The law commission on August 30, 2018 invited public inputs on the law of sedition posing in its first query as whether this archaic law should be repealed. We agree unequivocally, sedition contained in Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code needs to be struck off the statute books, completely. As we documented in our submission to them this is a law which is not only abused against social media users, it causes fear and a tremendous amount of self-censorship.
Such chilling of free speech includes instances in which cartoons, Facebook posts, receiving Whatsapp clips and even posting memes online have resulted in sedition charges. It is not as much that sedition is abused, we submit that its only and principal use, is abuse. This is documented in great detail from the days of our freedom struggle when pamphlets were published to the modern, democratic republic of today in which a growing number of Indians use smartphones.
We call on the law commission to scrap sedition and protect our right to meme. For public engagement and enabling wider participation we have also created a simple three step google doc asking people to write in to them on this important issue of online freedom. Click here to participate.