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The arrest of IAC activist and cartoonist Aseem Trivedi under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code for sedition besides various sections under the Information Technology Act has led to cartoonists of all hues and sizes pressing the panic button and taking precautionary measures.
First off the block was Shiv Sena supremo, Bal Thackeray, who had started his career as a cartoonist before going on to more interesting things like rabble rousing. Speaking to The Unreal Times, the Sena chief, appearing visibly agitated, gasped, “Man, never been more scared in my life. I’ve gotten away with a lot of things in life, but if these cops can arrest a cartoonist for his sketches, then I’m a goner, boss. Ironical that of all my acts of commission and omission, it would be cartooning that would do me in.”
Aseem’s arrest has provoked outrage not just in India but also in the United Kingdon. Talking to The Unreal Times, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said, “Heard the lad’s been arrested under a colonial era law, framed to crack-down on dissent against the British Raj. This doesn’t make sense unless the Mumbai police are retroactively applying the law to try Trivedi for sedition against the imperial rule. Even then it’s a stretch because our imperial forefathers were quite tolerant of cartoons and had bigger fish to fry.”
However, the Mumbai police have defended their actions. “We can tolerate people burning buses, indulging in mayhem, molesting women but we will never countenance anyone denigrating our sacred national emblems. The law is an ass in this regard, and so are we when it comes to its enforcement,” thundered Mumbai Police Superintendent, Pramod Navlekar.
The cartoon controversy has induced terrorist organizations to mull alternate strategies in their fight against India. Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed today announced the formation of a new department, the LeT Cartoon Wing, for terrorizing the Indian Government.
“I must thank Aseem Trivedi for showing to us that routine acts of terror and rioting fall on deaf ears and that at the end of the day, harmless acts of cartooning are what gives the Indian government sleepless nights and creates terror in their minds. With the Indian PM perceiving social media as a huge security threat and advocating strict management of it, we take this as a challenge and vow to scare the daylights out of Indian ministers by posting insulting, denigrating, derogatory and defamatory cartoons that explode on social media by being shared all over Facebook and Twitter. I’ve also asked my employees to be careful while posting such stuff – they shouldn’t check-in anywhere, you see!” noted Saeed.
Hafiz also disclosed that a lot of Indian criminals comprising rioters, rapists and murderers have sought a “distance-learning program” from the LeT Cartoon Wing in a bid to make their heinous crimes’ presence felt.
(Additional inputs from Ashwin S Kumar)