Ummid Assistant

Indian students in Germany need not pay to study: Envoy

Microsoft offers tech courses to Indian academia

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » National

India outraged: voices rise in crescendo against 'Facebook arrests'

Tuesday November 20, 2012 10:49:00 PM, IANS

Related Article

Action after Katju's reaction:

9 arrested for vandalising Palghar clinic

It was unfair, Shaheen Dadha who was arrested for posting a comment on Facebook after Shiv Sena  »

CPI-M blasts Shiv Sena, demands action against Palghar police officials

Girls' arrest for questioning Mumbai shutdown: Katju e-mail forces govt. to order probe

Mumbai/New Delhi: Oppressive, deplorable, arbitrary… the adjectives flew freely Tuesday as Indians across all sectors verbalised their outrage at the arrest of two young women who questioned on Facebook the shutdown in Mumbai after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death.

A day after 21-year-old Shaheen Dabha was arrested with her friend, who had 'liked' the post on Facebook, and her uncle's clinic in Thane was vandalised, police arrested nine people believed to be from the Shiv Sena. Both the women were arrested Sunday - for "hurting religious sentiments" and under the Information Technology Act, 2000 - and released on bail Monday.

Police also launched an inquiry against the arrests and the vandalism in Thane, near India's financial and entertainment hub Mumbai.

But that did little to curb the democracy vs dictatorship debate and the mounting fury over police high-handedness. The topic was hotly discussed in college and school classrooms, in offices, on social networking sites and was also the top trending topic on Twitter.

From corporates and students to politicians and academics, the voices of protest, young and old, rose in unison.

"I am so scared to write on facebook... My freedom of expression is killed by the arrest of two young ladies in Mumbai," wrote Guwahati-based wildlife activist Firoz Ahmed on his Facebook wall.

"Police officers who arrested the two girls in Mumbai shud be immediately dismissed. That's minimum that the govt ought to do," tweeted activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal.

"Now you can't ask questions about why there should be a bandh? Did anyone notify the police that this is actually a democracy?" Mumbai-based author Jerry Pinto wrote angrily on his Facebook wall.

In Mumbai-based communications professional Kumar Manish's view, the arrests were an "oppressive way of muzzling voices".

"It is unfortunate and deplorable that Maharashtra Police, a state functionary, acts and reacts within couple of hours for an action which is within the laws enshrined in the Constitution of India… We are living in a democracy, let us not make it 'demo-crazy'," he added.

Many others IANS spoke to in Mumbai preferred not to be identified though they condemned outright the arrests and the vandalism that followed. A telling comment perhaps on the forces at play in India's busy commercial capital and its neighbourhoods.

"Dictatorship is what we witnessed over last weekend… Can one not even express their feelings now? Are we in democracy or dictatorship," asked a young man.

Terming it the "the death of democracy", another woman professional said: "What irks me is how the alleged Shiv Sainiks reacted in the most intolerant and cowardly manner. We are living in mob culture and this is just not acceptable."

The ire spilled over to every sector.

Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said: "Question isn't about amending 66A of the IT Act, it's about preventing misuse by the police, who clearly acted in haste and applied wrong sections of IPC and IT Act."

"Also, vandals of Dhada Hospital must be booked! Hope Maharashtra government takes immediate corrective action," he tweeted.

The CPI-M asked for Maharashtra's Congress-NCP government to "take immediate action and stop pandering to the whims and fancies of the Shiv Sena".

In a statement against the "illegal and arbitrary arrests", the groups Communalism Combat and SAHMAT said the incident was "one more instance of the growing politics of intimidation threat and violence that are not firmly dealt with by the authorities".

Signed by artists, academics, media professionals and legal experts, the statement said the arrests were the "most recent in a long list of actions undertaken by the police under the IT Act which are questionable".

Most people felt the only way to reinforce faith in the establishment was to suspend the policemen who arrested the girls.

The ripples were felt globally as well.

Linking the Mumbai arrests to the shooting of Pakistani teen Malala Yousafazai, contactmusic.com reported that the prohibition of what's allowed on the internet and the decreasing amount of free speech available on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook is becoming more and more apparent.

And this was the message posted by Shaheen: "With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on... Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect."


 
 

 
 




 


 

Home | Top of the Page

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

i

I

More Headlines

Indian scientists unravel secrets behind hospital infections

Israeli Gaza operation to end Tuesday: Egypt

Israeli air raid on Gaza is state terrorism: Pakistan parliament

Nationwide protest, Parliament march to protest arrests of Muslim youths

Would jailing official make you work, HC asks Bangalore civic body

AIADMK to vote against FDI in retail

Speaker to decide on FDI debate: Kamal Nath

Free speech takes a back seat: Pro-Israel group demands Hamas tweet ban

Congress, BJP in close contest for tribal votes in Gujarat

INDIA: State legitimise a hate propagandist

 

Top Stories

Action after Katju's reaction:

9 arrested for vandalising Palghar clinic

It was unfair, Shaheen Dadha who was arrested for posting a comment on Facebook after Shiv Sena  »

CPI-M blasts Shiv Sena, demands action against Palghar police officials

Girls' arrest for questioning Mumbai shutdown: Katju e-mail forces govt. to order probe

 

  Most Read

INDIA: State legitimise a hate propagandist

Bal Thackerey is no more. His funeral attracted lakhs of people. Mumbai remained shut for so many days. It is time to sit and ponder over what  »

Bal Thackeray: Identity Politics to the Fore

Free speech takes a back seat: Pro-Israel group demands Hamas tweet ban

A Christian pro-Israel group has kicked off an online campaign demanding that microblogging site Twitter ban members of Hamas from using the service, a media report said. The group, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), hoped to drum up support from more than its 1 million members amid an ongoing  »

 

  News Pick

In Myanmar, Obama calls for end to Rakhine state violence

US President Barack Obama used a historic speech in Myanmar today to urge an end to sectarian unrest in the western state of Rakhine. “There was no excuse for violence against innocent people," he said while delivering a speech  »

Bhopal Gas survivors to knock on PM’s door on 28th anniversary

The survivors of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, world’s worst industrial catastrophe, led by the NGOs, (Non-government organisations), working for their welfare would “knock »

Stampede during Chhath festival in Patna, 18 killed

At least 18 people, including children and women, mostly devotees, were killed and several others were injured in a stampede during Chhath festival celebrations in Patna Monday »

India draw first blood in series against England

India Monday won the first cricket Test comfortably, making light work of a spirited fight back by England after following on. England, who put up a gritty batting display in the second innings on the fourth day, gave up rather tamely, their last  »

 

Picture of the Day

President Pranab Mukherjee at the National Education Day 2012 function to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in New Delhi on November 11, 2012.

(Photo: Sanjiv Misra)

 

Recommend the story to your friends

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Science & Technology

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Health

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

The Funny Side

Education & Career

     

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.