The arrest of political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on charges of sedition has outraged rights activists in India, reported BBC News.
Trivedi was detained in Mumbai this weekend for a series of politically-charged cartoons, many of which were focused on government corruption, leading to a protest on his behalf today by a group of free speech activists and opposition activists in New Delhi, said AP.
Some of the cartoons in question can be viewed on Trivedi's "Cartoons Against Corruption" website here, work the artist has defended as an honest response to societal ills.
"If telling the truth makes one a traitor, then I am happy," Trivedi said, according to India's NDTV. "Likewise even Gandhi, Bhagat Singh are traitors."
Mumbai police official Chandrakant Bhosale said the cartoonist was arrested because he showed "disrespect to the National emblem" with his "ugly and obscene content," reported NDTV.
The organization India Against Corruption insisted that charges against group member Trivedi be dropped immediately, according to CNN's India affiliate, which also cited sources saying the cartoonist may refuse bail unless cleared of all wrongdoing.
Reports indicate the government is already backtracking on the case, and it is unclear how long Trivedi will be held.
Online observers, meanwhile, were quick to respond with Tweets critical of the government's response:
What was so different with Aseem Trivedi? He said thru cartoons what many others say about governance or lack of it in columns every day.
— S Irfan Habib (@irfhabib) September 10, 2012
Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi makes "cartoons against corruption" and is arrested for sedition. Never knew corruption was so dear to our state.
— Faking News (@fakingnews) September 9, 2012
Some of Trivedi's cartoons were featured at a New Delhi protest last year lead by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, according to AP.