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FPJ EDIT: Don’t invoke sedition at the drop of a hat

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The sedition law has been on the statute book since 1870. No attempt was made to delete it even when power passed to the democratically-elected leaders in free India. This perspective is important to remember when considering the current spate of cases being slapped under the controversial law by the BJP Governments in the States. The latest to be thrown behind the bars is the 19-year-old student, one Amulya Leona Noronha, who the other day shouted Pakistan Zindabad from a stage occupied by, among others, Asaduddin Owaisi. When she raised her fist in the air and shouted in a high-pitched voice Pakistan Zindabad at the anti-CAA rally in Bangalore, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader did get up to restrain her but a video of her soon went viral. The State Police lost no time in slapping sedition charges against her. Likewise, earlier they had booked under the same law a school principal in Bidar where the students had staged an anti-CAA play and apparently used unprintable words for Prime Minister Modi. A couple of more such cases have been reported from Karnataka. There is no doubt that the police have used the controversial law rather freely, especially since the BJP leader B S Yediyurappa returned as chief........

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