Ahmedabad: 14 Days Ban On Mimicry, Singing, Playing Instruments Which Could 'Violate Security Of State'
Under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Ahmedabad police commissioner has issued a notice prohibiting singing, playing instruments, and mimicry among other acts which might ‘violate the security of the state’. These acts will be prohibited in the city from May 7 to May 21. The police commissioner has also prohibited delivering stylish speeches, preparing/exhibiting/disseminating drawings, advertisements, substances, or signs which the officer in charge feel can violate the security and lead to “toppling the state”
Apart from this, other acts that have been prohibited during the given period for maintaining law and order are carrying firearms, stones, swords, Rampuri style knives, batons, sticks, explosives, etc. Even the carrying of mashals – ancient torchlight, carrying or showing effigies – a sculpture or model of a person is prohibited.
The notification to this effect was issued on May 2. The Ahmedabad Police Commissioner AK Singh, when asked about the notification, said that this is a regular exercise. He further said that this notification should be strictly be viewed as contextual. He told The Indian Express that it is a range of prohibitions that are practised on a regular basis. Explaining how common these prohibitions are implemented, he said that even on May 2, these prohibitory orders are there in the state and a fresh issue notification will be issued after every 15 days. Justifying the move, he said that these prohibitions help the police authority to control unwanted activities in the public domain, such as protest or agitation.
When asked if these prohibitory orders will have a negative impact on a normal life, the commissioner citing an example said if a group of people gather together and starts reviling against a political party then the issued prohibitory acts will be enforced, thus it will not cause trouble to the normal life.
The Logical Indian Take
It is true that the police authorities are empowered to bring harmony in a state or try to circumvent any unsolicited events which can trigger violence. However, prohibiting singing, mimicry, or playing instruments is strong violation of freedom of speech which is one of the vital fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of the biggest democracy in the world. While the commissioner says that this order is ‘contextual in nature’, further comments can be only made this is in operation.