The most egregious violations of freedom of speech include silencing dissent through accusations of anti-nationalism. Anyone not in fervent support of Narendra Modi and his government is labelled a terrorist and tried under the Sedition Act.
The members and affiliates of the RSS and BJP use a variety of totalitarian structures to suppress the freedoms of their people. Whether it be using violence to marginalize students, protestors and activists or laws to encourage separatism from the Muslim community, it is no surprise that the ideas of Hindutva and fascism still run deep in India. One of the most anti-democratic laws that continues to be enacted and exist in India is section 124A of the Indian Penal Code; this section states that anybody who vocalizes their hatred or contempt for the government through speeches, organizations, rebellions or other platforms will be punished by law in India. Unfortunately, Modi’s government has used this law to unconstitutionally imprison journalists, intellectuals and many other people that are dissatisfied and angry with the lack of democracy within the nation.
Section 124A has a dark history in India that is entrenched in colonization. The British empire introduced the law to India in 1870 to ensure that there were no uprisings against the colonial administration at the time; now, Modi and the BJP use this law to commit atrocities on the very people that fought for independence in India over 70 years ago. If India cares about its nation’s freedom, safety, and democracy in any capacity, it is of the upmost importance to repeal this oppressive law so that generations in the future are able to use their voice to fight the fascist ideologies that still exist in the country.