Note: Quite late on this, but the video linked here is an interesting watch.
Linked above is a video from NDTV with opinions on the news about 21-year-old girls being arrested for their Facebook posts about the bandh in Bombay/Mumbai/whatever you call it after the death of Bal Thackeray.
I find cases like this interesting, and deplorable. Interesting because it shows the internet is evolving and the laws surrounding it are murky. Cases like these set precedents.
It’s deplorable because freedom of speech is being directly attacked – should the girls have even been censured, forget being arrested, for airing their opinions on a personal page?
Did the girls entice communal hatred? Not at all. Did their sentiments hurt religious sentiments? I’m struggling to even figure out how their opinions could have possibly done so, bearing in mind they mentioned no religion, and didn’t attack a god from any religion. I’m genuinely curious to find out why this was mentioned as a component of the arrest.
India is a country that bangs the drum of being a democracy, and of being a country where people can speak what they feel. It has, in the past, been proud of how the public can tell the government what they like and don’t like. But will arrests like this mark a crackdown on people who say what’s really on their minds?