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Aseem Trivedi: If telling the truth makes me a traitor, the I am one

The surrender and arrest of Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on charges of sedition has become a big story in many publications here in the US. Aseem was scheduled to be here in the US at The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention to receive The Cartoonist Rights Network International Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award but a judge has held him in custody until September 24th.

Aseem was offered the opportunity to go if he applied for bail, but he refused.

From the LA Times:

“If telling the truth makes me a traitor, then I am one,” Trivedi told reporters outside the court late Sunday on his way to a hearing. “Even Mahatma Gandhi was called traitor, and if I am booked under sedition for doing service to the nation, then I will continue to do so.”

Most of his allegedly seditious cartoons were displayed last year on a website that Trivedi launched, called CartoonsAgainstCorruption.com. The government blocked the site in December during a demonstration by anti-corruption leader Anna Hazare.

Community Comments

#1 Joe Thompson
September/11/2012
@ 11:23 pm

This is a mind boggling revelation.

#2 Gerry Mooney
September/18/2012
@ 3:27 pm

it’s important for us in the US to remember that around the world cartoonists aren’t universally loved. We’re lucky to live in a country where you can draw cartoons and not go to jail.

#3 Gerry Mooney
September/18/2012
@ 3:33 pm

I like this bit especially: “The government said Monday it had no problem with people expressing their opinions, but that disrespect for important national imagery would not be taken lightly.”

So in essence, the first part of this statement is flat-out false if the Indian government feels it’s necessary to regulate the depiction of “important national imagery”. Whatever that means.

Could you imagine getting arrested for drawing a cartoon of Mt. Rushmore or the Washington Monument?

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