This often misunderstood word ‘dissent’ is too little…only 2 syllables! But governments all over the world have never liked it despite the fact that in any democracy, dissent is held of primary importance. Furthermore, people have also become afraid of dissenting…because who knows under what section of law the government may force them in!?
In New India, ‘Gandhiji ke 3 bandar’ has been changed to ‘Godse ke 3 bandar’ meaning:
- Dissent Na Dekho (Because sab changa si)
- Dissent Na Suno (Except Arnab ki bhadaas)
- Dissent Na Bolo (or else go to jail for 8 months)
Three laws are mainly responsible for keeping an informed citizenry quiet, namely, UAPA, NSA and Sedition. Their definitions might be different but they work just the same: They give supernatural powers to government, let’s see how!
Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was first inscribed in 1967 so to keep the ‘AkhandTa’ of our country intact. However, due to continued amendments, this law became more of a oppressor than a protector. In fact, in July 2019, an amendment made even allows the state to designate anyone ‘terrorist’ without trial (not even media trial)!
This gives an incredible amount of power to the government…Just blame someone under the UAPA and let them dissent in the prison, eh?
More recently, former JNU student, now Dr Umar Khalid was arrested under the same law for his alleged role in agitating the public during Trump’s visit to India (oh, that same visit during when slums were being hidden by beautiful walls out of embarrassment)!
But 20 seconds out of Khalid’s long speech was blown out of proportion by media…what’s more Delhi Police confronted Khalid with documents running into 11 lakh pages…yes you read that right…there’s no data on unemployment or migrant deaths or healthcare staff deaths…but 11 lakh pages data on Umar Khalid’s UAPA.
If simple math be done, he might not be able to finish reading the charges against him, at least, in this lifetime. Just forget about it!
But unlike corona, UAPA is slightly biased…Take for example J&K cop Davinder Singh chilling with two Hizbul terrorists. He even got bail…Now isn’t that a masterstroke!!
The problem, mainly is this: That UAPA is being used to nullify dissent…dissent which is a constructive criticism of an idea or policy put forth by the government. Dissent is being misrepresented by the media and clearly being challenged in the world’s largest democracy!
This law gives power to the government to detain anyone who they believe is threat to national security. Both central and state governments can make use of or misuse this law…you better figure it our for yourself what will it be!
This law was established way back in 1818 and since then it’s been on and off much like Mihir from Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi! However, in 1980, Indira Gandhi, former PM, gave this law a great many new powers and it was born anew.
Example: Dr Kafeel Khan gave a speech against CAA at Aligarh Muslim University. After this, UP government detained him using NSA and imprisoned Khan for almost 9 months. Can you imagine?
At last, Allahabad High Court passed a judgment that his speech was a form of protest and did not harm national security in any way…Dr Khan was released but without an apology from the government!
Last but not the least: Section 124A of the IPC, AKA sedition law. Be it Congress or BJP, sedition has been misused by everyone in power. Also a gift from the British, this law is used to silent those who write or speak against the ones in power aka sarkaar. The irony is that Sedition law was abolished in the UK in 2009!
During the independence movement, Sedition law was used by the British to keep leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilka under control. Even after independence, many artists and activists have been charged under sedition be it anyone’s government.
Sedition has been misused blatantly…Even farmers in Jharkhand and 10,000 of them were charged BY the same law, according to Huffpost. It came to limelight in 2016 when JNU students were booked under sedition. Media added fuel to fire by promoting doctored videos…well let’s keep that aside…
According to abc news, 332 people were arrested under the sedition from 2016 to 2018 out of which 7 were actually guilty…This is a laughable 2% conviction rate!
Congress had promised in 2019 general elections that they would abolish sedition law if they came to power but they have been reaping its benefits for 70 saal!
There is a famous saying…power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! These laws give very many powers to central and state governments but they have been using these powers without any responsibility…with no media to keep a check on them…people get the most incredible beating of their lives!