Supreme Court has quashed the FIR filed against journalist Vinod Dua on charges of sedition for his reporting on COVID and other issues where he criticized the Modi government heavily. “Every Journalist is Entitled To Protection Of Kedar Nath Judgment”, the Apex Court said. You can read about the Kedar Nath judgment here.
It was absolutely shocking that somebody filed a police complaint against Vinod Dua for just doing his job, even more shocking was that the police entertained such a frivolous complaint and registered an FIR. A huge round of applause for Mr Dua for taking the matter to Supreme Court and get it quashed. It gives a strong message to the ruling regime.
I have earlier written on this blog how BJP led State govts and their agents are using laws to crate terrorizing headline only to make a chilling effect. You can also call it procedural terrorism, or simply abuse of power. Most of these cases fall apart in Court. There are never any conviction but the process itself is the punishment. I also wrote a column on National Herald on similar lines, “When will citizens get the right to sue the state for wrongful confinement?” Please read that.
At such time a counter headline that, an FIR filed by right wing Hindutva agents against a secular liberal voice has been rejected by Supreme Court, is very empowering. All of us whose individual liberties are infringed upon must fight for that “headline”. Let there be a message that we can fight, and we can win. I fought against Times Now when they tried to humiliate and intimidate me. They called me a vile troll on national TV, I sued them and won the case. I made the headline, NBSA Order Times Now to Apologize to Sanjukta Basu for unfair reporting.
I reclaimed the narrative. I turned fear and bullying into empowerment. My anti-Modi criticism has only strengthened since then. And If someday they file an FIR against me and put me in jail, the day I return, I would sue them for malicious prosecution, wrongful incarceration, mental trauma and loss of time and opportunity under the law of torts. In fact I am waiting for such a fight. I wait for them to mess with me so that I can set an example on how to fight.
For now, I implore Vinod Dua sir to please fight, create history, set an example. Get well soon first and then fight. At least sue those who filed the police complaint.
We all must protect our constitutional rights like a jealous lover. Guard them fiercely and sue anybody who tries to take them away from you. Sue the police/govt/CBI/ED if they harassed you without substantial evidence. There are many lawyers to fight cases pro-bono. Call me if needed. I will take it up. I fought the case against Times Now myself.
Though most of the time mainstream media does not even report the empowering headlines. In December I reported how the Goa based professor Shilpa Singh, who is an amazing feminist and communist, was abused and harassed by RSS-BJP / ABVP men. Then I also reported that she fought against the bullies and obtained anticipatory bail. Nobody else reported the news of her bail.
When somebody bullies you, how do you get scared? I would never understand. I can only and only get angry. Anger gives me the courage to fight back and make them pay for messing with me. I was 17 when a police officer tried to show me laal ankh thinking I would be scared of his uniform, masculinity and all. But I took him to task and I still remember how nervous I made him. We are always taught to be afraid since childhood. Be afraid of powerful people, Govt, Police, Court. I never understood how to be afraid. At the face of bullies being scared is not an option.
Fighting may not be easy. But then nobody said protecting freedom would be easy.
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