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Defend your rights NOW!

Aseem Trivedi is in jail fighting for our rights. It is now our responsibility to stand up for him and join this fight to defend our freedoms. He is being silneced because he spoke against the government for the people, for you and me. Our people have fought hard for years to secure our freedoms from British. Now the same freedoms are being taken away from us, by a few of our own people in power. It is now on us how we respond to this. Are you ready to join this fight to protect our freedoms?

I was fortunate to be with him when he was arrested and I met him when he was in police custody. I’m moved by his courage and don’t want to let his personal sacrifice for us, for you and me, to go waste. I need your help, comment here if you can help out any way. Its even better if you organize yourself. I’m sharing Aseem’s note here, which I was fortunate to have personally witnessed. His friend Alok Dixit, Mayank Gandhi from IAC and his lawyer Vijay Hiremat were also present.

This is the letter written by Aseem when he was in the police lock-up at Bandra Police Station in Mumbai.


साथियो, मैं इस देश का एक सच्‍चा नागरिक हूं। कोई देशद्रोही नहीं हूं।

साथियो, अगर सच बोलना देशद्रोह है तो मैं देशद्रोही हूं। हां, मैं देशद्रोही हूं अगर देशप्रेम और देशद्रोह की परिभाषाएं बदल चुकी हैं। मैं भी देशद्रोही हूं अगर गांधी, भगत सिंह और आजाद देशद्रोही थे। दोस्‍तो, मेरा मकसद देश का एक छोटा बच्‍चा भी समझ सकता है। मैं अपने देश के नागरिकों और संविधान के अपमान का विरोध करता हूं और अपने कार्टूनों के माध्‍यम से मैं देश के प्रतीकों और संविधान के अपमान का विरोध करता आया हूं। दोस्‍तो, कला और साहित्‍य समाज का दर्पण है और मैंने अपने कार्टून्‍स में वही दिखाया है, जो अपने चारों ओर देखा है।

दोस्‍तो, भारत माता कोई और नहीं बल्कि हम और आप जैसे भारत के 125 करोड़ नागरिक ही हैं। और हमारा अपमान भारत मां का अपमान है।

मेरी पूर्ण आस्‍था भारतीय संविधान और संविधान निर्माता डॉ अंबेडकर के साथ है। इसलिए संविधान का अपमान होता देख मुझे कष्‍ट होता है। और मैं अपने कार्टून्‍स के जरिये इसे रोकना चाहता हूं।

मैं गांधी के रास्‍ते पर चल रहा हूं और स्‍वयं को कष्‍ट देकर देश की सेवा करना चाहता हूं। मेरे जेल में होने से परेशान न हों। अन्‍ना जी कहते हैं कि देश के लिए जेल जाना तो हमारा भूषण है। इसलिए मैं जमानत नहीं मांग रहा। क्‍योंकि मैंने जो किया, उस पर मुझे गर्व है और मैं बार-बार करूंगा। मैं कोई अपराधी नहीं हूं कि पैसे जमा कर के जमानत लूं। जब तक देशद्रोह जैसा तानाशाही और ब्रिटिश राज का ये कानून नहीं हटाया जाएगा, मैं जेल में रह कर ही 124 (A) और सेंसरशिप के खिलाफ लड़ाई लड़ता रहूंगा।

आपका,
असीम त्रिवेदी
बांद्रा पुलिस लॉक अप, 2:10 PM, 10.09.2012

This is the text of a statement issued by ASEEM TRIVEDI from inside a jail in Mumbai. Trivedi has been remanded to judicial custody till 24 September for displaying and publishing cartoons that are allegedly seditious, insult national honour and, under the IT Act, are “grossly offensive” and of “menacing character”.

Translation by Shivam Vij

Friends,

I am a faithful citizen of this country, not someone who has committed sedition.

If speaking the truth is sedition, then I have indeed committed sedition. If raising one’s voice against injustice is sedition, then I have committed sedition. If nationalism and the definition of nationalism have changed, then you could say I have committed sedition. If Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Azad were seditious so am I.

Even a small child of this country can understand my motive. I oppose the insulting of the people and the Constitution of India. I have been opposing the insulting of the people and the Constitution of India through my cartoons.

Art and literature are a mirror to society. I have only depicted in my cartoons what I have seen all around me. Mother India is nobody but 1.25 billion citizens of India, people like you and me. When we the people are insulted, India is insulted.

I have nothing but respect for the Constitution of India and its key drafter, Dr Ambedkar. I am pained when I see the Constitution insulted. Through my cartoons I seek to prevent exactly such affront.

I am walking in the footsteps of Gandhi and I want to serve the nation through my own suffering. Do not be disturbed by my going to jail. Anna Hazare ji says that going to jail for the country is like wearing a jewel. That is why I am not asking for bail. I am proud of what I have done. I will say this again and again. I am not a criminal that I will deposit some money to get bail. Until such time as sedition, an authoritarian British Raj law, is not repealed, I shall remain in jail. I will fight against Indian Penal Code Section 124A (sedition) and against censorship from within jail.

Yours,

Aseem Trivedi
Bandra Police Lock-up,
10 September 2012, 2:12 PM

1 Response to “Defend your rights NOW!”


  1. 1 K Rajasekharan

    The sedition clause in question requires repeal or at the most substantial amendment in a way it should insulate satire/cartoons from being prosecuted so easily by any police officer/court as a consequence of their misreading of the historical intention in which the provision originated. Even Nehru wanted it to be removed from our statute. Genuine writers in our country, if we still claim that ours is a democracy with a Constitution that supports free speech as an inviolable right, will have an environment not to fear while writing/drawing bonafide pieces.
    Assem’s declaration to face the prosecution following the footsteps of Gandhiji’s position in his famous 1923 trial speech in the court and the Press Council Chairman Justice Katju’s unequivocal support to the issue for Cartoonist’s freedom of expression, are so appreciative. Hope Justice Katju, as Press Council Chairman, will fight for the freedom of the press legally. I extend my moral support to the cause as many position holders under the Constitution deserve ridicule for denigrating their Constitutional positions. It is not the institutions that receive the ridicule, but the people who man them. We need better persons than those in positions now to man many of our prestigious democratic institutions to drive the country to the path of genuine democracy.

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