Aseem Trivedi

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Aseem Trivedi
Aseem Trivedi.jpg
Trivedi at Raj Ghat, Delhi protesting on internet censorship
Born (1987-02-17) 17 February 1987 (age 32)
Known forPolitical cartoon, Activism
Notable work
Social Work
AwardsCourage in Editorial Cartooning (2012)

Aseem Trivedi (born 17 February 1987) is an Indian political cartoonist and activist, known for his anti corruption campaign Cartoons Against Corruption. He is a founder member of Save Your Voice, a movement against internet censorship in India.

Early life[edit]

Aseem Trivedi was born on 17 February 1987 in Uttar Pradesh State in India. He started his career as a freelance cartoonist and worked for several Hindi language newspapers and magazines.[1]

Cartoons against corruption[edit]

In 2011, a nationwide anti corruption movement India Against Corruption gathered pace in India. Aseem Trivedi started a cartoon based campaign, Cartoons Against Corruption to support the movement. He launched a website and displayed his cartoons in the MMRDA ground, Mumbai during the hunger strike of Anna Hazare.[2][3]

Ban on the website[edit]

The website was banned by Mumbai Crime Branch for displaying "defamatory and derogatory cartoons" in Dec, 2011. Following his website's ban, he uploaded his cartoons to a new blog.[4]

Fight against internet censorship[edit]

After the ban on his website, Aseem Trivedi along with his friend Alok Dixit started Save Your Voice, a campaign for internet freedom. Through the creative protests in several cities, Save Your Voice, initiated a debate over internet freedom in India.[4][5][6] The campaign was targeted at the draconian rules framed under the Information Technology Act, 2000.[7]

Hunger Strike[edit]

Aseem Trivedi went on an indefinite hunger strike for internet freedom at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. The motive of the hunger strike was to request political parties to support the annulment motion against the Intermediary Guideline Rules of the Information Technology Act 2011 of India.[8][9]

Charges and allegations[edit]

One of Trivedi's cartoons showed the four lions that form Ashoka Chakra, India's national symbol, replaced by four wolves and the national slogan "truth shall prevail" replaced by "corruption shall prevail." Another cartoon showed Parliament as the "national toilet". He sketched a woman as "Mother India" being assaulted by a politician and a bureaucrat. A caption above this cartoon reads "gang rape of Mother India".[10]

He faced serious allegations of insulting national emblem, Parliament, flag and constitution through his cartoons. He was charged with sedition IPC 124A, Section 66A of IT act and National Emblem Act 1971 .[4][11][12][13] The case against him was filed in a Mumbai court by a lawyer, who said the pictures mocked national symbols. Trivedi was also charged with posting seditious and obscene content on his website.[14][12][13]


He was arrested in Mumbai on 9 September 2012 on charges of sedition, related to the content of his work.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] He was granted bail with a personal bond of Rs. 5000 on the basis of an independent petition by a lawyer, who also asked the court to remove the accusations of sedition.

Sedition charges were dropped by the government in October 2012.[23] Section 66A of IT Act was scrapped by Supreme Court of India in March 2015.[24]


He has been announced as the 2012 recipient of the "Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award" of Virginia based Cartoonists Rights Network International. He is sharing the award with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat.[25][26] Indian Affairs[27] founded by Satya Brahma in its 6th Annual India Leadership Conclave 2015 awarded Trivedi as "Cartoonist of the year 2015".[28]

He was also nominated for the Freedom of Expression Awards 2013 in Arts category by UK based group Index on Censorship.[29]

Reality television[edit]

As contestant
Year Show Standing
Bigg Boss 6
17th place
Evicted Day 27[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Website blocked, cartoonist moves content to another host". The Times of India. 7 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Democracy arrested in India: Aseem Trivedi continues his struggle against censorship". 12 January 2012.
  3. ^ "From Cyber India to Censor India: Groups challenge didactic govt". 29 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Why is this cartoonist caged?". 23 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Activists to 'Celebrate' Kapil Sibal on April Fools' Day". The Wall Street Journal. 27 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Save Your Voice – A movement against Web censorship". 13 March 2012.
  7. ^ Subramanian, Sujatha (8 May 2012). "For the sake of free speech". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  8. ^ "The War for India's Internet". 6 June 2012.
  9. ^ "TWO CYBER-ACTIVISTS END FAST BUT CAMPAIGN AGAINST IT RULES GATHERS PACE". 12 May 2012. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Debate, outrage over cartoonist's 'offensive' sketches". 10 September 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Can an Indian cartoonist be barred from mocking the state?". 30 January 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Cartoonist in India Campaigns Against Corruption and Censorship". 7 March 2012.
  13. ^ a b "In India the Enemies of Free Speech Find a "Symbolic" Means to Attack Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi". 9 February 2012. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012.
  14. ^ "The World Wild Web". 4 February 2012.
  15. ^ "Cartoonist sent to judicial custody on sedition charges". 9 September 2012.
  16. ^ Arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi a crime: Katju – Indian Express
  17. ^ Latest news, photos, videos, podcasts, breaking news, from North India, South India, North East, West India, East India, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata – Hindu...
  18. ^ Free cartoonist Aseem, arrest policemen: Justice Markandey Katju – India News – IBNLive
  19. ^ Justice Katju defends cartoonist Aseem Trivedi – Yahoo! News India
  20. ^ Free cartoonist Aseem Trivedi: Katju
  21. ^ Justice Markandey Katju defends arrested cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, says he has done nothing illegal : India, News – India Today
  22. ^ Justice Markandey Katju defends cartoonist Aseem Trivedi | Deccan Chronicle Archived 11 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Maharashtra government drops sedition charge against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi". India Today. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Sec 66A scrapped: Police apply sections without second thought, says Aseem Trivedi". Hindustan Times. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  25. ^ "CRNI Announces Winners of the 2012 Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award – Syrian Ali Ferzat and Indian Aseem Trivedi". 9 May 2012. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012.
  26. ^ "PROFILES IN CARTOONING COURAGE". The Washington Post. 12 May 2012.
  27. ^ says, Madhav. "Was Nobel Peace Prize For 2009 Conferred To President Barack Obama A Historical Blunder? | APN News". Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  28. ^ "Painting is an expression of artist's imagination: Trivedi". Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  29. ^ "Two Indians nominated for Index Awards for Freedom of Expression". The Times of India. 8 March 2013.
  30. ^ "Aseem Trivedi removed from Bigg Boss, says RPI". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.