Thursday, December 20, 2018

No freedom of speech in India

Criticising the prime Minister is considered the duty of the press in New Zealand. But in "democratic" India, it's a "threat to national security":

An Indian journalist has been jailed for a year after he criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Facebook, in the latest example of what critics claim is a clampdown on free speech.

Kishorechandra Wangkhem was arrested last month in the remote northeastern state of Manipur under a draconian law that allows authorities to detain anyone for up to a year without trial.

The 39-year-old television journalist is accused of posting an "inflammatory" social media video in November, in which he accused Modi and state chief minister Biren Singh's government of promoting rightwing Hindu ideology in the region.

Local media said he called Singh a "puppet" of Modi and of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a hardline Hindu group and ideological mentor of Modi's ruling party.

Authorities said the arrest was made to "prevent him from acting in any matter prejudicial to the security of the state".

And he's not the only one. Call the Prime Minister a dog, get arrested. Call him a thief, get charged with sedition. Neither would be considered a criminal matter in New Zealand.

if the "world's largest democracy" wants to keep that name, it needs to recognise basic political rights, including freedom of the press and the right to free speech. Until it does that, its just a shitty despotism in democratic fancy dress.