Although the mainstream media and people in general painted Disha Ravi in a negative picture, that too without any solid evidence, the judgment by Justice Dharmender Rana has spoken otherwise. His verdict is an important lesson in civics.
- A reminder that questioning authority is a fundamental right when he said that offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments
- In another beautiful remark he said an aware and assertive citizenry in contradistinction with an indifferent or docile citizenry is indisputably a sign of healthy and vibrant democracy.
- The court recalled a shloka from Rig veda: This 5000 yr old civilization of ours has never been averse to ideas from varied quarters. “Let noble thoughts come from all directions.”
- The court clarified that right to dissent is firmly enshrined in Article 19 meaning the freedom of speech which includes the right to seek global audience, i.e. freedom of thought and expression internally and globally as long as it’s within the law.
- The judge said: “Considering the scanty and sketchy evidence available on record, I do not find any palpable reasons to breach the general rule of Bail against a 22 year old young lady with absolute blemish free criminal antecedents and having firm roots in the society and send her to jail.
The investigation is not done yet. But the judgment has confirmed that dissent is a small, essential part of democracy. In fact, many of our current politicians arose from protests only. So, it is actually a surprise that protesting today is being frowned upon.