the pale.

prairie wind said...

Why would someone object to living next to a prison guard? Do the same objections apply to living next to a police officer?

Yes. Prosecutors, too. They might look like upstanding citizens but one can't be too careful.

EMD said...

Government officials say that while they are in favour of free speech, there is a thin line between that and insulting national symbols....

Then they are not in favour of free speech.

paul a'barge said...

Hah hah hah. Everywhere the British went the one thing they never spawned was Freedom of Speech. They don't have it in Canada and they don't have it in India either.

It took the Americans to plop it out of thin air and a modest amount of prayer.

Eustace Chilke said...

The acting president can only watch enviously. For now.

Eustace Chilke said...

@ prarie wind; ditto.

I had a cop as neighbor briefly. I was relieved when he moved even though he moved on to work for the Stasi... er... the Dept of Homeland Security.

I wouldn't even speak to a cop or prosecutor or the agent of any department with police powers of any sort - and which one lacks such powers these days? - if I knew who they were. You can't be too careful is right.

JAL said...

India has wrestled with free speech for many decades.

They are for it when they aren't against it.

There are laws against "spreading rumors."

Lived there.

Sigivald said...

Robert Cook said: Many American citizens are in favor of criminal sanctions for burning the American flag.

True, and they shouldn't be.

But even then, none of them - that I've come across, and I've come across a fair number who'd like to make flag burning illegal - are for criminally punishing someone for drawing a picture of a burning flag, as far as I know.

Or replacing the Eagle with (to take Franklin's suggestion) a turkey, or otherwise "insulting a national symbol" in any way other than actually setting it literally on fire.

So there's that; and it does seem meaningfully different when contrasted with criminalizing satirical artistic creations.

Methadras said...

Lyle said...

India is wonderful in so many ways. This is bunkum though.


Goa is about the only nice thing about and it really isn't even India. Most of the country is encased in shit, the dead, and more shit. Oh and the untouchables.

ken in sc said...

I suspect that anyone who does not want to live next door to a cop is a dope-head or some other form of criminal. Ironically, I understand many cops smoke dope.

LarsPorsena said...

India is in the throes of a mega-corruption scandal having to do with its coal industry and the government's malfeasance. A billion dollar rip off.

As to the "laws against "spreading rumors" these are in re preventing sectarian violence. Tens of thousands of people recently fled in terror from one province just because of rumors. It's a tough balancing act by the government.

Lem said...

Another Gandhi?

What would Ben Kingsley do
in Gandhi 2?

Oh.. thats Sir Ben Kingsley.

JAL said...

Ahhh, Lars. Was scatching my head to try and remember who on the list was better informed than I.

Nice to hear from you.

Yes, after posting I was thinking about it and the rumors thing I associated with sectarian problems. Hindus and Muslims trying to kill each over wandering cows.

It is hard for us in America to envision whole communities freaking out over some random act of stupidity or offense -- real or fabricated -- and across many miles rioting with intent to kill and burn (those scenes from Slumdog Millionaire come to mind) or fleeing from fear of being the targets.

Yes, you are correct -- it is a tough balancing act. But there is a cultural difference where instead of being willing and able to flip someone off (or forgive them), it turns into violence.

Like our gang wars on a mega scale.

prairie wind said...

I suspect that anyone who does not want to live next door to a cop is a dope-head or some other form of criminal. Ironically, I understand many cops smoke dope.

Though I think marijuana (and probably other drugs) should be legalized, I have never smoked dope or used any kind of illegal drugs. Not even beer when I was a teen.

Do the cops who smoke dope still arrest people for drug possession?

joeshmo99 said...

Perhaps it is the Indian government that is the insulting national symbol.