Monday, February 03, 2020

Sedition in India

India is the world's largest democracy. But under prime minister Narendra Modi it has become increasingly undemocratic, with police increasingly stifling dissent. And now that has reached its nadir with a group of school children questioned and their teachers arrested for sedition for staging a play which criticised government policy:

Days after a sedition case was slapped against a school in Karnataka, its headmistress and a student's mother have been arrested for the alleged involvement in staging of a drama portraying Prime Minister Narendra Modi in poor light over the CAA and NRC, police said on Friday.

The police action came after they questioned the two women, a few staff members of the Shaheen School in the district headquarters town of Bidar and students on Thursday.

They were produced before a court which remanded them to judicial custody, police said adding further investigation was on.

The drama was staged by students of fourth, fifth and sixth standard on January 21.

A sedition case was booked by police on January 26 against the school, along with some other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on January 26, based on a complaint from social worker Neelesh Rakshyal.

This is like something from the era of absolute monarchy, and it is appalling that it is happening in a supposedly democratic state like India. But that's what happens if you leave colonial laws like this lying around: governments use them.