7 charged with defaming India’s new prime minister

Caption: May 17, 2014: In this file photo, then-India’s next Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi, India. (AP)

Published June 13, 2014Associated Press

Police in southern India have arrested seven people, including four students, and charged them with defaming the country’s new prime minister in a college magazine, officials said Friday.

The arrests came after an annual student magazine at the Government Polytechnic College in Kerala state included a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a collage of what it called “Negative faces.” Others featured in the collage were Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden and former President George W. Bush.

The seven people were arrested Wednesday and charged with defamation and criminal conspiracy, said district police chief N. Vijaya Kumar. They were released on bail Thursday. If found guilty, they could face prison terms and stiff fines.

The four students helped edit the magazine. The others who were arrested included the college’s top official, the magazine’s faculty adviser and the owner of the company that printed the magazine.

Police seized a printing press and computers used to design the magazine. The college said no further copies of the magazine would be distributed, according to Kumar.

“They were arrested under several charges, including defamation, intentional insult to provoke breach of peace, criminal conspiracy and printing matter known to be defamatory,” he said.

Police made the arrests after Yuva Morcha, or Youth Front, a group affiliated with Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, complained about the photo.

The college’s student union publishes the magazine each year based on a theme. This year’s issue, which was distributed last week, explained world history through pictures of faces.

Modi, who was sworn in as prime minister late last month, was chief minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat when it was ripped by sectarian violence in 2002. More than 1,000 Muslims were killed and Modi was widely seen as having done little to stop the carnage, though he denies any wrongdoing.

A student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) runs the college’s student union and has openly accused Modi of being responsible for the sectarian violence.

Indian politicians are known for being sensitive to public criticism or ridicule.

In November 2012, two 21-year-old college students were arrested in Mumbai for posting a comment on Facebook criticizing the shutdown of India’s financial hub for the funeral of a powerful right-wing politician.

Link to this story

G+ Comments

Facebook Comments


Live & Die for Buddhism

candle

Maha Ghosananda

Maha Ghosananda

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism (5/23/1913 - 3/12/07). Forever in my heart...

Problems we face today

jendhamuni pink scarfnature

Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected...

Major Differences

Major Differences in Buddhism

Major Differences in Buddhism: There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day ...read more

My Reflection

My Reflection

This site is a tribute to Buddhism. Buddhism has given me a tremendous inspiration to be who and where I am today. Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. I do not believe in superstition. I only believe in karma.

A Handful of Leaves

A Handful of Leaves

Tipitaka: The pali canon (Readings in Theravada Buddhism). A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. Most -- but not all -- of the Canon has already been published in English over the years. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.

Just the way it is

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor... read more