It’s obvious that the charges of sedition against Aseem Trivedi cannot stand. If anything, he loves the country too much – not too little. Only someone who is emotionally invested in a nation will take such pains to consistently spread the word about what’s wrong with it. No – it’s pretty damn obvious that sedition is not the problem here. Even Binayak Sen was granted bail and the courts are pretty strict about the specifics of sedition.
The real charge facing Trivedi is for “disrespect to national symbols”. He showed the Ashoka chakra with wolves instead of lions, showed the parliament as a toilet and Ajmal Kasab peeing on the Constitution. We’ve all been taught in civics classes that we must “respect” the flag and other national symbols. But is this good? In my opinion, these stupid laws need to go as well.
How can you mandate respect? Can you create a law saying “Respect this!” And how do you enforce it? Look at the following list of actions and tell me which you think is illegal:
- I merely think to myself “I disrespect the flag” – legal or illegal?
- I merely think of something bad like peeing on the flag – legal or illegal?
- I tell someone I disrespect the flag – legal or illegal?
- I tell someone I want to pee on the flag – legal or illegal?
- I write that I want to pee on the flag – legal or illegal?
- I draw myself peeing on the flag – legal or illegal?