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Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews

Indian cartoonist Aseem , this year’s Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award winner (along with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat) plans on turning himself over to the police in Mumbai in the next couple of days over controversial cartoons he posted on his web site that parody India’s national symbols.

Trivedi was charged in January with treason and insulting ’s national symbols, and if found guilty, he could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 5,000 rupees (about $100).

In the below, Trivedi took India’s national emblem of the Four Sarnath Lions of King Asoka that sit above the motto “Satyamev Jayate” (truth alone shall triumph) and re-drew them as bloodthirsty wolves on the re-worded motto “Bhrashtamev Jayate” (long live corruption):

In another offending cartoon, Trivedi drew the Indian parliament building as a toilet:

There is a long tradition of editorial cartoonists using symbols of states to express opinions about governments. Drawing a legislature or parliament building as a toilet is common.  I recently drew our Capitol building in Washington as a toilet:

The offending cartoon below by Trivedi shows the “Mother of India” being held down by politicians and bureaucrats, about to be raped by corruption:

The Indian Constitution allows for “the right to and expression.” Trivedi’s critics argue that while he is allowed to mock and poke fun at politicans, it is a crime to mock the , the parliament and the Indian flag.

Read an interview that Trivedi gave to Cartoonist Rights Network International, here’s a quote:

“I am democratic. I am patriotic. I have a twenty-four year life without any charges of corruption. I am only making cartoons. … I am talking about nationalism. I love my country. I am reacting [to the corruption] in my own way. Someone is protesting. Somebody is a doing hunger strike in India. [As for me,] I am a cartoonist.”

There is a lot of sensitivity in India about cartoons that offend religious sensitivities, but cartoons that bash the state must be fair game. I would argue that editorial cartoonists must disrespect governments and symbols of governments as a professional obligation.

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Comments (50)

  1. काफी अभद्र कार्टून हैं और टीम-अन्ना का लोकतान्त्रिक व्यवस्था के प्रति निरादर को प्रदर्शित करते हैं

    • bilkl bhi abhadra nahi hai, kewal sachai ko darshate hain

    • Monik Lodhia

      Court , Justice, goverment , CBI sab kya hai … iss sarkar ke haath ki kathputliya.. Woh kya bataayegi .. Lekin iss desh ke log jaante hai ….Kaun sachha hai kaun joothaa..?? Court kuch bhi bataaye… Usse ghanta bhi kuch fark nahi padtaa !!

    • kc

      Aap ek moorkh ho, ya aap ko sachchai ko nahi dekhna chaahte ho. Ye jin court ki baat pharmaa rahe hain, wo inhi bhrasht logon ki banaai huwi hai,

    • Brijesh

      Mr. SK, are you in any way related to the government or are you one of them.

    • M S

      Jo politicians parliament me baith k Blue films dekhte h, vo kya India ki shan bada rhe h?
      Unko to arrest nhi kiya gya. Unke bare me aap kuch kahana change Shshil Kumar ji.

    • [email protected]

      agree . cartoon is bad. But in fact this is true.@ sushil kumar

    • SAKET

      TUMHARE JAISE LOG HI BHRASHTACHAR KO BADHAVA DE RHE HAIN….

      TUHARE JAISE LOG HI IS BHRSHTACHAR SE GIIDHHON KI TARAH IS DESH KO NOCH NOCH KAR KHAA RAHE HAIN

    • YATEENDRA

      सच्‍चाई भददी ही दिखती है, पता नहीं लोग किस लोकतंत्र की और किन मर्यादाओं की बात करते हैं, भले ही घर में अपनी ही बहनों को हवस का शिकार बनाते हों, लेकिन सडक पर कुत्‍तों की तरह इकठ्ठे हो कर देश भक्ति, संविधान, लोकतंत्र और मर्यादाओं का राग अलापते हैं, कांग्रेस हो या भाजपा किसी भी दल में गैरत नाम की चीज नहीं। जो संसद में जूते चलाते हें उन्‍हें तो मर्यादा और संविधान का नाम लेकर देश को गाली देना का कोई हक

    • Vikram

      I guess you do not understand gravity of situation. Try to think broadly and interact with people outside your box community. My friend please see the suffering of poor in this country. What this govt is doing is to suppress the voice of people who shows strength to raise voice against corruption.

  2. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponTumblrPrintEmailRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Leave a Comment by kracktivist on September 6, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in Advocacy, Announcements, Censorship, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights Tagged Ali Farzat, Anna Hazare, aseem trivedi, Beed district, cartoonist, Freedom of Expression, India, Mumbai, Mumbai Police, Satyameva Jayate, Trivedi […]

  3. bhadra

    Abhadra to jo ho raha hai who hai. Cartoon to bus uski abhadrata to darsha raha hai.

  4. HinduSangharsh

    What happened to the freedom of expression and free speech in the world’s largest democracy? Or is it all hogwash and only selectively applied to Arundhati Roy types (with active support from the (sic) “secular” party of India)?

  5. HinduSangharsh

    BTW I fully support you in your right to express whatever u think is right. If you are punished we shud rather be under a dictatorship.. cause there is no diff with what politicians are doing to you and what a dictator does to his subjects who don’t fall in line.

  6. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponTumblrPrintEmailRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Leave a Comment by kracktivist on September 9, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in Advocacy, Censorship, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Political Prisoners Tagged Cagle, Cartoon, cartoonist, Daryl Cagle, India, Janet Jackson, United States, United States Capitol […]

  7. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponTumblrPrintEmailRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Leave a Comment by kracktivist on September 9, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in Advocacy, Announcements, Censorship, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Political Prisoners […]

  8. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) […]

  9. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) […]

  10. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) […]

  11. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) […]

  12. v.krishnamurthy

    true so it hurts

  13. These cartoonist has pointed out the state where we are in now and the authorities do not like to see the truth. I hope the people see it.

