What Is Not Sedition?
INDIA THAT IS BHARAT
WHAT is truth, said jesting Pilate, and did not stay for the answer. That is the Bible, referring to the Roman Governor Pilate, who, while presiding over the trial and later crucifixion of Jesus, asked about the truth or otherwise of Jesus’s rebellious activity. The truth, for him, was reportedly what the anti-Jesus Jew mob present at the trial told him. Now Satiricus asks, what is sedition? But unlike Pilate, Satiricus is not jesting, he is just curious, and fortunately for him, there is an amplitude of intellectuals of the secular species ready with the answer. But they are not telling him what sedition is, they are telling him what sedition is not. For starters, they tell him that the recently-reported Kashmiri students’ pro-Pak rejoicing was not sedition, it was simply symbolic. They assure him that Indian secularism is not so petty-minded. Rather, it is quite catholic—in the sense of large-hearted. Forget these few boys, it is not sedition even when the whole of (India-occupied) Kashmir was cheering every run scored by Pakistani players against India at the celebrated Mohali match. If the newspaper reports of the said match are to be believed, from downtown Srinagar to small villages, this cheering went on in full throttle. Again, it is not sedition when the Kashmir chief minister declared in ringing tones that those who want to repeal Article 370 and integrate Kashmir into India will never ever come to power at the centre. On the other hand, it is also not sedition when the Kashmiri opposition leader openly says she does not mind being seen in the company of separatist Hurriyat leaders. Yet again, it is not sedition when those Hurriyat leaders go to Pakistan and get themselves photographed with an internationally acknowledged terrorist who has openly given the call to “kill the Hindus” and also declared his determination to transform our oh-so-secular India into as many as three Islamistans. To repeat ‘yet again’, it is not sedition when the top Hurriyat leader publicly flaunts his anti-Indianism when he proclaims Kashmir was never a part of India, and adds that he is more concerned about the welfare of Pakistan than that of India. To cap it all, when a female of the Indian secular species goes to Kashmir and urges Kashmiris to break away from bhookhé nangé Hindustan, she is not preaching sedition. The government did admit it was treasonous talk, but how did they deal with it? Why, with its legendary large-heartedness, of course. The alleged lady was not given so much as a slap on her delicate wrist.
Now, all this has shown Satiricus what sedition is not. But his question remains—what, then, is sedition? Fortunately for columnist Satiricus, a fellow-columnist provided the answer in a piece titled: Is it cheering for the enemy? It not only opened his eyes, it also cleansed what passes for his brain of abominably anti-secular ignorance. Now he knows that when those Kashmiri students cheered Pakistanis defeating Indians in a cricket match, they were just “communicating their sense of alienation,” which we stupid Indians should have already known, because “in the case of Kashmiri students, the disenchantment with the Indian state is hardly a matter of surprise”. In understandable English, there was no question of stupidly seeing it as sedition. Of course, of course. What, however, is beyond this simpleton’s understanding is, has this alienation been the result of Article 370 bestowing a special status on Kashmir? Is that the alienation-cum-discrimination they don’t want? How stupid of Satiricus, who, despite a law degree under his belt, all along felt that the Article was actually discrimination in their favour. He thought, while under all other clauses of the Constitution we all non-Kashmiris were ordinary Indians, this clause said Kashmiris were special Indians. On the other hand, Satiricus recalls that during the debate on this Article in the Constituent Assembly a member had complained that the clause was discriminatory against the Kashmiris rather in the sense that it said in so many words that they were not acceptable as complete, integrated Indians. All in all, how Satiricus wishes he were a special Kashmiri Indian instead of an ordinary Indian Indian. Then he could have enjoyed eating the tasty cake and having it too—and then complain it was not to his taste.
All said and done, the question still remains—what is sedition? In the deeply considered opinion of Satiricus, there does exist a class of people committing the crime of sedition. They are the Anti-Indias who do not want to live in India. They want to live in Bharat.