There is a thin line between dissent and sedition, when freedom of expression is exercised. Dissent is constructive and meaningful. Sedition is malicious and destructive. Former Amnesty India Chief Aakar Ahmad Patel (No idea, why he hides his middle name) tweeted, “Our real enemy is the BJP. China is an opponent. Has strategic objectives. It isn’t trying to destroy us internally. BJP is.” He sided with China after 20 Indian Army personnel of Army’s 16 Bihar Regiment made supreme sacrifices protecting the border of our nation on night of 15 June in violent clashes with Chinese troops in the Galwan valley of Ladakh.
Under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, sedition is an offence when if the words spoken or written, or by signs causes disorder and violence. Since, Aakar Ahmad Patel’s tweet did not result in disorder and violence, thanks to sane people of India, his freedom of expression doesn’t amount to sedition. Aakar Ahmad Patel is also a writer and columnist based in Bangalore. He is a former newspaper editor, having worked with the Bhaskar Group and Mid Day Multimedia Limited.
Aakar Ahmad Patel belongs to self proclaimed intellectual club, who call themselves custodian of DEMOCRACY, Freedom Of Expression and SECULARISM.
Thus, some disturbing questions arise, “what kind of rational mind calls a ruling party, BJP, which is democratically elected with thumping majority “real enemy of the nation?” Isn’t Aakar Ahmad Patel abusing entire democratic system and India’s people who voted BJP to power? Is he openly saying India has voted for its enemy? A dissent has every right to criticise policies of government. If hid outburst is dissent, is it constructive and meaningful? The answer is in the negative.
Recently, an open call to instigate riots, while quoting a tweet by ‘Colorado Times Recorder’ featuring a video of thousands of people protesting in Capitol in Colorado, Aakar Ahmad Patel tweeted, “We need protests like these. From Dalits and Muslims and Adivasis. And the poor. And women. World will notice. Protest is a craft.” Following which an FIR was lodged and his twitter account was withheld only to be restored later.
Indeed, in United States George Floyd was was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest when a policeman knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down, begging for his life on 25 May. The gruesome incident triggered huge outrage and protest across US. In India, two frail Sadhus were offered by policemen to blood thirsty mob, which lynched them to brutal death outside Gandchinchle village at Palghar 125 kilometres from Mumbai 16 April. But, Juna Akhada, of which victims belonged, didn’t hold protest, didn’t indulge in rioting, neither they burnt and looted public properties. Did Aakar Ahmad Patel ever question the system why two defenceless saints were brutally butchered? No.
Why do activists like Aakar Ahmad Patel never raise their voices against incalculable injustice committed in the past in India? Kashmiri Hindus were slaughtered, their women gang raped, their properties looted and thrown out of valley. The survivors are still living as refugees in their own country. 40 years old, Ajay Pandita Bharti, who was lone Hindu Sarpanch of Larkipora area in Anantnag district, was brutally shot dead on 8 June in his native village. Ethnic cleansing of Hindus has still continued since Kashmir Exodus in 1990 in the valley. Sikhs were inflicted unfathomable brutality after Rajiv Gandhi said, “When a giant tree falls, the earth below shakes in 1984.” Do the so called elite intelligent club ever raised their voices against such atrocities? NO.
Irony died thousand deaths when self proclaimed custodian of SECULARISM Aakar Ahmad Patel leaves no stone unturned to target Hindus, victims of invasion, whose land was attacked, whose civilisation was brutalised by Islamic invaders for centuries, whose land was taken away to establish Islamic Republic.
In the name of protecting human rights, ‘Amnesty International’ was also accused of having links with the radical Islamist outfits. In October 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids on the Amnesty International (India) Foundation’s office in Bengaluru. ED said that a search was conducted at Amnesty India office in Bangalore for suspected violation of FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) guidelines. ED had said Amnesty India received foreign funds of Rs 36 crore through commercial route in violation of FCRA and FDI. When law catches their illegal acts, they cry expected lines: ED raids is an attempt to silence government critics, ED raid is an assault on civil society etc.
The agenda is to attack democracy, when a democratically elected government is called enemy of the nation. The agenda is to weaken sovereignty of nation when enemy state is supported at the time of martyrdom of soldiers. A pressing question raises its head. Aren’t the likes of Aakar Patel running an agenda to undermine sovereignty of nation using freedom of expression as their weapon? India must find the answer