Section 124A of IPC
- Section 124A of IPC = related to sedition + Section 124A was introduced by the British colonial government in 1870 when it felt the need for a specific section to deal with radical Wahabi movement of the 19th century, led by Syed Ahmed Barelvi and centred around Patna + It deters people spreading hatred and contempt against the Govt established by law with life/3 years imprisonment +
- Issues = Repeated instances of its misuse because of too wide defination which help to undermine freedom of expression at many instances+ It is not justified to continue the section introduced by colonial british government to suppress the freedom struggle +
- In 1968, the Law Commission had rejected the idea of repealing the section. In 1971, the panel wanted the scope of the section to be expanded to cover the Constitution, the legislature and the judiciary, in addition to the government to be established by law, as institutions against which disaffection should not be tolerated.
- Conclusion = It can be amended so that there is a much narrower definition of what constitutes sedition, but the far better course is to do away with it altogether
- Dissent = Dissent is the safety valve of democracy” which iterates the citizens’ right to disagree with, denounce, and decry a situation or state of affairs that is unjust and oppressive. + This is the philosophy that inspired our freedom movement and defines India’s constitutional democracy + people’s right to call state power to account, albeit within the constitutional framework + real problem is not dissent but silent assent + Any society which eradicates dissent has only succeeded in eradicating itself. We cannot afford to forget the examples of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia + Dissent is the voice of margianalised section +
Mute/Unconcerned people to wrong things = Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar’s celebrated verse, “Samar Shesh Hai, Nahin Paap Ka Bhagi Keval Vyadh, Jo Tatasth Hain, Samay Likhega Unka Bhi Apradh (The criminal alone is not responsible for the crime. Time will also record the crime of those who are neutral/indifferent to it).”