Merinews: Why do you draw cartoons?
Trivedi: It is one of the best ways to put one’s idea forward. Cartoons are known for their strong punches, which can act as a weapon in the hands of the cartoonists. It can also play a major role in educating the people about the happenings in the society.
Trivedi: Cartoon is a very important form of medium to which the ‘aam aadmi’ can easily relate to. As it is a visual representation, its impression can last for a longer duration.
Merinews: Why do you think cartoons are necessary for Democracy?
Trivedi: No Democracy is complete, unless people of the country are allowed to say or do what they want to. Hence, cartoon is one of the simplest ways, where they can express their views in a strong manner. Cartoon is just another form of creativity, where freedom of expression is an important part.
Merinews: Your site www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com was closed down by the Indian government. Tell us about it. Did you get any formal notice citing any reason or any legal actions initiated against you?
Trivedi: There has been no communication from the government side about it. I was very surprised when I became aware about my website being banned on 27th December 2011. As soon as I realised about it, I opened up a blog account and uploaded all the content from the website to the blog, which is known as www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.blogspot.com. When I got in touch with my domain provider about the reasons as to why my website was closed down, they were not able to pass the precise information to me.
Merinews: What is your main cause of worry in this regard?
Trivedi: In the year 2011, there were some amendments, which were brought about in the IT Act 2000. Hence, they brought in a new intermediary guideline rules, according to which anyone could remove anyone’s content from the website through a simple process. We are completely against it; hence, we have a campaign, save your voice against the amendment.
Merinews: A Professor in West Bengal was arrested for forwarding an e-mail, which comprised of cartoons. Is Political intolerance towards cartoons on the rise?
Trivedi: Such kinds of incidents are taking place throughout the country. S. Acharya, a cartoonist in Mumbai, had published cartoons on Sharad Pawar, which was not well received by his supporters. He was even warned by the Mumbai Cyber cell about it, but they later denied the warnings after pressure from the media. In a similar instance, another cartoonist from Madhya Pradesh (cannot recollect the name) made cartoons about Narendra Modi. The person was also warned about his act. Yes, in the recent years, political intolerance has seen an upward swing.
Merinews: Has any such similar instances occurred with you in the past?
Trivedi: As of now, I have never been tortured nor given warnings for my cartoons by any political power. But, Cartoonists are used to such things.
Merinews: Do you have any suggestion to such kind of political parties or politician, who create fear for cartoonists?
Trivedi: In India, nobody wants to hear criticism against them, nor anything to be written against them. Instead of this, they should take it in a positive manner and put a check upon it.
Merinews: When you are planning to make a cartoon on anyone or any particular issue, do you keep any legal intricacies in mind?
Trivedi: How can law define what a cartoonist should do or what he wants to do? If this is the case then the nation’s democracy can be questioned.
Merinews: With such things happening in recent times, will cartoonists around the country feel discouraged and fear about its implications?
Trivedi: The growth in this field might come to a stop, if such things happen on a regular scale. It is a big threat to this creative art, as cartoonists are trying to be safe while making cartoons. It will lose its satirical value then. They do not want to go to the court and fight a case.
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