Aseem Trivedi case: Current times worse than emergency, says Advani

Extending support to jailed cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani lashed out at the present government.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Extending support to jailed cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani on Wednesday lashed out the present government, wondering if the current political set up was "worse even than the emergency".

Advani, in a blog post, said he has "always regarded the emergency period 1975-77 as the worst in so far as suppression of civil liberties and freedom of expression were concerned".

"But seeing what has happened to political cartoonist and anti-corruption crusader Aseem Trivedi, I have started wondering: Is today`s political set up worse even than the emergency?"

On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court granted bail to Trivedi but he refused to be freed till the sedition charge against him was dropped.

Trivedi was arrested last Saturday by Mumbai police which charged him, among other things, with sedition for insulting national emblems and the constitution during the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare here December 2011.

India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday threatened to sit on a protest outside the prison where cartoonist Aseem Trivedi has been jailed if all charges against him are not dropped.

Advani said the "draconian mindset of the present rulers is born out of failure and desperation".

"…Dictatorships cannot afford laughter because people may laugh at the dictator, and that would not do. In all the years of Hitler, there never was a good comedy, not a good cartoon, not a parody, not a spoof." he said.

(With IANS inputs)