The arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on charges of sedition has sparked outrage across the country, with his supporters alleging that it is politically motivated. Supporters say the Kanpur based cartoonist is being punished for backing Anna Hazare‘s anti-corruption campaign.
In an interview to CNN-IBN, Aseem’s father Ashok Trivedi agreed. “Aseem drew cartoons for India Against Corruption (IAC) and during Anna Hazare‘s protest in December, that is why government is targeting him”, he said.
Ashok said his father, Rewashankar Trivedi, was a part of the Indian freedom struggle, having participated in Satyagraha. “When Aseem was little, he would sit with his grandfather and listen to stories of the freedom struggle. There is no way he can do anything that amounts to treason,” he said.
The Mumbai police arrested Aseem, a member of the India Against Corruption or IAC, on Saturday based on a private complaint filed by a lawyer in December last year that he had put up banners mocking the Indian Constitution during an Anna Hazare rally in Mumbai.
He has also been charged with posting seditious and obscene content on his website, which has since been blocked. (His work can be accessed on his blog though)Trivedi has been remanded in police custody till 16 September.
“We have seen Aseem’s cartoons, they are completely his opinions. He portrays the corruption in the country through his work. There’s nothing anti-national in this. He is not a terrorist, said Ashok.
Alleging that thge government is targeting Aseem for being a part of IAC, he said, “Before this also, people have made cartoons on India, but no one took action. Then why now?”
“Mumbai police is not even allowing him to talk, he is not being allowed to meet anyone,” he said.
Appealing to the country to help Aseem, his mother said, “He is just not my son, he is the country’s son. I appeal to people to come forward and protest against this.”