One of those denounced is Swathi Vadlamudi, for drawing and publishing this cartoon on Facebook.
Spain is not the only country where anything is denounced for offence to religious sentiments; legal tantrums by those who consider that their beliefs are being insulted are almost universal and one of the causes of conflict that can cause the most problems for a comedian. Another case for the list with a scene in India.
If you are not up to date on Hinduism, to understand the cartoon better you can read the legend of Sita and Rama. I confess that I had to search for a while to avoid making a big mess with so many gods and sub-gods and I still don’t know if I have it clear.
Anyway, in the vignette, Sita reads several reports of various sex crimes against minors in a newspaper and says to her husband, the Hindu god Rama:
‘I am so glad that Rávana has kidnapped me and not your bhakts!’
The image also coincides with protests by a right-wing group called Hindu Ekta Manch, demanding the release of Deepak Khajuria, one of the suspects in a case of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
It is presumed that the persons concerned consider that they are being called rapists and also the usual thing, that gods are not to be touched. Not even for jokes.
Up to 3 years in jail
On 14 April, the Hyderabad police registered an FIR against the journalist Swathi Vadlamudi for drawing and posting the cartoon on 10 and 11 April 2018 on her Facebook page. The complainant feels that the image insults the devotees of god Rama and goddess Sita and hurts their sentiments.
The journalist is also denounced Shabbir Ahmed times Now journalist for sharing it on Twitter. A day earlier, another complaint had already been filed against this journalist for publishing “offensive” images and messages. (See previous complaint. Pag 1 y 2)
Complaint filed on 14 April
An FIR (First Information Report) is similar to a complaint, it is a legal action that is a formal communication of a case of an offence under the Indian Penal Code and opens the criminal proceedings.
Swathi Vadlamudi can now be convicted under section 295 (a) of the Penal Code, i.e. “deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting their religion or religious beliefs” and punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and/or a fine.
Shawthi, who is not a professional cartoonist and works for “The Hindu”, an English-language daily published in Chennai (Madras), had to endure insults and death threats after the publication of the cartoon. “It’s time for another Charlie Hebdo,” the journalist was spat at, among other things.
the National Alliance of Journalists also condemns the attacks.
The complaint was filed by Karuna Sagar Kashimshetty (Tw), a lawyer and president of the group“Hindu Sanghatan“, an organisation set up in 2017 which is not even registered as such and has no physical address as it consists of only 3 or 4 like-minded people.
According to Karuna Sagar, who claims to have no links with political groups, the mission of the collective is none other than to sue anyone who publishes anything on the internet that they consider offensive, such as declares a The News Minute.
“Hindu Sanghatan’s intention is to find publications that ridicule and demean Hindus and take legal action against them.”
“There is a rise of pseudo-secularists and pseudo-liberals who are defaming the Hindu religion in all protests. Therefore, we wanted to take legal action against those who are tarnishing the Hindu religion.”
In fact, Karuna Sagar posts on her Facebook account all the photographs of her posing with the policemen and showing the complaints, a disturbingly shabby ritual that is a bit creepy.
NWMI (The Network of Women in the Media, India) a network of media professionals in India condemned the FIR lodged against the journalists and considers the organisation “Hindu Sanghatan” an offshoot of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu far-right fundamentalist group.
They also demand that the Hyderabad police immediately drop all charges against Swathi Vadlamudi, Shabbir and anyone else against whom cases are filed in this context. They also call for immediate action to be taken against those insulting and threatening Swathi Vadlamudi, Shabbir Ahmed or cartoonist Satish Acharya, (who has also received death threats for taking a stand against the complainants) and anyone else connected to this matter. Communiqué
Swathi Vadlamudi(Facebook, Twitter)
Another painter threatened
Durga Malathi’ s house in Kerala was attacked overnight because of drawings of Kathua’s rape, unknown persons stoned the front of her house and her car which was parked outside.
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