Award Winning cartoonist Aseem Trivedi keeps his promise, held


 

Express news service : Mumbai, Sun Sep 09 2012,

Aseem Trivedi is facing sedition charges in a Beed court, to be produced in a Bandra court today.

Political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on Saturday surrendered to police at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) police station, where complaints had been filed against him for insulting the national emblem and other national symbols in his anti-corruption cartoons. The Kanpur-based cartoonist was arrested and will be produced in a Bandra Holiday court on Sunday 10am. The cartoonist, against whom several cases have been filed in the state and who is facing sedition charges, had on Thursday said he would surrender.

Caricatures made by Trivedi had been displayed during the anti-corruption protests led by Anna Hazare at the MMRDA grounds in BKC last December. Private complaints had been filed at the police station against Trivedi, 25, a freelance cartoonist and this year’s recipient of ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’ of Cartoonists Rights Network International, based in Virginia.

Trivedi had shared the award with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat who is on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people.

Among the controversial cartoons for which complaints were filed against him are one of the national emblem in which the four lions are shown as wolves, blood oozing from their mouth and the word ‘Satyameva’ replaced with ‘Bhrashtameva’ in the inscription ‘Satyameva Jayate’ below the emblem. In another depiction he has depicted the Parliament House as a toilet. In yet another cartoon, ‘Mother India’ is depicted as a woman who is about to be raped.

A case has also been filed in the Bombay High Court against him under the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act 2005, which may attract a two-year prison term and a fine up to Rs 5,000.

Mumbai Police’s cyber wing that had blocked Trivedi’s website, http://www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com last December, sparking a row on freedom of expression, had on Thursday said they did not recall the specific case, as they routinely block objectionable sites.

PLEASE SIGN ON-LINE PETITION FOR HIS RELEASE

 

 

A cartoonist from a more liberal world #FOE #sedition


PHEROZE L. VINCENT

Stroke of daring: Daryl Cagle.
Stroke of daring: Daryl Cagle.

American political cartoonist Daryl Cagle talks about balancing passion with sensitivity

It came as a surprise to Indian cartoonists that their American counterparts are literally paid a penny for a laugh. “Editors are cheap. They subscribe to syndication for $15 a week. It works out to a dime per cartoon.”

Cagle, an editorial cartoonist for nbcnews.com is on a whirlwind tour of India organised by the US State Department speaking to students, artists and journalists about cartooning. Speaking to cartoonists in the capital yesterday, Cagle spoke about the changing trends in news cartooning.

There are about 70 regular cartoonists employed with publications in the US and 70-odd freelancers, said Cagle. “The space for editorial cartooning has decreased, as have newspaper circulation and revenue. Online polls on news portals suggest that cartoons of celebrities get the most hits. A cartoon on Janet Jackson’s boob slip is far more popular than something on Syria.”

Cagle, who runs a cartoon syndicate which has around 900 subscribers explained that American editors are partial towards cartoons that look like those of Jeffrey MacNelly, the three-time Pulitzer winning cartoonist. “I know a great cartoonist called Randall Enos who draws for my syndicate. Enos’ style is the linocut which looks very different from MacNelly. But editors are so used to MacNelly (who died in 2000) that they’ll only pick up stuff that looks like his work.”

But he added, that cartoons for a glocal audience are most likely to get picked up, especially for pay per use by a wide clientele. “Since there is a big pool to pick from, papers in the US do not compete with each other for exclusive cartoons.”

Most cartoonists at the recent chat at the American Center said that not only was the financial situation of Indian cartoonists bad, but they have to also face threats and even prosecution if their work offends communal sentiments or portrays state symbols or the judiciary in poor light.

Cagle has been publicising the case of Kanpur cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who faces charges of insulting national symbols for publishing a series of cartoons against corruption. His cartoons portray the Sarnath capital as a pack of bloodthirsty hounds, the parliament as a toilet and the imminent gang rape of Mother India. Cagle has himself drawn the US Capitol building as a toilet.

“Usually protests against cartoons in the US do not happen naturally. It’s usually an organised group that arranges it. I can understand sensitivities on religion but the State cannot be taboo for cartoonists,” he said.

A visit to Cagle’s website or blog, is like a breath of fresh air to an Indian reader, as he takes on senior politicians and pokes fun at national institutions – holding them to account in a way that Indian publications cannot.

“In the US, public figures cannot sue you for cartoons. We have ethical guidelines at the NBC. Like, we cannot receive gifts from characters we draw, we cannot contribute to political campaigns and we certainly cannot give wrong information. You cannot draw private individuals, like an ex-wife. But the government does not tell us what is offensive,” he explained.

Cartoons are part of reasonable democratic debate. It’s sad to have the question put at you on whether your cartoon could create a riot. That’s just not a reasonable thing to do,” he added.

Political Cartoonist charged with #sedition ready to surrender


Sagnik Chowdhury, Posted: Sep 06, 2012 at 0325 hrs IST

Charged with sedition and insulting national emblems in his cartoons, Aseem Trivedi — a political cartoonist based in Kanpur — claims he will travel to Mumbai and surrender to the police in a couple of days. The Mumbai Police’s cyber wing had blocked Trivedi’s website, http://www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com, last December, sparking a debate on freedom of expression in India.Cyber Crime police officers in Mumbai, however, said they “did not recall” such a case, as objectionable sites are blocked routinely by them.

Trivedi, 25, is a freelance cartoonist and 2012 recipient of the ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’ of Virginia-based Cartoonists Rights Network International. He shares the award with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat who is on Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Controversial cartoons parodying national symbols and emblems were displayed by Trivedi during the anti-corruption protests led by Anna Hazare at the MMRDA grounds in BKC in December 2011, leading to private complaints being filed against him.

In January, a case of sedition was filed against him at the Beed district court. In another case before the Bombay High Court, Trivedi has been charged with insulting India’s national symbols under the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act 2005, which attracts a two-year prison sentence and a fine up to Rs 5,000.

According to Trivedi, a Mumbai Police team visited his residence in Kanpur on August 30. “I was not at home, but my parents were taken to the local police station. By the time I reached the police station, the police team had left. It was only after I made calls to the Mumbai Police that I was told about a complaint filed by advocate Rajendra Pratap Yadav. The police did not send me any notice earlier,” Tiwari told Newsline.

One of Trivedi’s cartoons depicts the Parliament building as a toilet, while another shows the Asoka pillar, which has bloodthirsty wolves instead of the four lions and the words Bhrashtamev Jayate in place of Satyameva Jayate. Yet another, titled ‘Gang Rape of Mother India’ features ‘Mother India’ wearing a tri-colour sari, about to be raped by a character labeled ‘Corruption’.

“I am in New Delhi for some work at present. I intend to arrive in Mumbai in the next two days and surrender before the police. I will not seek anticipatory bail. If I am held guilty of sedition in my own country on account of my cartoons, then it’s better not to fight any case at all. We saw what happened at the Jaipur literary festival with regard to Salman Rushdie. In Kolkata, a professor was arrested for merely e-mailing a cartoon that poked fun at the CM. These incidents pose a serious threat to artists,” Trivedi said.

After his website was blocked by the Mumbai Police, Trivedi started ‘Save Your Voice’, a campaign for internet freedom. “On December 27, 2011, I came to know from the domain name registrar that my site had been blocked by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch. Later, I learnt that cases had been filed against me in the Beed district court and the HC. I have not received any notice,” said Trivedi.

A senior Crime Branch officer said, “I can’t recall the details of this case. We receive several complaints and routinely block websites.”

Nand Kishore More, senior inspector, Cyber police station, said, “I am not aware of the case.”