By Nimish Kumar
Aseem Trivedi spoke to in.com, minutes after he was released from the Arthur Road prison in Mumbai. He was looking tired and exhausted and it was evident that he didn't have the luxury of changing his clothes over the past couple of days. But it was evident that whatever torment the cartoonist went through, it hadn't dampened his spirits. Here are the excerpts from the interview...
What were you thinking when you made that cartoon? Did you think that that cartoon will become so controversial?
When I was making that cartoon, the whole situation was charged up. All around me, people were shouting slogans against corruption. I was hungry and I could see people were tearing up the anti-corruption bill. What came from my hands can be best described as the anger of the common man.
How did they treat you in jail?
It's a different world there (in jail). I met a lot of people, some were accused of murder, while some of other crimes. I realized that they are all humans. All of them read books, sing patriotic songs and are more optimistic about the country's future than we are. I am certain that if some of them come to the Parliament, they will do a better job than most of our MPs.
Why didn't you defend yourself? We heard that you decided not to hire a lawyer?
I have been fighting against corruption for the last ten months. They shut down my website during December, 2011. After that I decided that I would continue fighting against internet censorship. My family & I were being harassed. They used to call me to the police station so many times that I couldn't even work properly. I felt so humiliated and ashamed that I decided to let the public decide whether we should continue with this law (of sedition) which was originally framed by the Britishers.
Is it true that you had actually targeted Digvijay Singh in your cartoons?
He is great at deflecting the issue. He is an expert in talking about another issue when actually you are asking him about something else. He is an expert manipulator of words. Sometimes you will find him talking about something that doesn't have any relevance with the issue at hand. I don't like the way he conducts himself inspite of being at such a responsible position. I don't know why he always behaves like that.
What do you want to do next?
When I came to Mumbai, I only had a friend with me. I feel that today, the whole country is with me. I am going to fight this battle to the very end.
There were certain political parties who supported you...
I was in jail so I don't know who all came out in support of me. If anybody decides to support me then that person should come out in the open about these draconian and archaic laws that the state uses to crush people they don't like. If you are supporting me then please join me in my protest. Ditto for all political leaders.
Will you join politics with Team Anna?
I am a cartoonist and I will continue to make cartoons. I will work with team Anna in the same way I am doing now.
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