Being an Indian I don’t consider myself free. I refuse to accept the fact that we got freedom 69 years ago. In contemporary India, we may not be captives but our thoughts are. We are still prohibited from speaking our minds. An invisible fear holds our views back. What good is this tag of liberty, when people are charged with sedition for highlighting the balky facts about our motherland that remain unrecognised? When movies and books are banned for flaunting the glooms of the society.
Our constitution grants us the right to freedom of expression, but at the same time, it imposes certain restrictions on the way we can express ourselves. If we voice our resentment for our government we are charged with sedition. If we deliberate our perception about someone we are accused of defaming them. Have you ever heard of an instrument that can measure the degree of ignominy? There is no such thing! The way of scrutinising speculations made by people is different for different people. How on earth can the manifestation of a notion about someone be considered a crime? In India, it is.
Jumping on to movies and books. Art can be a prominent medium of expression. There have been several books and movies that have languished under the surveillance of the censor board. This is because watching ‘sordid’ shots in realistic films is a taboo in our society but the fact which we fail to take in is that it is only the obnoxious truth that is being showcased on screen, which we often come across in the society. This not only alienates people from the reality but also curbs art.
Sedition, as offered by the dictionary, means inciting insurrection against the government. But one fact remains glossed over that such insurgency has been an important element in the siege led for freedom in the history. Moreover, criticism of the government is the essence of democracy.
Sedition couldn’t and shouldn’t be considered a crime until it is reasoned and is for the welfare if the society.
All these cases in point bring to light the brass tacks if this so called free state. I dream to wake up in a country where we are free to speak our minds. Where our thoughts find room to breathe and where art can sustain.