Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has come out in support of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, saying freedom of art is important for a peaceful society.
“I believe very dangerous people are born in a society where you don’t give anyone a chance to express their anger via art. They then tell the same thing with the help of a gun and bullets,” the 63-year-old said at a press conference called on Tuesday to support Aseem. He added, “It’s very important in a free society to create spaces where the angst of the young finds expression. Dissent is the life blood of a free society.” Bhatt, known to come out in the open on matters of such magnitude, feels it’s time to fight a long battle. “Human tendency is such that when he gets the whip in his hands or sits in a position of power, he becomes cruel and uses the same whip which he had stood up against earlier. So, I think it’s time to fight a long battle,” Bhatt said.
Trivedi was arrested last Saturday by the Mumbai Police, which charged him, among other things, with sedition for insulting national emblems and the Constitution, during the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare, here, in December 2011. The Bombay High Court, however, granted bail to the jailed cartoonist on Tuesday.