March 2, 2013

Facebook Status And “Like” Arrest Case In India

“With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on. Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone showed some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians? Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect.” These are the words that Shaheen Dhada put as a status update in Facebook. And her friend Renu Srinivasan “liked” the status. And because of this they got arrested under section 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code and section 66A of the of the Information technology act. Basically these laws states that one should not use the internet for demeaning a character or promote violence and hatred.

I think that the arrest was absurd. The college student was just stating her opinion. I thought that India was a democratic country? Well, this clearly violates the freedom of expression. Come one! It’s as if the student is inciting a rebellion? “Respect is earned and not forced”, I really believe in this. Arresting these students because of an honest opinion makes the government of India defensive and dictatorial in a sense.

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