I came across Mr. Buddhi's case through TOI. I was follwing cases related to freedom of speech in India and elsewhere since the matter might concern me as a writer.
Mr. SM Krishna (Delhi Minister, Ext. Affairs) advised the Indian students in Australia not to form gangs and only to focus on studies. He might have similar advice for Mr. Buddhi.
Who is Mr. Buddhi? I do not know him personally; I had not read his postings in the internet. I do not know how much property his family owns/operates. I also do not know the number of his followers. He seems to hold a degree from the prestigious IIT Bombay; and was resitered for research with the Purdue University. So he is a bright young scientist and a writer. It is his writing that got him into legal controversy. He is neither Mr. Jyoti Basu, nor late Saddam Hussain. If he gets support from any noted attorney (e.g. Siddhartha Sankar Ray, Ram Jethmalani) or RAW/KGB/CIA, he could become famous. If he is another Castro, then he could become a prominent politician after his return to Bombay.
What is the controversy? Based on the news report I read in TOI, I understand that Mr. Buddhi posted some writings in the internet criticizing Mr. George Bush. He and his family defended the action as his "right to freedom of speech". In India Charubabu (founder of the Naxal Party) demanded such kind of freedom of speech. The US Attorney (prosecutors) are probably charging him with "offending a statesman", "inciting violence", "meedling with US poltics from a poorly defined locus" etc.
What is "freedom of speech"? It is a bourgeois virtue that delights the free citizens with the right to speak freely without unnecessary fear of retaliation or persecution.
What are some of the precedences?
(a) During the Indian emergency rule (1975-77), criticism of Ms Indira Gandhi, the symbol of new age Congressi progress, was not permitted.
(b) Apparently Irish Parliament permits "FAQ You" as a legitimate expression of frustration and anger; but won't permit few of the words my American friends described me with (Rat, Brat, Communist). I got the infromation from TOI quoting Irish Times.
(c) Mr. Varun Gandhi (BJP) could not win "freedom of speech" during his last election capaign.
(d) UP Congress politician could not defend her utterances against Ms Mayawati as "freedom of speech"
(e) Apparently "Bombay" instead of "Mumbai" cannot be defended anymore.
(f) Some Maharasthians attacked mediamen, since media criticized their leader
(g) Bengali minister got a case for his comments on Rama that could have offended devout Hindus
(h) In West Bengal, Trinamool commented that "CPIM and Maoists are flip side of the coin"; and the CPIM commented that "the Maoists are hand-in-glove with Trinamool". Apparently Trinamool leaders are objecting to the CPIM statement.
Following all these, I have become wary and catious, since I do not enjoy backing from the national press or the political parties.
To be completed.