When you see Indian politicians in their bullying, swaggering pomp, you imagine their hides are thick and scabrous, impermeable to shame. At other times, though, their skin is so thin, so easily bruised, you imagine even a baby can’t be as sensitive. So a 19-year-old in Tamil Nadu uses “filthy language”, according to news reports, about the prime minister in a Facebook conversation with a friend, who happens to be a BJP functionary, and is arrested once those remarks are reported to the police. What can possibly justify arresting someone on the basis of a comment, however crude, made to one friend about the most powerful public figure in the country? Even if said friend complains. And what can possibly justify arresting a cartoonist for drawing an accusatory cartoon about three of Tamil Nadu’s most powerful public figures in response to the suicide of one of its least powerful private citizens? A daily wage labourer killed himself and his family because the police would not listen to his complaints about harassment by a moneylender. No doubt because they were too busy arresting kids and cartoonists.