Kamra, Tanmay & More: Indian Artists Who Drew Legal Trouble
Here are some artists who faced the law for their creations.
On 1 December, Attorney General KK Venugopal gave his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against artist Rachita Taneja. Taneja, the creator of a social media webcomic called Sanitary Panels, however, is not the first Indian artist to have a brush with the law over their art.
Here are some of the other artists, who faced the law for their creations.
Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi was arrested in 2012 on charges of sedition for displaying cartoons during the Anna Hazare protest in the Bandra-Kurla complex in Mumbai, in 2011. The arrest was carried out on the basis of a complaint filed by Amit Katarnayea, a legal advisor for a Mumbai-based NGO.
Katarnayea had approached the BKC police in December 2011 with his complaint against Trivedi's allegedly derogatory sketches, depicting the National Emblem and the Parliament ‘in a bad light’. The FIR said that the offending cartoons were uploaded on social networking sites too, thereby hurting the sentiments of the nation.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, on Thursday, 12 November, gave his consent to initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra for his tweets about the Supreme Court.
A-G KK Venugopal went through the list of tweets made by Kamra that had been listed in the request and found that two of them "are not only in bad taste but clearly cross the line between humour and contempt of the Court”.
A third tweet that the A-G felt constituted criminal contempt was one where Kamra had shared an image of the Supreme Court building dressed in saffron colours with the BJP flag on top instead of the national flag.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh instructed Mumbai Police to take legal action against stand-up comedian Agrima Joshua for her remarks on Shivaji.
Taking to Twitter, Deshmukh wrote, "I ve instructed CP Mumbai and IG Cyber to take legal action expeditiously ..I urge everyone to maintain calm and law will take its course."
Joshua's old video, in which she cracked jokes on Shivaji's upcoming statue in the Arabian Sea, surfaced on the internet. The video went viral and she was slammed for "hurting sentiments" of the followers of Shivaji.
The Tamil Nadu Police arrested cartoonist G Bala on 5 November for his cartoon criticising the state’s inability to prevent a family in Tirunelveli from dying by suicide over debt.
The cartoon showed the district police commissioner, Collector and the Tamil Nadu chief minister without clothes. Bala was granted bail a day later, by which time the cartoon on his Facebook page had been widely shared and support for him grew on social media.
The Cyber Cell of the Mumbai Police registered an FIR against All India Bakchod's Tanmay Bhat in 2017. The member of the comedy collective was booked for tweeting a meme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a Snapchat 'dog' filter.
Tanmay Bhat was booked under IPC Section 500 (defamation) and 67 of IT act (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form). The case was taken up by cyber police station at Bandra-Kurla Complex.
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