Payal Johri The Mockery Of Sedition Law August 31, 2016

The chapter of intolerance. The chapter of sedition. The exaggeration of these chapters. The mockery of the mankind!

This briefly defines the current mindset of the country and its people. Either a statement made qualifies to be judged, misjudged and further re-judged under intolerance or, if somehow escapes the clutches of the intolerant beings, gets seized under the influence of the charges of sedition.

And the people are all left to do is tweet and retweet about the ‘Freedom of Expression’!

How long is this circus of comments, accusations, charges and ill-treatment going to continue? And how long will the people continue to be dominated and hypnotised with a commanding set of beliefs?

What brought to light the current wave of heated discussions and debates being talked about rigorously over and over again was an unbiased opinion put forward by actor turned politician Ramya who recently visited Pakistan for the SAARC Youth Summit. What followed her innocent acknowledgement to the neighbour’s courteous gestures were far away from the actual truth. Thus citing a perfect example of what Journalism should NOT be!

Linking her comment on her experience in Pakistan to the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s comment of “visiting Pakistan was like going to hell” was simply too much to put decently. Further brewing a controversy is one thing and slapping one with the charges of ‘Sedition’ relying on that controversy is an all new level of intolerance unlocked.

From Shah Rukh Khan to now Ramya, expressing their opinions about their own country, its people, its culture is a punishable offence and it is even more ignited if you end up praising a few people of our all time favourite enemy Pakistan! By the way, what’s Fawad Khan doing in the country these days? Wait, how about Rahat Fateh Ali Khan?

What Pakistan has been doing with its people who have opinions which aren’t liked by the government or its supporters has started happening here in India in the same way. What difference are we left with if this is the scenario of the country’s progressive card?

This only reduces us to being a bunch of diplomatic hypocrites and nothing else. Then what right do we have to comment on the political, economic as well as social structure of Pakistan? On what basis do we criticise them of suppressing their people’s voice under the political and militarian agendas when we too are doing just the same!

Thrust this question in front of a politician or a democrat and a speech on nationalism and patriotism is what you’ll get to hear leaving you feeling anti-national. But that’s not a logic that will work all the time!

A few months backs, we heard the voices which raised an opinion with utter shame backing a logic of Azaadi that they are proud of being anti-nationalists but here, it’s about suppressing a voice of a citizen in a democratic country. The point here is she wasn’t talking about the Pakistan state of affairs nor she was talking about their governance but talking about the humans who live in Pakistan just like we live in India, or just like people live in the entire world. As an individual in a democracy, everyone is entitled to have their opinion until and unless it doesn’t make the mockery of the law, nation or anything which is wrong in the utter sense!


Sedition is mocking the constitution of your country. Sedition is disrespecting and degrading the name of your country. Sedition is abusing, unfaltering the national flag of your country. Sedition is not pointing out the humaneness of the people of the neighbouring country. Sedition is not putting forward your insecurities being felt living in your country. Sedition is not putting forward your opinion on an unbiased issue.


Not every statement, opinion, concern or expression is an opportunity to brew unnecessary controversy and not every Pakistani is a raging terrorist boiling to burn down India.

A perspective we all need to change, a change we all need to incorporate! And if you still have a doubt, listen to Mr. Modi who recently said in an interview with Arnab Goswami that we have to stop looking and portraying everything (which means everything) through the angle of Pakistan’s state of affairs.

Hello senses, my old meaningful friend!


(With inputs from Ayush Garg).


Avatar for Payal Johri

Words that best describe me: insane, fun-loving, ambitious, wanderer, a believer. Nothing can stop me from achieving what I want, and optimism and a perfect cup of coffee is what keeps me going, in the long run. I am a chirpy, affectionate, extrovert girl with a knack for writing, and firmly believe in making a difference through my words. Read, write, sleep, repeat, is the only mantra that I ceremoniously like to follow.

Crafted with brevity for select stories to make certain you see what others don't; Page One is delivered every Sunday

Media 450 is delivered every morning at 8 AM on weekdays. A 450 words letter on everything media.
Takes 2 minutes to finish. Easy on eyes. Starts your day on a smart note.

Two exclusive fortnightly newsletters, sent on Saturday alternately
a) Reel and Real with Rony Patra
b) Mixer with Ayush Garg