A major chunk of Indian citizens are unaware of the Fundamental Rights that they are entitled to. Most don’t even know the existence of Fundamental Rights. I doubt even if 999 people of 1000 have gone through The Preamble to the Constitution, let alone The Constitution of India. What’s ironical is that an extensive collection of only those of 999 go on protests and least foolishly put up Facebook statuses that are never going to be heard. And ironically only those 999 people talk about politics being “dirty-man’s-den”. There is so much cliche about politics in India. Some day I would like to talk about the common notion about Indian politics. This introductory passage is nothing much in sync with what this article is about, however it is healthy rant against those 999. The little sync is in my reference to The Constitution of India.
It takes much pain, pressure, support, diplomatic power and unending support from people to change the law. It takes more of the above said to amend a constitutional right. The Jan Lokpal Bill’s failure to be passed in parliament is a perfect example of it. We believe we have a strong Constitution framed. I don’t doubt it.
“Udta Punjab” and Anurag Kashyap have been under scanner for a while now, so is “Iraivi” and Karthik Subburaj. The Mumbai High Court cleared the former with just 1 cut and “A” certificate. When I tried to research if what Anurag is undergoing is constitutionally fair, I extensively had to scratch my hair to baldness to completely understand the ever charming, ever controversial and never ending idea of “Right to Freedom of Speech & Expression”. I am no voice of people. Any thing I say can spark controversies. I am now not going to conclude anything about this fundamental right. But I still hold the “Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression”. So let me continue.
“Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression” has been the most intricate of Fundamental Rights that an Indian can hold according to the Constitution of India. You seem to understand it for a minute but it ditches you the next minute and takes a different stand. It is distinctly exercised among the world nations. A glance through the “Article 19” of the Constitution of India would tell you this. ↓
All Indians are free to express anything of their interest unless it doesn’t affect an existing or to be made law, unless it is a threat to the state in some form of the other, public order or unless it is against decency and morality and of course the most important of it unless it doesn’t defame someone. Udta Punjab probably does nothing. Iraivi is out of question.
While we talk of cinema it pains to talk about people like M.M.Kalburgi and Govind Pansare who were brutally murdered while they were only exercising their fundamental constitutional right. They did not affect law, did not agitate public order, did not defame anyone nor did they go against morality. “Right to Freedom of Expression” also gives “Right to Protest”, which is indeed right to talk, write and go against something. All of this is Fundamental Constitutional Right.
But take the case of Aseem Trivedi, he was arrested for drawing a cartoon that depicts the parliament building as a western style washroom closet and a toilet paper rolling besides it. What does it do? It defames the parliament. At least that was what the reason he was arrested. On one side it is of course an act of sedition. Parliament is a common entity. Common to any Indian, so are the national emblem, national flag and entities of that sort. Poking fun of this common entity that is supposed to be the pride of India can of course be charged with sedition. A lot of people argue that it quashes the “Freedom of Speech and Expression”. We cannot deny. However going by Constitution of India, it is an offence.
If you can’t talk what is supposed to be right, then talk what is written as right. If you can’t talk what is written as right, try to make it right. When you can’t make it right, live by what is written as right.
Eventually what is common matters. The law is common. The Constitution is common. It matters. Change it or live by it.