Actor Ramya charged for sedition
- Her fault was to say Pakistanis are good
- Karnataka govt is in a fix
Bengaluru: Actor-politician Ramya refused to apologize on being slapped with a sedition case for saying good things about the people of Pakistan. She said on Tuesday that she refused to succumb to the pressure tactics applied by her critics. A complaint was lodged by an advocate whose political allegiance has been with the Congress party against Actor Ramya who happens to be a leader of the same party. The BJP, in the meanwhile, has been making a lot of noise about nationalism and the need to book a case against the actor. The police have accused her of sedition and the social media mounted a fierce attack on her for saying that Pakistan is not a hell as described by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The former lawmaker of the Congress party visited Pakistan recently as part of a SAARC delegation of young lawmakers. The 33-year old Kannada actor turned politician was dragged to a court by a lawyer, Katgnamane Vittal Gowda, by filing a sedition case in Kodagu court in Southern Karnataka, about 250 km from here. On her return from Pakistan Ramya commented that Pakistan is not hell and people there are like us and they treated her well. The case will be heard on Saturday.
It may be recalled that Manohar Parrikar had commented last week that going to Pakistan is like going to hell. The Karnataka government has been criticized widely for registering a sedition case against Amnesty International in whose meeting some Kashmiri students reportedly raised pro-Azadi (freedom) slogans. The police filed a sedition case against Amnesty after the members of the student wing of the BJP, the Askhi Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), held demonstrations demanding that the international organization be taken to task. This is the second case in a row and the government of Karnataka was pushed to a tight corner since there is no substance in the sedition case against the film actor. The Article 19 of the constitution clearly implies that the fundamental right of freedom of speech cannot be taken away by the state in the name of nationalism. Ramya, whose real name is Divya Spandana, has been courting controversies for her upright attitude and no-nonsense comments. ‘Saying sorry is the easiest thing to do. But if I succumb in this case the very purpose of forthright comment would be defeated’ she said. The social media is agog with comments for and against the gutsy actor.