Finally I am constrained to agree with Delhi police that Kanhaiya Kumar is not a good boy. Our reasons, however, are different. For me, he is not a good boy because he has confused me badly. For last several days I have unsuccessfully been trying to understand what really constitutes ‘Sedition’?
Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code written by British way back in 1860 tells me that, ‘whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine’. Disaffection includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. Certain changes were, from time to time, thoughtfully incorporated and they included deletion of words like ‘Governor General, Her Majesty, Crown Representative, British India, British Burma’ etc. They were thoughtful insertions because India was deemed to have become independent.
The crux of the matter, however, remains the line, ‘disaffection towards the Government established by law’. Perfect narration it is and I do not challenge it as such. But the moot point remains whether a law made for the survival of a ’gora sarkar’ aiming to keep ‘kale Indians and brown sahibs’, under its thumb, be applicable to ‘Azad India’ (apologies for using the ‘A’ word)?
This question covers a broader spectrum. Barring a few, can most of our governments either at central of state levels; be called to be lawfully created and established? All of us are well aware of the Machiavellian, treacherous and ‘no holds barred’ electoral politics of India. Drug, money, intimidation, blackmailing, murderous mayhem etc have become the salient features of Indian democracy, as we have it today. Governments are often also made either by be-fooling or ‘coaxing’ people with the help of a well orchestrated electoral propaganda run by ‘anti-national’ guys sitting in their air-conditioned chambers using computers, visuals and media campaigns. Such campaigns cost millions and these backroom guys keep running to their banks, laughing all the way.
‘Garibi Hatao’, ‘ Roti Kapda aur Makan’, ‘India Shining’, ‘Achche Din’, ‘Peoples Share in Black Money stashed abroad’, ‘People share in the massive privately held Indian Gold Reserves’ have only helped politicians grabbing the chair. People remain wherever they are, that is if they do not slide down further. Such like people, including me myself, continue love to be be-fooled further by politicians who first take the carrot away from our mouth and then very generously toss it back winning accolades from foolish people like me. This guy Kanhaiya had hit the nail on its head when he stated that fellowships are given, cancelled and again given only to ensure that ‘fellows’ remain in queue. Provident funds are taxed and again made partially tax free to ensure that workers, their hands folded, remain lined up in front of the governments of the day.
Can such like Machiavellian governments be called ‘lawful? May be for some people they do, but certainly not for a free radical like me, who has seen them from inside for about four decades.
The present laws governing sedition need to be replaced. Challenging cheat of any government is not sedition. Anything affecting the sovereignty, security, economy, dignity and suchlike things of the country is, certainly, sedition. Allying or trying to ally with forces opposed to the freedom of the country is sedition. Surrendering national interests to foreign powers either for pittance for the nation or for personal gains, name or fame is sedition. I have known some such persons who fall in the last category and still known to be ‘great statesmen’.
But who is going to bell the cat?
Certainly not such of the governments which continue raping its people even without condoms and counting imaginative condoms in the closets of others.