The sedition law, in many eyes’, is a law which is a sheer disrupt to the ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘democracy’. This same law was also used by then British government during the British Raj to suppress India’s freedom movement.
While it’s still so prevalent in India (sometimes this law is even been abused), England did away with sedition law. Besides British, many other countries either abolished the sedition law completely while in some countries, this law is rarely enforced, as a respect for the ‘freedom of speech’ or it’s considered unconstitutional.
Where freedom of expression is concerned, people who are practicing this wonderful gift of democracy ‘with no violence or conspiracy against the government attached at all’ in India, are being slammed with sedition charges.
Although somehow (it seems it is also widely known here) those accused of sedition are then finally always freed by the supreme court after a long wait.
Then the sickly tagging of ‘Anti-National’ to those using this freedom to express oneself in a democracy is way beyond a sorrowful path taken during the progress of democracy.
The government (of present and future & since the past is now history) of a democratic country thus has to be reminded of the core concept of democracy;
In Abraham Lincoln’s phrase, it is simply,
“a form of government ‘Of the people, by the people and for the people’”
Thus, if people who are part of that democracy is forced to silence and are not allowed the practice of expressing one’s views, then isn’t there, somewhere down the path of democracy, some big hurdles?
Then history has it that one of the greatest men who walked upon this earth, Mahatma Gandhi, was arrested on 10th March 1922 by British officials on charges of ‘sedition’.
Bapu (a father), as he was called and still called as in India, kept his opinion with indisputable clarity;
“Section 124A, under which I am happily charged is perhaps the prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen.”
And yet, section 124A is widely prevalent in India and other countries like India, who earned independence from British rule, too, didn’t remove the British government imposed law. According to Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in its 23rd June 2016 article ‘Sedition Laws a Legacy of Colonialism Worldwide’, those other countries are Malaysia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.
This country is best known to the consequences of the abuses caused by using the sedition law, yet it is still used today or many times misused. A dangerous person/group posing threat to the country and its people or causing violence is another big issue and that must be tackled. But charging with sedition mere ‘freedom of expression’ practitioner and at that, arresting journalists on the charges of sedition just for expressing his/her opinion. Aren’t these acts a slap on the face of democracy? Such is the oppression that needs to be tackled by all people together on time and eliminated out.
Sedition law might not be a threat if it is not misused by power-mongers, like how it is there in some countries like U.S. still and yet it’s not let to allow opposing one’s freedom in democracy.
Also as Bapu said, if the sedition law is only designed to suppress the liberty of the citizens, then it should be simply abolished in a largest democratic country like India who did away with any kinds of dictatorships and empires way back from now.