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Indian cartoonist jailed on sedition charges
September 10, 2012 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Indian cartoonist jailed on sedition charges An Indian cartoonist detained on sedition charges for his satirical drawings highlighting widespread corruption among India’s political elite has been jailed for two weeks, rekindling a fierce debate on freedom of speech in the world’s largest democracy. In India the Enemies of Free Speech Find a "Symbolic" Means to Attack Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi.

Latest updates:

NCP defends arrest of Aseem Trivedi

Police give up custody, cartoonist Aseem Trivedi sticks to guns

Some background:

Aseem Trivedi, 25, turned himself in to police in the Indian commercial capital of Mumbai on the weekend. His arrest followed the publication of a series of cartoons, including one drawing that depicts the parliament building as a lavatory buzzing with flies.

The Virginia-based Cartoonists Rights Network International has announced that Ali Ferzat and Aseem Trivedi are the 2012 recipients of the group’s Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award. The honor is presented to a “cartoonist in great danger or who has demonstrated exceptional courage in the exercise of free-speech rights.

Despite its status as the world’s largest democracy, the extent of India’s freedom of expression remains a controversial topic, be it through stalling films for allegedly advocating “social unrest,” ransacking M.F. Husain’s exhibitions for allegedly provoking “religious militants,” or attempting to force Google, Facebook and others to prescreen postings for offensive material.
posted by KokuRyu (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here is a collection of cartoons, many of which are critical of Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:56 PM on September 10, 2012


We really need to move away from the notion that the term Democracy matters when it comes to rights and freedoms.

It's great to see that political cartoons still can be simple yet powerful tools in fighting actual oppression. You know, as opposed to the trite partisan stuff you see in Western democracies where cartoonists mostly seem to focus on the issue that the other side are a bunch of big fat idiots.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:37 PM on September 10, 2012


A related discussion between Hitchens and Shashi Tharoor to throw some light on how some sections of India view the concept .
posted by asra at 4:47 PM on September 10, 2012


The Shahhi tharoor linke should go here .
posted by asra at 4:48 PM on September 10, 2012


That cracked article on political cartoons is bullshit that relies entirely on cherry-picking to prove its point. I refute it thus.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:56 PM on September 10, 2012


We really need to move away from the notion that the term Democracy matters when it comes to rights and freedoms.

Absolutely. The form of the government is irrelevant; what matters is what abilities it decides it has to intrude into your life. You could have an absolute despotism with remarkably high levels of freedom, and you could have a democratic fascism. All it takes is a majority of citizens thinking that it's okay to fuck up a minority, and, well ... just ask the blacks in this country how much freedom they had, historically, or, more currently, both the Hutus and the Tutsis, who have traded power and mass slaughter back and forth in Rwanda.
posted by Malor at 7:09 PM on September 10, 2012


Has corruption gotten much worse in India lately or is Western media just covering it better since the telecom scam broke and Hazare began his hunger strikes? I've seen as many stories about Indian corruption as I have Chinese corruption this year.
posted by Blue Meanie at 7:12 PM on September 10, 2012


Slap*Happy said:
I refute it thus
I have been looking at this comic for the last 20 minutes. I have shown it to my wife, several co-workers, and some dudes on IRC.

Nobody has the slightest idea what it is about. HOPE ME.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:34 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


That cracked article on political cartoons is bullshit that relies entirely on cherry-picking to prove its point. I refute it thus.

The cartoons you linked to, to put it bluntly, stink.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:43 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have been looking at this comic for the last 20 minutes. I have shown it to my wife, several co-workers, and some dudes on IRC.

Mitt Romney may seem prickly and hostile on the outside, but if you're ever in a desert life-or-death survival situation, you can cut him open for an emergency water supply.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:54 PM on September 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Corruption in India is endemic. The difference from here is that robbing from the poor to swell the rich is seen as socially acceptable. There is no shame involved in this and as usual only the most powerful get to reap the spoils. Speak up and you go to jail. I've been trying to find the link that details this but, surprise, it is gone.
posted by qinn at 12:48 AM on September 11, 2012


Here's something.
posted by qinn at 1:05 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have been looking at this comic for the last 20 minutes. I have shown it to my wife, several co-workers, and some dudes on IRC.

Archeologists are mystified by ancient Anasazi cactus carvings which seem to prefigure the thousand-year reign of Mitt Romney.
posted by steambadger at 8:30 AM on September 11, 2012


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