With the reference cited above I would like to bring to your notice that Saidabad police station within the jurisdiction of Hyderabad city limits has prepared FIR against cartoonist Swathi Vadlamudi of “Hindu”& Shabir Ahmed of ” Times Now” in response to complaint lodged by “Hindu Sanghatan” an outfit most ultra rabid Hindu communalist organization “Vishwa Hindu Parishad”.
The authorities of said police station without applying mind registered a case. They would have not responded mechanically without going through constitutional guarantees enshrined in our constitution under press freedom of fundamental rights.
Swathi Vadlamudi has posted a cartoon in her Face book page depicting Lord Rama and Sita discussing the Kathua and Unnao ghastly incidents of abduction & rape. Shabir Ahmed has shared same on twitter. Face book has received many thousand likes and shared over 8000 times. Apart from facing criminal case both the victims are constantly threatened culprits have gone to the extent of threatening of victims will face same fate as Gouri Lankesh met. Police preparing FIR and filing a case is arbitrary action.
Verdicts given by Deepak Mishra, chief Justice, of our Apex court in case against journalists and Bombay High court judgement in case of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi worth mentioning. Cartoons for freedom of expression & peace founded by Kofi Annan former Secretary General of United Nations. And Nobel Prize Laurette also revealed following conclusions.
“In a democracy one must allow press to flourish. If one tries to stifle the voice of journalists, the entire carefully constructed paradigm of democracy will collapse”.
“The press (Fourth Estate) is meant to operate as the main source of all information and opinion by the people, of the people, and for the common people. In a democracy the importance of press is huge, as it represents democracy’s basic principle. Stifling the voice of press would inevitably lead to a complete collapse of democracy. Journalists must be given the space to write and express, what they feel should be told. One cannot clip the wings of press, as that will lead to complete dictatorship. Cartoons combine humor, satire and tragedy to express their views”.
In view of all these conclusions of eminent scholars and reputed international institutions, I would like to request you to respond without any further delay to with draw the cases against cartoonist, journalists. Above all take further steps to take all precautions against culprits and intolerants who are threatening on lives of members of fourth estate. Let there not be another incident like Gouri Lankesh in Telangana.
(Dr. K. Narayana)
National Secretary, CPI
- National Human Rights Commission,
- Editors Guild of India,
- Press Council of India,
- Indian Journalists Union,
- Network of Women in Media, India
- Home Minister, Government of Telangana