Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi – A Real Hero?

So I am having my morning tea with Mom and Sis and there’s this news that I have been uncomfortable about. I am more disturbed because every two days we start celebrating someone as a hero just because he does something against the ill “corruption” and I am just not in favor of it.

Yes, on Half A Cup of Tea, I seldom show very strong opinions, but today is one of those days when I do.

I look at the news once again, and decide to do the check.

Have you ever wondered why R. K Laxman and UNNY have not been jailed? It’s not like they haven’t made cartoons against corruption. Here are some examples:

R.K. Lakshman’s Work  and UNNY”s work (Respectively shown below)

And the said “hero” Aseem Trivedi was jailed.

But how many of us, have taken the trouble to see the said cartoons. And okay, you saw it but did you rationalize? Did you judge whether or not it is acceptable? Here are the images for your reference:

Cartoon 1:

What it depicts: The Indian parliament as the “National Toilet” and the constitution being urinated on.

Are we okay with the world looking at this Image of Our country? Is this how we represent ourself? Is THIS our triumph?

Cartoon 2:

What it depicts: The ashoka chakra – the dharma chakra with “Sataya Mev Jayte” inscribed is re-designed with wolves and the emblem as a skull.

When cartoons are about the “corrupt” and about the “human” corrupt – we can pass it off as opinion. [Like the ever popular cartoons about the various, specific, government officials]

But this – this is representation of the country. Someone is mocking our country and we’re supporting this representation.

Have you ever wondered that the shoulders we’re leaning on (and every 6 months we run after a new hero) and the triumphs that we are celebrating might just as well be another way to get victimized?

I don’t really see this whole attempt as a celebration. I don’t view these pictures as something called “Freedom of Expression”. I think they very well condemn our dignity.

When asked to comment he says: “When wads of currency are waved inside Parliament, scams worth crores of rupees are carried out, when parliamentarians watch blue films in the House and then you decide who is insulting the national symbols. Why are you asking me?”

And that reinstates my apprehension.

While some loot the country with the deep rooted culture of corruption, we have others who abuse our dignity in the name of “creative expression”. And sad part is, THIS abuse is so widely accepted and applauded.

As for these images – they enrage me.

Where are his cartoons taking us? – Besides the instigation

They’re right when they say the “negative” gets publicity.

I am now provoked enough to take a step. But I look around and see – THERE is no step to take. There is absolutely no direction. We’ll shout, abuse the government a little more and then carry on with our “every day” sins.

Yes – SINS that we are so used to living with that we don’t even consider them as crime enough to create a hue and cry.

Your cartoons are super effective, right Mr. Azeem Trivedi? Then why not make cartoons that make us morally better people?

For instance – the Guwahati criminals out on bail. It kills me to see that our country is okay with that.

It kills me when I read blogs where women confide to dialy molestation and people watching and laughing. It kills me to see movies that use “rape” as entertainment. What are we doing in daily life?

In daily life – we’re reading cartoons that “rape” the country in visual representation; that BRAND INDIA in the eyes of the world in such manner and we applaud it saying we’re against corruption.

And still –men will not protect the women, still the children will be forced to child labor, still the poor will be exploited, still idle will mock the country. And we will applaud. Why not make cartoons that can change the world?

 Why not use “freedom of expression” to do something productive? But no. That won’t become just as popular as this because the positive and productive will never get so much attention. The “Freedom of expression” only seems to instigate and not inspire.

It’s like teaching a child to speak but the child only keeps swearing. The child soon forgets dignity, respect, the lines that honor the freedom of expression and the child just grows up to become one – of – those – people. I fear that happening to my country.

 We just enjoy grumbling, making excuses and BLAMING someone or the other.  We just enjoy blaming and celebrate the one who is the “most creative” in playing the “blame game”.

We need to think beyond.

We need to be wary of abuse,

We need to be protected from being used,

We need to muster courage and vision

When need to think beyond,

We need to begin.

We all want to same things – peace, prosperity, honest functioning, freedom from corruption, freedom from crime, freedom of expression – but in the bid, let’s just be careful, we aren’t trading ourselves off.

 

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