  14. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) […]

  15. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) […]

  16. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) […]

  17. Jaggu Das

    Indian politicians are THICK, insensitive and ignorant. Look just look how much attention is thrown at them and they still cannot be made aware of their corruptive act. Shame to those involved.

  18. I do support arrest of this this Cartoonist, reason he was lacking some senses and don’t posses that skill of humor which pinch corrupts politicians to core rather than he tried to make peoples laugh with his bad attempt of humor by morphing National symbol of India.
    What National symbol has to do with the ongoing corruption?? Nothing !! But Aseem has some limited thinking and bad taste of humor.being a cartoonist is responsible job and one must posses great humor like Kureel, Satish Acharya and RK lakshman.

  19. loktantr me sabhi ko apni baat kahne ka adhikar hai .sarkar ko yeh sacchai swikarni hi hogi ki desh ke logo me sarkar ki chabhi kaise hai.aur sabhi desvasi aseem ke saath hai.yadi sarkar ko itna hi bura lagta hai to phir vo apni chabi sudharti kyo nahi hai”.jai hind jai bharat mata.”

  20. Lallan Prasad

    People in power in India at present fail to see the power of people

  21. Sanjay

    What ever aseem has expressed from his cartoons is a true fact, but some part of society do accept naked truth as they think they truth should not naked. Now here point is if government can slapped rastdroh on aseem for dishonor of ashok chakra then why not our PM should also slapped rastdroh for dishonor of same ashok chakra which was mentioned on his letter which give coal license to companies for looting this country?

  22. […] The politicians are nervous, it seems, outrageously, and have gone after cartoonist Aseem Trivedi. See this. This is outrageous!  What is happening to freedom of speech in […]

  23. ajit

    the cartoon is not against india but against those who are anti india esp politicians who are corrupt. How can he be charged for sedition????

    • Chris

      Right up from birth to the morgue corruption is evident. People protest, like Anna Hazare, but things cant change. Scams fade away, only higher taxes get imposed by the goverment every year. Guess with the way thing are going on this country, will soon have a civil war.

  24. Shambhavi

    Aseem Trivedi’s Cartoon shows the frustration of Talented Indian Youth, which is coming from corrupt political system of the country.

  25. Vikram

    I dont know how people percieve this matter. They see vulgarity in cartoon but do not have eyes to see whats happening in reality. These are the people who promote neptoism and performs wonderful acting to appear mature by spreading the message of not-doing anything.
    Many people do not get food everyday and these politicians (many of them, there are few good and respected one as well) are involved in scam of lakhs of carore. Is this not shameful. But what congress govt is promting is to arrest cartoonist who is depicting that. The most funny thing is that many readers tries to find out mistake in cartoon.
    These so called wise people do have right to say about the cartoons. But the question is that why so much biasness. They are not ready to question bigger problems (corruption and scams by beurocrats, pliticians) but appears eager to question those who highlight these problems by cartoons.

  26. Bharat

    okay his some cartoons were not good but some of his work is excellent.
    though I feel highly pity that he joined IAC whose itself sold out to MNCs.
    All the fake movements by Anna is nothing but to strain down the confidence of public to fight against corruption.
    Anna and His Team is sold out to MNCs.
    If anyone get a chance to read their version of Lokpal kindly read it first instead of blindly supporting this so called pseudo Gandhian.
    Actually no Media will flash this news of it was actually UNO who pressurized the Indian Government to sign the Lokpal bill and not by this Anna Hazare.
    But they needed to fool public more that is why they are doing this kind of fake protest and movements so that people don’t get a chance to rise up together instead of their revolt gets pinned down by this fraudsters.
    Even Media is sold out puppets of this MNCs.
    People need to realize the truth instead of being Ignorant.
    It is the MNCs who are running this nation and not by the politician which we think they are.
    I am again saying kindly do your own research before supporting the Team Anna.
    they are here to tore apart this nation with the help of their MNC supported Lokpal Bill and they are backstabbing us only.

  27. Dr. Rokade

    Although the taste cartoon is not so good, but it is not way to take action against aseem. the congress govt. is trying to disseminate the concentration of indians from coalgate.

  28. Sam

    Mr Sushil Kumar i am not agree with you…… You need to think more on that. Do you think Charges of DESDROH is right charges on him??????????????

  29. d.v.soren

    perverted mineded person crerate such cartoon

  30. rajesh

    when you have an italian fascist and a bunch of psychophants running the government fundamental issues like freedom of speech will always be under pressure!! need of the hour is to strengthen the forces of modern democracy in the country!!

  31. One of the Indian

    Sab politician mile hue hain, desh ka kuda kar rakha hai.. agar vo jo kar rahe hai constitution ke naam pe abhadra nahi hai to sirf cartoon banana abhadra kaise hai.
    Tumhari dharti maa ko loot rahe hai, bech rahe hai to kuch abhadra nahi..cartoon banaya to sab abhadra ho gaya. b*ckch*di karwalo inse bas!

  32. trivedi

    Akhir ye to pata chal hi gaya ki india ko india ke log nahi chala sakte. Indian logo ko angrejo ki jo adat hai.150 saal angrejon ne chalaya aur 750 saal mughalon ne.
    Ab samajh me aya ki maine ye kyun kaha, kyunki aaj bhi india ko ek anjrej hi chala rahi hai.
    Jai ho angreji mata ki.

  33. […] Indian Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi to be tried For Treason #sedition #WTFnews (kractivist.wordpress.com) […]

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