Road to Sedition


Road to Sedition

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Ihave no idea what’s up with Ramya. By declining to put Pakistan in “hell” how dare she insinuate that it is not a mythical place of torture populated by sinners and a demonic overlord with a trident that he occasionally puts up someone’s ass? There’s more. She said people in Pakistan were “just like us”. She actually suggested that we used to be the same country about 70 years ago. OMG! That’s brand new information.

Soon after, a lawyer named Katnamane Vittal Gowda, who’d up until that point been shooting the breeze by having chai outside court, found his nationalism stoked and decided to file a complaint against the former Lok Sabha MP for sedition, among other things. Gowda was apparently “appalled” that Ramya praised a country that India blames for promoting terrorism. The BJP’s student wing also decided to stop pretending to care about student issues to hold another protest against anti-nationalism. There a BJP member named Jaggesh said, “People who have not studied and don’t have any experience are praising Pakistan. They should be given a peace prize…”

It’s a carrot-and-stick situation. On one side is that juicy carrot – Mother India’s nurturing bosom, where cows roam free and women are asked to hide in public. On the other side is the stick, the fear of being an anti-national, of being seditious. From being a law that (say this in a Lagaan accent for fun) “prohibits meetings that discuss any subject likely to cause disturbance or public excitement” (like a meeting to discuss independence from foreign rule for instance), sedition has become a measure for how much you love your country. Granted the court hasn’t heard Gowda’s case against Ramya yet, and will hopefully throw it out of court. But do you think you could live by this lawyer’s definition of nationalism?

Maybe it’s best to just stick to laughing at those random sound effects on the radio. Or go full sexist like most of the messages in your WhatsApp inbox.

Let’s do a simple test. Click on this link and look at this picture. Do you think it’s beautiful? If yes, then the joke’s on you. You just appreciated Pakistan. Enjoy going to court, random internet person. Now answer this question: Do you have any relatives across the Line of Control? If you do, you better have added “but I hate them” to your answer because you can’t call a Pakistani person normal, you douchebag. Do you believe deer or goats are better looking animals than cows? If yes, then damn, you just walked into that one. Someone’s burning your effigy tonight.

How easy is it for someone to file a case of sedition against you? Let’s assume you have a sharp sense of humour, one that not every nationalist Indian shares, you could be targeted for making political jokes. Remember the cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who was arrested for drawing cartoons? Granted he was about as funny as Housefull 3, and displayed the same level of wit as Shobhaa De, but he showed us that a bad joke could put you behind bars faster than you can say roast beef. Maybe it’s best to just stick to laughing at those random sound effects on the radio. Or go full sexist like most of the messages in your WhatsApp inbox.

If at this point you’re alarmed at the rising level of intolerance in the country, remember that that’s exactly what Aamir Khan said before he was accused of sedition by a Kanpur-based advocate. So you can’t be alarmed either. Just sit in your house, embrace your right-wing brothers and troll a sickular. Also remember to throw your religious sentiments in everyone’s face. For bonus points, maybe call someone in PoK and enforce your alpha-male complex on him. WhatsApp him a photo of Kashmir and say, “Lol, you’ll never get dis frm me.” When he replies, yell “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” for no reason.

As you do this, you can also wait for Arvind Kejriwal to say something on Twitter, so you can reply, “Lulz, AK-47” or look out for someone carrying a leather bag. If you spot him, take a photograph, print it out on poster paper, draw a giant cross across it, stand at a distance, and practice throwing chappals at it.

Congratulations, now you should be safe.