Satire | The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA works better with UPAPA, UPOPA and UPOOPA

The legal definitions of ‘unlawful activities’ and ‘terrorism’ must be expanded for the safety and well-being of all Indians

November 04, 2022 12:00 pm | Updated November 06, 2022 05:16 pm IST

‘We need new laws with UAPA-like provisions to protect all of us from all of us.’

‘We need new laws with UAPA-like provisions to protect all of us from all of us.’ | Photo Credit: Getty Images

BJP supporters keep saying Congress did nothing in 70 years. There were no roads, hospitals, buses, electricity, water, or oxygen in India until 2014.

And then, between 2014 and 2022, India became a paradise where there are dancing fountains of milk and honey at every roundabout, every housing society has a swimming pool of nectar (amrut), and even beggars are so wealthy they use silver begging bowls and accept only gold biscuits. While all this is true, the BJP should also credit Congress for independent India’s greatest achievement: passing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) back in 1967.

Last week, even our beloved PM acknowledged the importance of UAPA in protecting Indian democracy from terrorists. He spoke of only two kinds of terrorists — the gun-wielding type and the pen-wielding ones. There are many more. Democracy should be protected from all of them.

Sadly, the current version of UAPA is outdated in its definition of ‘unlawful activities’. Only activities that threaten the unity, integrity, security and sovereignty of India are included. What about those that threaten the polarity, molarity, Akriti and nitty-gritty of India? UAPA’s definition of ‘terrorism’ is even more unimaginative — limited to things like exploding bombs and shooting people.

Clearly, the legal definitions of ‘unlawful activities’ and ‘terrorism’ have to be made broader so that more Indians can benefit from UAPA. But the current regime is such a softie — so utterly kind-hearted and inappropriately compassionate — that it lacks the will to expand the scope of UAPA.

The only alternative is to bring in new laws with UAPA-like provisions to cover the different kinds of unlawful activities citizens may indulge in. I am sharing below a few ideas. I trust our esteemed lawmakers will do the needful to protect all of us from all of us.

Unlawful Parking (Prevention) Act (UPAPA): I can’t think of an activity more unlawful than parking your car on the side of a narrow road because you want to quickly go and buy a bottle of Gelusil or VAT69. People who terrorise innocent commuters by creating traffic jams don’t deserve bail.

Unlawful Pooping (Prevention) Act (UPOOPA): You must have heard what was done by Amber Heard. My friend in America says it’s quite common there. Americans do this when they are very angry or very bored. Apparently, a bored Heard was mad at Johnny Depp. But that’s no excuse, if you ask me. Thou shalt simply not defecate on the bed. Or in the open (if you are in India). Anyone who does it anywhere other than the toilet should be prosecuted under UPOOPA. Also applicable to dog owners for the actions of their pets.

Unlawful Poverty (Prevention) Act (UPOPA): These days, image is everything. As per India’s Brand Identity document, India is a rich country whose top five citizens are all billionaires. The so-called poverty in India consists of actors paid by foreign-funded NGOs to pose as poor people in order to tarnish India’s image. All these fake poor people, along with anyone speaking of poverty, are actually a sub-category of urban Naxals known as ‘povertarians’. They should all be jailed under UPOPA.

Unlawful Unemployment (Prevention) Act (UUPA): Just because someone doesn’t have a job doesn’t mean he or she is unemployed. Unemployment is a state of mind. With a change in mindset, people can find things to keep themselves gainfully employed. They can help their elders, make tea, or use their free time to write books about the nuclear physicists of ancient India. Those who keep harping on unemployment have no other motive except to spread disaffection against an affectionate government. Give them UUPA.

Unlawful Eating (Prevention) Act (UEPA): This is a voluntary imprisonment programme for people trying to lose weight. If you are 120 kg and can’t stop gorging on pizzas and ice creams five times a day, you can sign up for UEPA. You eat one calorie extra, off you go to jail where you will automatically start losing weight.

This column is a satirical take on life and society.

Unlawful Thoughts (Prevention) Act (UTPA): This could bring about a revolution in global anti-terror legislation, for it eliminates the root of the problem before it could grow into gun-wielding or pen-wielding terrorists: unlawful thoughts. If you are a truly patriotic Indian, don’t think bad thoughts like wishing you were living in Canada instead of in a democracy that grooms you (free of charge) into a mature, responsible adult capable of staying quiet instead of speaking the truth or sharing facts on social media.

The author of this satire, is Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.

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