A two-judge vacation bench of the Supreme Court of India has restrained the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat from arresting sociologist Ashis Nandy, for an opinion piece titled ‘Blame the middle class’ he wrote in The Times of India in January this year.
Justice Altamas Kabir: “There is no ground for harassing a journalist. Let him live in peace. You [Gujarat] are prosecuting this man for his article. There are worse things happening in this country. If a journalist cannot write then who else will? I have read the article and I find nothing is objectionable. They look for a soft target to catch but not even a single politician or small municipal councillors are caught. He [petitioner] is 71 years old and is a soft target for you…. What is the grievance of the complainant? How does it [article] bother him? Is he a staunch nationalist?”
Justice G.S. Singhvi: “People coming from the land of Mahatma Gandhiji have become so intolerant that they can’t even tolerate an article.”
Also read: “A DISGRACEFUL ASSAULT ON MEDIA FREEDOM’
Cross-posted on sans serif