A medical emergency is no pretext to impose a political emergency.
How many policemen in civil clothes are required to deliver a mere summons to an editor of a web journal 700-k away in an age of email and WhatsApp? The recent action of the Uttar Pradesh police, where it sent a posse of 7-8 policemen, in civil clothes, in a black SUV with no number plates, to Siddharth Varadarajan’s residence in Delhi to deliver a summons has prompted this question.
Definitely the police did not bother to ponder over how Varadarajan, editor of The Wire, will present himself to the authorities during a lockdown which has brought trains, flights and even private transport to a standstill.
The manner in which the issue has unfolded has caused an international uproar with 3,500 jurists, scholars, actors, artists and writers condemning Uttar Pradesh Police’s actions against The Wire, and saying that a “medical emergency should not serve as the pretext for the imposition of a de facto political emergency.”
How Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government will respond remains to be seen, but the story in The Wire on the Tablighi Jamaat, which also noted that “Indian believers” responded late to the viral epidemic obviously provoked the powers-that-be into action. The episode has brought into sharp focus the priorities of the government during the epidemic, which it is supposedly fighting a “war” against.
( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/Brutalising-Labourers-Jailing-dissidents)
Bol, ke lab azaad hai tere: Speak for your lips are yet free
Akshaya Tankha (JNU 2006) University of Toronto
A full Hindi transcript and video of Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech may be found here: http://kafila.org/2016/02/15/jnusu-president-kanhaiya-kumars-speech-before-being-arrested/
A complete English translation may be accessed here:http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160216/jsp/frontpage/story_69576.jsp#.VsVc8HQrK8r
24th September, 2013
STOP THE WITCHHUNT!
PUCL STATEMENT CONDEMNING THE POLICE RAID OF PROF. GN SAIBABA’S RESIDENCE
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) condemns the illegal raid and search of the residence Professor GN Saibaba of Delhi University on 12th September, 2013. Professor Saibaba is a differently abled person and is wheel chair bound. Ironically, over 50 police persons and intelligence officers raided his house! Prof Saibaba and his entire family including his minor daughter and the driver were all locked in different rooms, during the three-and-half-hour search. It is believed that the raid is pre-cursor to the imminent arrest of Prof Saibaba.
SEARCH WARRANT ILLEGAL
Continue reading PUCL statement on the police raid at Prof GN Saibaba’s residence
Guest post by MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN: An editorial published earlier this month in India Today bemoans India’s willingness to placate religious fundamentalists through artistic censorship. The author, Peter V. Rajsingh, makes the familiar point in “Censorship a slur on India’s ethos” that religious zealots have become “purveyors of infantilising values of Victorian colonial missionaries”. What he says is true, but India’s real problem with censorship extends far beyond removing images of bare breasts from movie screens. There is possibly no issue today – including the vile treatment of women and the relentless threat of terrorism – that poses a greater threat to the happiness and security of Indian citizens than that of censorship. And I believe that it is extremely important for those of us who live here, and love this country to comprehend the weight of this situation before it is too late. Continue reading Why censorship is the greatest threat to India: Michael Edison Hayden
Free Binayak Sen Campaign
Justice on Trial:
three days of cultural events
April 4 – 6, 2011
@ Alliance Francaise de Delhi
72, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi 110003
Justice on Trial (Facebookers RSVP here) is a collaborative programme put together by leading contemporary artists, photographers, film makers, musicians, performers, and activists to commemorate struggles for democracy, freedom and rights. An exhibition of photographs and art works, talks performances and screenings all are directed at drawing renewed attention to the trial of Dr. Binayak Sen, who has emerged in recent times as a symbol of courageous resistance, and a reminder of the many injustices that surround us. Our aim is to provoke a dialogue with the colours and sounds that emerge from the idea of what Dr. Sen represents. Continue reading Dastan-e-Sedition
In this guest post, SARIM NAVED gives a chronological account of sedition in Indian law, and discusses the procedural aspects laid down for a magistrate to take cognisance of sedition
After the 1857 revolt, the Press Act of 1857 which prohibited all publications, without licensing, was passed. This Act known as Lord Canning’s Act applied to all kinds of publication, including books in all languages and other printed papers in all languages. 1860 saw the enactment of the Indian Penal Code, which remains in force today in a relatively unchanged manner. The Indian Penal Code, while not directly dealing with the press, does incorporate provisions that impinge upon and regulate the activities of the press. The code dealt with issues ranging from offences against a person’s body or property to criminal breach of trust to offences like defamation and obscenity that directly concerned editors. In the words of Rajeev Dhavan, “It was a comprehensive code. Not all these provisions were directed against free speech but virtually all could be used against it.” Amendments were later introduced to bring in the offence of sedition in 1870, the offence of promoting enmity between classes in 1898, the offence of outraging religious feelings in 1928 and imputations or assertions prejudicial to national integration, which were added by the government of independent India in 1972. Continue reading On sedition: Sarim Naved