Free Daily Reads 2022: Article 220

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Article Title: It’s time we have Right to Ridicule as basic freedom


Article Summary

In the article at issue, the author makes the case for a constitutional Right to Ridicule to be established in India. Citing examples of various cartoonists and citizens arrested by politicians for daring to make fun of the latter, the author shows how the Right will be relevant, because what prevails in India today is approaching despotism. The examples shown are of several arrests across India, with governments doing the arresting being headed by Mamata Banerjee and Anna Hazare, among others. The cartoons causing the offenses had been portraying government agents as monkeys, loan sharks as semi-naked, and heads of State as strangely-dressed actresses, also among others. In one case, even email forwards criticising a head of State(Mamata Banerjee) was enough to earn State resentment. The author points out that cartoonists and creative artists had more freedom to speak their mind when India was under emergency declared by Indira Gandhi, to highlight what level of political censorship and human oppression is going on in contemporary India. The laws extant in India against anti-State material are colonial era leftovers which are extremely oppressive, and that is creating this peculiar atmosphere of political despotism – therefore, those laws need to be urgently and heavily modified.


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Words to learn from this article:

Castigating: violently attacking someone verbally, a very rude insult or scolding.

Avalanche: a huge mass, deluge.

Defamation: intentionally spoiling the good public image of someone.

Yardsticks: criteria.

Lampooning: using humour to point out someone’s faults in public.



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