2 weeks in jail for liking a harmless Facebook post

India is still in a committed relationship with censorship. The Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray died on Saturday, and Bombay was shut down by way of farewell.

On Sunday, the police in Palghar, in Thane district, on the outskirts of Mumbai, arrested Shaheen Dhadha after she posted a status update on Facebook that questioned the shutdown, also known as a bandh. A local daily, the Mumbai Mirror, reported that Ms. Dhadha, 21, had written, “People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a bandh for that.” The police also arrested her friend who “liked” the post, whom NDTV identified by her first name, Renu.

Got that? The head of a far-right Hindutva political party died, Bombay closed down for 30 hours as a result, and a young woman posted on Facebook questioning the closing down. She was arrested and so was someone who clicked “Like” on her post.

It’s madness.

The two women, who were sentenced to 14 days in jail by the court, received bail after a bond of 15,000 rupees ($270) was paid, reported NDTV.

The Times of India reported that a mob of 2,000 Shiv Sena workers vandalized her uncle’s orthopedic clinic in Palghar. Repeated calls made to the Dhada orthopedic hospital in Thane went unanswered, while Harshal Pradhan, a Shiv Sena spokesman, said that he was unaware of the incident.

Religious fascism everywhere we look. Golden Dawn, Shiv Sena, the priests in Ireland, the zealots in the US, Boko Haram, the mullahs in Iran…It’s everywhere.


  1. Tony ∞ºQueer Duck Hivemind Minionº∞ says


    Religious fascism everywhere we look. Golden Dawn, Shiv Sena, the priests in Ireland, the zealots in the US, Boko Haram, the mullahs in Iran…It’s everywhere.

    FFS, and they say without religion, there is no basis for morality…

  2. iknklast says

    Shame on you, Tony. Don’t you know the meaning of morality? It’s doing what God wants you to do, and you know what God wants you to do because he tells you.

    I once had a friend admit that if God told him to kill me, he’d have to kill me. When asked how he would know it was God, he said he would “just know”. To him, genocide was perfectly moral as long as God commanded it, because God knows who’s naughty and who’s nice (he’s a lot like Santa Claus in that way – also, a lot like Santa Claus in being fictional).

    It isn’t the people who haven’t read their bible that worry me; it’s the ones that have, and see nothing wrong with it.

  3. says

    For those who are interested, this news item from the Mumbai bureau of the newspaper, The Hindu, has more. The complete text of Ms. Dhadha’s post expresses her anger and frustration:

    “With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on… Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone showed some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians? Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect.”

    For those who may need a little background into this affair, one can see a glimpse of the power the Religious Right Wing wields in the supposedly-secular nation of India by scanning the social media streams of celebrities and politicians after the death of the Shiv Sena leader; the level of sycophancy is truly sickening. It is not surprising that a young person such as Ms. Dhadha was so anguished. She committed no offence, and yet, in a gross misuse of police power and the Indian Penal Code, sycophantic and overzealous police officers in the locality of these two young women chose to arrest them anyhow.

  4. jasmyn says

    #3 Iknklast, hold on! Santa is fictional? Way to ruin the fun of Xmas. On the other hand, I no longer have any motivation to be a decent human being.

  5. Morgan says

    The BBC article disturbed me.

    Ms Dhada also apologised for the post because, she said, she did not want to “hurt anyone’s sentiments”.

    Her friend, Renu Srinivasan, apologised too.

    We are apologising just to keep everything in place. We don’t want any violence. We want ourselves and our families to be safe,” she told the CNN-IBN television channel.

    Of course no one in a situation like this should be expected to risk themselves for principle – but really, doesn’t that just sum it up? It’s not that they actually did anything wrong or harmed anyone – no, it’s that bastards are going to hurt their families, so the authorities will make sure they soothe the bastards’ feelings because it’s easier than tackling the bastards.

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