Mr. Ravi Srinivasan from Chennai was arrested by the Police for tweeting something that was apparently “offensive”. Surprised aren’t you? Haven’t you received a couple of “fuck-offs” and some choice words describing your female family members? Then why was this guy arrested? Arrey he dared to insult Karti Chidambaram, son of the Union Finance Minister, P Chidambaram. Now before we jump to conclusions, it is important to consider the facts and evidences before jumping to conclusion. So ladies and gentlemen, here’s the tweet by @ravi_the_indian (Please ignore his cheesy nationalist Twitter handle, he’s from Chennai!)
Considering this tweet where Mr. S says that K Chidambaram has amassed more wealth than Vadra, I totally agree with Chotu Chidambaram. CC has a clear case for defamation. It’s highly derogatory of Mr. S to say that CC has more wealth than Vadra! Can you believe the man’s attitude? Tomorrow he will log on to his nationalist Twitter ID and say that Sonia Gandhi is richer than Ramsukh Bhelpuri wala ! Even in that case, I will surely support Ramsukh bhai’s case for defamation.
Okay sarcasm aside, this atrocious act is a simple yet blatant example of the highly mundane and erratic IT laws our country currently follows. Laws and scams aside, even if we consider common sense, since when is it a crime to simply say that “A” has amassed more wealth than “B”? Just because you bring in the national daamad and the FM’s son, doesn’t change the basic premise. I admit that Mr. S had the intention and the context of alleging corruption, but again, how is it defamatory to assert claims of having certain reports? If such blatant laws follow, all whistleblowers will be under the constant threat of arrest simply due to possession of documents which may be perceived as “insults” or “defamatory” to other people. Not only is this the height of banality, but also a clear violation of Article 19 of our Constitution i.e. The Right to Free Speech and Expression. Political honchos argue that article 19 is subject to reasonable restriction and cannot be used to hurt/insult/defame/slander someone else. Agreed sirji but what about stating truths or opinions which are subject to reasonable proof?
Ravi was arrested under Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act (Amended in 2008). It’s the same act used by a certain Mamta Banerjee to arrest dissidents in her state. Oh! I’m so sorry for using the wrong term. She uses it to arrest “MAOISTS”. Thankfully this was a bailable offence and Mr. S was released. However, it has come to front that Mr. Subramanian Swamy, President of Janta Party, shall be fighting his case against CC. So, as of now, this matter is sub judice.
However, the point I want to make with this not so good attempt at sarcasm is that Indian cyber laws are archaic and outdated. They are simply redundant and are tools, waiting to be misused by powerful policy makers who can afford the exorbitant legal expenses required in India. There’s been a massive uproar online against this arrest. CC has been labelled multiple tags, including another infamous “C” word. But this is not about a politician’s son being supposedly defamed. It’s about an ordinary businessman with some ordinary mango man views. I hope we change. Soon, Fast and Now.