This blog reviews books, politics and international events from a distinct perspective. Book reviews will be interesting to historians and graduate students alike.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Aseem Trivedi Cartoons: An Essay
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books
Indian politicians are getting touch and sensitive about cartoons. I think when a political order is in a state of absolute free fall, the decaying order becomes hypersensitive to the caricature in cartoons. The MPs and MLAs now know that the citizens of India are filled with contempt and anger for the egregious plunder they have indulged in over the years. Actually more tham corruption which is there in all political systems, it is the politicians like Laloo Prasad Yadave and D P Yadava, Jagdish Tytler and other such criminals who masquerade as "peoples" representatives which stokes the anger of peo on his carple. P Chidambaram, the Finance Minister, was defeated in the Sivagnagai Parliamentary Constituency but goes arpound with the emblem of the Republic emblazoned on his car. Rightly there is anger because the Constitution of India does not envisage a Kletocratic state. Dr B R Ambedkar and his team worked out a Constitution which would be the basis of a civilized political order underpinned by Rule of Law. We now have the rule of outlaws and some of them like Poolan Devi even were elected to parliament and I am sure that Tamil Badu would have elected Veerapan, had he not been encountered.
Now the Cartoons. I have shown them with this blog not because the cartoon are of a high artistic value but because they succeeded eminently in doing what Shri Aseem Trivedi set out to do: provoke anger and contempt. There is nothing remotely seditious about the cartoons and to invoke the outdated Anti Sedition Law is outrageous. The arrest and imprisonment of Shri Trivedi only shows that the corrupt political class is hitting back using the instruments of the state and when this happens we know that the end is in sight. A discredited political order tottering at the weight of its own monstrous inequities is struggling to regain the ground that is slipping from under its feet and in this I do not see any difference between the Congress and the BJP. I was surprised at the response of both Kiran Bedi and Arvind Khejriwal who in an oblique manner justified the arrest and imprisonment of Shrri Asseem Trivedi. I see this issue as one that frames an informed citizen's right to critique the politics of his land. He has not offended any religious or identity group and his depictions are not scandalous.
I have a complaint. I personally dislike the use of animals as symbols of evil. In ome of the cartoons the lions of the Republic are replaced by jackals. I like Juno the Jackal of Karadi Tales and I made him the hero of a whole series of stories on which my daughter grew up and I strongly condemn the use of the animal is this disgusting way. The lions could have easily been replaced by a Gandhi topi wearing kletocrat and it would have been OK. Otherwise these cartoons do make a powerful impact on the viewer.
I appeal to the authorities through my Blog to release Shri Trivedi,