September 9, 2012 | , Vidyut,

Sarcasm should have a special font, many of my followers on Twitter have groaned. I can have a caustic wit at times, which sometimes simply states the view I wish to lampoon as a reality and lets the revulsion the reader feels speak for itself. An example would be “What is our target for rapes this year? We seem to be lagging behind. Only five today.”

The arrest of Aseem Trivedi convinces me that I am going to be arrested one day simply because some dimwit took my words at face value and interpreted them to mean a promotion of rape. Regardless of the flood of writing fighting for human rights over years.

Aseem Trivedi had a warrant out in his name. Sedition. Emblems Act. IT Act. Would not be out of place to call this a three Act drama. Is that a euphemism for three ring circus? Oh wait, does this constitute insulting the Penal code or something? I was actually insulting people using laws to punish personal distaste. But I named laws, right? Was I insulting the Indian Penal Code? Was I insulting the Judiciary? Logically, I wasn’t, but logic is in short supply these days.

P L Deshpande, in his hilarious, but heartfelt congratulatory speech during the 175th show of Sangeet Vastraharan – a highly “offensive” and devastatingly funny play spoke of criticism he faced when he endorsed the play. A rough translation would be:

When I said this play is very good, very funny, I liked it a lot, and I laughed so much that my shoulders, stomach, whatever is capable of hurting had all hurt… when I said this, at that time, many felt – I even got one or two letters – [surprised] that “*you* should call this play good surprises us”, etc. [pause] God creates people devoid of a sense of humor. If he hadn’t done that, in this country dictators wouldn’t be created. That happens only because of a lack of sense of humor. They don’t laugh, and they can’t bear to see others laugh. This is a dictatorship. These people become dictators.

Then, in such a situation, whoever turned up their noses instead of laughing uproariously, about this play, I can only tell these performers this [about them]: God gave them a nose only to turn up, not for relishing [humor].

We are increasingly losing the language of metaphors. Be it sarcasm or caricatures or plain old humor. There will always be someone outraged over your audacity to be irreverent, because it is a stick-up-ass world today, with pompous egos so fragile, they cannot sustain disagreement.

Aseem Trivedi, award winning political cartoonist is finding that out the hard way. Not all that different from JayHind finding it out a while back.

In a landmark judgment by a five judge Supreme Court bench led by then Chief Justice of India B P Sinha in the Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the sedition provision contained in Section 124A of the IPC subject to the condition that the sedition charge can be made only against those who misuse their freedom of speech to instigate an armed rebellion against the state. The entire India Against Corruption protests totalled come nowhere remotely near any kind of armed rebellion against the state. This didn’t stop police from registering a case against him for sedition. Makes one either very worried for the state of knowledge on laws among the police, or Aseem Trivedi, depending on whose innocence you believe

Read more here arrest-of-cartoonist-aseem-trivedi-for-sedition