HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Cartoonist Aseem questioned, says won't back off

AFP  Mumbai, September 10, 2012
First Published: 11:59 IST(10/9/2012) | Last Updated: 14:26 IST(10/9/2012)

The police on Monday questioned a cartoonist on charges of sedition over a series of cartoons which lampooned the government's corruption record, including one that depicted parliament as a giant toilet bowl.


The arrest of Aseem Trivedi, a freelance artist, triggered widespread condemnation from media and anti-graft activists who said it was evidence of a lack of respect for freedom of expression.

"If telling the truth makes me a traitor then I am one," Trivedi said outside the court where he was remanded in police custody late Sunday after a private complaint from a Mumbai-based lawyer.

"If I am booked under sedition for doing service to the nation then I will continue to do so." A local court in Mumbai ordered him to be held in police custody until September 16 for other offences under sedition and information technology laws.

The government has recently been criticised for blocking Internet content in an attempt to calm ethnic tensions in Bangalore and other cities. Some Twitter accounts that ridiculed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were also blocked in the crackdown.

Kanpur-based cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who was arrested on charges of posting seditious contents on his website is seen outside a Mumbai court. PTI

A similar row over censorship blew up last year when communications minister Kapil Sibal held meetings with Facebook, Google and other IT giants over obscene images that risked offending Muslims or defamed politicians.

Markandey Katju, chairman of the Press Council of India and former Supreme Court judge, defended Trivedi, who was also accused of displaying the contentious cartoons at an anti-corruption rally last year.

"My opinion is that the cartoonist did nothing illegal," Katju said in a statement. "In a democracy many things are said, some truthful and others false."

Aseem's cartoons included one image of the sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks urinating on the Indian constitution, while one showed parliament as a giant toilet bowl.

Another cartoon was titled "Gang Rape of Mother India", and one depicting the national emblem of India replaced lions with wolves with blood dripping from their mouths.

more from Mumbai

Flab-trap: Cosmetic surgery post weight loss on the rise

IT professional, Anita*, 51, was ecstatic when she lost 15 kg in just five months. But, the sudden weight loss had ended up making her look much older. Last month, she borrowed money from friends to get a facelift at a clinic in Bandra. “I was tired of looking fat. My marriage and work life were being affected and that’s when I decided to lose weight. I nearly starved and lost all the extra kilos but I ended up looking much older,” said Anita, who spent Rs75,000 on the cosmetic procedure.
Most Popular
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved