Living in India, you kind of get used to hypocrisy, be it the limited meaning of freedom of expression or the idea of an independent judicial system.
The case of Saket Gokhle is no different, it is another example that proves how the politics and power dynamics works in this country.
The Maharashtra police put Saket in jeopardy by sharing his personal phone number with a Shiv Sena leader.
Yes, that happened. Police, who are meant to protect the citizens, put this man in a dangerous situation. Why you might ask. Well, because Saket lodged a complaint against the use of loudspeakers after midnight, at a religious programme organized by Shiv Sena.
“There's been some religious program organized by the Shiv Sena near my mom's house. They play loudspeakers at full volume way past midnight and I call the cops every night to the complaint. It’s almost impossible to sit inside the house with sound levels crossing 85dB,” Gokhle wrote in a post on social media.
The morning after he had called the police to take some action, he received a call from an unknown number. No prizes for guessing that the call was from the local Shiv Sena leader. The leader politely requested Gokhle to compromise and adjust for a few days. Not just that, he also evoked the upcoming Chhat Pooja, saying that if no one complains about the noise during the Bihari festival, a Maharashtrian festival too should be accommodated.
While the “logic” seems to be reasonable, what is bothersome is the fact that Gokhle’s phone number was shared with the Shiv Sena leader by the police.
This incident not only raises a question about the right to privacy but also about the integrity of the police who are supposed to protect the citizens.
Apparently, this is not the first time that something like this has happened with Saket. “A similar thing had happened 2 years ago when I called the local cop station and the BJP corporator of the area answered the phone. Yup: a politician answered the phone at the police station,” he writes in his post.
While the local party leader was polite this time, no one knows how the situation would turn out next time.
The main question that Gokhle’s post raises is that, don’t people have the right to raise their voice against injustice without being threatened?
Here is the full post:
Information and cover image sourced from faceboook.