name='verify-v1'/>"> MediaTrial: November 18, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Shaheen Dhada - Malala of India!

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"People like Thackeray are born and die daily, and one should not observe a 'bandh' for that". 
Whats wrong with the observation made against Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray by Shaheen Dhada? Nothing - truly nothing with.

The two were initially booked under the stringent IPC Section 295A (outraging religious feelings) and Section 66A, IT Act (offensive message through a communication device). Later, the first section was changed to 505(2) (creating enmity).

It will be difficult to reconcile free speech and religious tolerance, and perhaps some grey area between the two, some flexibility, is welcome. India must examine its laws regarding the Internet, however, and in the balance, the country would be better off if enforcing free speech online prevailed.

Arresting a person, and a 21-year-old at that, for expressing an opinion on an restricted-access social networking site is a clear case of abuse of authority. The girl was not slandering anybody, nor was she promoting hatred towards any community. She was merely expressing the view that there was no need for Mumbai to be shut down because a leader had died. Shiv Sainiks may not agree with this view, but what is the criminality involved in it? What is even more bizarre is that another girl was arrested merely for indicating that she agreed with her friend's views. Justice demands not only that charges be dropped against both girls, but that a case for wrongful arrest be registered against the policemen involved.

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