Actor-turned-politician Ramya, facing a backlash for her comment that “Pakistan is not hell”, has said that she will not apologise for her statement and it is important not to yield to her detractors.
She has said that the BJP is using the sedition law to target those who have differing opinions.
“It is a very sad state of affairs that the sedition [charge] is slapped against anyone who is entitled to an opinion,” said the former Congress MP on Tuesday.
‘Law being misused’
She said the law was being misused and needed to be modified. However that was unlikely to happen under the NDA-led Central Government which “used sedition cases to their [political] advantage.”
On Monday, a private complaint was filed in the JMFC Court in Somwarpet by advocate K. Vittala Gowda, seeking the slapping of a sedition case against her.
The complaint has sought a direction to police to book Ms. Ramya under IPC Sections 124-A (sedition). Mr. Gowda accused the multi-lingual actress of “insulting” India and “provoking” people by appreciating Pakistan which is a “traditional enemy of India.”
In the backdrop of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar claiming that “Pakistan was hell”, Ms. Ramya, who had been to Pakistan for the SAARC Youth Summit, had described her experience as: “Pakistan is not hell. The people there are just like us. They treated us well.”
The court has posted the case for hearing on August 27. Asked whether freedom of expression was being curbed in India, Ms. Ramya said: “Absolutely. As an individual, I can express my feelings, thoughts and opinion. But the BJP is curbing that.”
This controversy comes close on the heels of the Congress government in Karnataka slapping sedition charges against Amnesty International India after “azadi” slogans were allegedly raised during a programme on Kashmir. The police have since said there is no ground to book a sedition case against the organisation.