Image that led to the arrest of the cartoonist “Varma”.
The Indian cartoonist S. Surendra Kumarwho signs his name as Varma, was arrested on Monday 18 May for this published cartoon, and for a copyright claim (?) withdrawn for a copyright claim (?), on his Twitter account on Saturday 16 May.
The arrest followed a complaint by A.M Elavarsu, a member of the VCK. Elavarsuy, the party’s trade union secretary, insisted that Varma, who belongs to the community,? vanniyar, should be tried under the Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act.
Varma, 30, who works for an animation company in Puducherry was arrested in Villupuram district for defamation and “obscene depiction” of Thol Thirumavalavan, founder and president of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) party and member of parliament from Chidambaram.
I don’t know the details of the political controversy to which the cartoonist alludes in his cartoon, but it is more than clear that he calls the politician in question a bootlicker in both text and image.
Varma is now facing various charges for several offences under the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and one more gift under the so-calledInformation Technology Act(PDF).
Little joke in India with the cartoons critical of the authorities there unceremonious bullying.
In principle, he can be charged with“provocation with intent to riot” (section 153). “Insults and provocations with the intention, or in the knowledge, that such provocations are likely to disturb the public peace” (section 504)“for creating, publishing or circulating rumours” (section 505) and“for publishing or disseminating obscene material in electronic form” (Information Technology Act, section 67).
On Twitter, a significant number of people are calling for the release of the cartoonist using the hashtag #Release_Cartoonist_Varma
Related, more than 150 cases in different countries.
Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (III)
Cases of cartoonists who have been in trouble of some significance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have got into trouble for sharing them.