From Paradise Papers to the Arrest of Cartoonist G Bala: Political Affluence as the Determinant of ‘Victim’ or ‘Culprit’ status

Paradise paper leak and the arrest cartoonist G Bala

This week begins with two very important headlines carried by the Indian Express (Monday Nov 6, 2017). The first headline “Papers throw more questions for Mallya: how did Diageo waive $ 1.5 billion debt?” and second was “TN cartoonist arrested for ‘indecent’ portrayal of CM in immolation sketch”.

The leak of ‘paradise paper’ that tells us much about the Indian corporate business and political elites. There are a number of names associated with the paradise papers after panama papers which were leaked in 2015. Mr. Mallya is booked for financial irregularities and frauds by the Indian authority. But the state and its authority is a complete failure to bring him back to the country. And again his name has appeared in the Paradise papers for a fraud of $1.5 billion.

On the other hand an ordinary cartoonist G Bala was arrested for portraying the truth  by creating a revealing cartoon of the Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami. The cartoon expressed the truth of the existing corrupt political structure; it portrayed the collector, police officials and chief minister standing around a burning child , naked, with their eyes lowered, and holding bundles of currency notes in front of their private parts.

The state and associated authorities are not able to face the truth of their existence. The cartoonist is arrested and it is not the first time, again and again they will be arrested and suppressed. But will they be able to neglect the truth?
Today we all are aware of the existing political circumstances. We know how the state and  the authorities function in any state of India. If an artist expressing the truth through his art  is considered criminal then what about those whose names have appeared in the paradise papers?

Thus we can see ourselves today a complete chaos wherein real culprits and violators of the law are moving freely whereas ordinary artists, writers or activists around the world are suffering because of speaking through their art forms/work against state led injustice – is this the kind of politico-social milieu that we want to live in? It is time we contemplated and critically questioned this important and crucial issue.