Gandhi scion convicted: Freedom of Speech vs Defamation
Posted on 23 March, 2023 by Adv Amogh
Abstract : Rahul Gandhi has been convicted by a court in Gujarat for defamatory speech in 2019 stating "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi. How come all the thieves have 'Modi' as a common surname?" Petitioner was Purnesh Modi.
Oflate, lot has been spoken in national and international media about democracy in India. Words like #presstitutes #GodiMedia and what not. International media has at several times used examples of regressive incidents to paint a narrative around it to dissuade public opinion world over about the elected leadership with full majority of our nation. I heard a popular saying somewhere that translates to "Irony of India is millions go empty stomach while some get fed at government expense for expression". Well, what is all this about. Hype or Truth or distortion. Here is a perspective.
But before that, lets give a quick look at conviction news. Rahul G had spoken in 2019 stating "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi. How come all the thieves have 'Modi' as a common surname?". To that effect a case was registered but High Court had granted a stay on the trial which was recently vacated by Honb'le High Court. Subsequently trial court awarded conviction along with granting opportunity to file an appeal, as per law.
So what do you, my beloved readers, think !!! Was it harsh on Rahul G paying price of being a "Gandhi" scion or was it justice delivered. Hardly matters to me. The more pertinent is what is the messaging going around the world and what is state of affairs on freedom of speech in India. What should be the take on India by the international community !! All I am trying is to add my perspective to the "Business of Narrative".
"Dae di humae aazaadi binaakhadagbina dhaal. Sabarmati kae sant nae kar diya kamaal." meaning "Shri M. K. Gandhi (Aka Mahatma - Great Soul) Gandhi brought freedom to India through non-violence". Thats the narrative we are born into and based on his image, 500+ princly states were united under one constitution we know as India i.e., Bharat.
Sounds good... or utter rhetoric. I believe it to be later. Lets ponder around some questions :
1.Is India (or third world or any other nation) really free ?
2.Is Democracy truly prevailing in India given so-much of socio-ecocnomic divide and justice at large ?
3.Is there at all a Freedom of Speech in India, as believed ?
Well well well,... May I answer the 2nd question 1st. A country with 1600 languages, 30 states, different way of life, different Gods. India has worlds highest number of Gods than any other nation. Can this diversity survive without federalism and democracy. Yes democracy can feel democraZy at times. But thats the idea of democracy. Discussion, deliberation, opposing viewpoint and from this churning shall prevail only what is for the greater good of the nation. Thus,.. anybody who suspects the state of democracy in India, I invite you to come to India with an open mind and brace for some crowded and chaotic experience. Surprisingly, I bet, one would experience freedom and democracy like no-where else.
But, Question no 1 is more pertinent. Jumping on to my view,.. Imperialism has never ended. The idea of control, subjugation, profiteering. They are addictive. Nobody wants to give in and that is why probably they say that the proof of pudding is in the eating. Yes the medium has changed. Subjugation by wielding force on the face of entire population has seen a sunset. NOT BECAUSE OF ANY MAHATMA as the narrative was built. Narrative was very important to unite people under one constitution. There's no two views about it. But, what gave way to independence is the "Atlantic Charter" A Charter that came into play because Hitler gave a taste to the Imperials in years what they were giving to us (their colonies) for centuries.
But, like told earlier,.. control was an addiction that the Imperial rulers were addicted to. France, which had lost its entire territory to Hitler deployed people from its colonies to fight its war in false promise of freedom and upon end of WW-II, sent those fighters home only to be slaughtered. UK's famous Churchill messaging while turning blinding eye to millions of Indians killed in British Raj of artificial starvation by looting food and life stockto pile up reserves for its soldiers, a war-crime that missed the attention in the Nuremberg Trials
But with Atlantic Charter in place, addicted Imperials had found themselves in a situation demanding innovation and wallah... came the idea of "Debt", "Cold War", "Covert Interventions", "Regime Change" and finally if all that fails... "All out War".
And this is what gives the answer to the International Media building false narratives. Debt based imperialism is not possible if a country is stable, focused and well led. To retain the debt, Imperials had to use all tricks up their sleeves so that the indebted never paid up their debt. Weaponising Currency, Energy, Food, Public Opinion, and sometimes artificial unrest installed to meet these objectives. India has come a long way (many times lucky). Faced the worst of this New World Imperialism. And though we feel like worst is behind us,.. Hello.. Wakeup.. Look at the India Balance of Trade from 1947 to 2023. In these complex scenario, all that India needs is a efficient, motivated, courageous and above all rooted leadership.
India is blessed with a constitution that guarantees freedom. Freedom is not a gift but a treasure that needs to be protected. I read recently somewhere "What is the Price of Freedom ???". The answer was more interesting than the question itself. "Ans. Whatever it takes.".
So, my friend, when you visit and experience India, ask this question to yourself. "Did I feel more free here in India !!!" If yes, please do remember that Freedom is Power. And we all love the line "With great power comes great responsibility". And thats what is precisely embedded in our constitution. While personal liberty has been allways upheld, the emblem enshrines "Truth Triumphs". This brings me to the 3rd and final question "Is there Freedom of Speech in India??".
Whats your answer !!!
Mine... Hell yeah. The most free nation where you can say anything to anyone at anyplace. Just make sure you are speaking the truth. Not your truth or my truth. Thats perception. Speak the truth. And if you have a audience,.. then speak responsibly as a leader's statement can lead to law and order situation. There's no bar on speaking truth here. And as regards defamation for selfish goals and irresponsible behaviors, well we have a functioning judiciaryand here is an example (among many) where even "Gandhi" scion, the "SoCalled" first family of India, can be convicted. Convicted not for Freedom of Speech,.. but for abuse on its name.
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