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SC Releases Manipur Activists Booked Under NSA For FB Post

There is this oft repeated story of a child asked to describe a cow. “A cow is a four legged animal, two legs forward, and two afterwards.” Whatever the perception of this child, the cow has to be taken seriously in our communication, perception and opinion. Manipur-based Harvard Kennedy School educated activist Erendo Leichombam, and his journalist buddy Kishorechandra Wangkhan learnt a lesson the hard way. On the death of Manipur state BJP president S Tikendra Singh, they posted on FB that science and sense would be a better bet to deal with Covid-19 than ‘cowdung’ and ‘cow urine’. (On social media, Gaumutra has emerged as a slur of choice to attack BJP followers while Islamists routinely use the jibe against Hindus). Promptly they were put in jail on May 13, under the National Security Act (NSA) for causing unrest by such claims! Imagine the consternation of the Lordships, Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah when this matter was escalated to the Supreme Court level by Erendo’s father. The Solicitor General did not contest the plea. Justice Chandrachud ruled, “He cannot be kept in jail even for a day. We order his release today (on bail),” averring that this arrest was a violation of Article 21! The Right to Life and Liberty. Invoking the NSA for such matters must be a matter of concern for our democracy.