India’s Violation of Expression: Sedition

By Austin Cherkas | INDIA

America was founded on key principles of the American Constitution. The Constitution laid the bedrock of freedom, giving Americans rights of expression, self-defense, fairness, and self-autonomy. The American Constitution was a beacon to other countries and inspired freedom across the world. One of these countries, in particular, is India. When India became free from British rule in 1947, they looked at how their former rulers ran the government and adopted principles of “American Freedom.” America had the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 which removed many constitutional values of “American Freedom”, however that law was quickly removed in 1800. India has something very similar in their country today. The Indian Sedition Laws have just recently put 15 in jail.

June 18, of 2017 was the grand finale of the Champions Trophy. This cricket match was against two countries that have huge tension: India and Pakistan. Pakistan won the match by 180 runs. This out of no-where victory stunned India and created a massive celebration in Pakistan. What happened after the Pakistan victory is what is very shocking. 15 Muslims were arrested for “Shouting pro-Pakistan slogans” and were all denied bail. These sedition laws are very serious in India. A person charged will have to surrender their passport, can’t hold public office or take any government job, appear in court, and spend a fortune in legal fees. The Sedition Laws in India have thrown several in jail for obscure things. For example, not standing for the pledge of allegiance, singing an anti-sedition/anti-government song, protesting (in some cases), and cheering on Pakistan. Many Indian citizens protest frequently about the law and have slowly pushed for steps of removal for the sedition. 

India’s Sedition Laws ruin individual freedom for their citizens. Some might even go as far as violating human rights. America made the correct decision to remove the Alien and Sedition Act in 1800, now India must follow suit today to destroy their last hurdle to freedom and to follow their constitution.  


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