Sedition case against Indian actress for praising Pakistan

Published August 24, 2016
Kannada movie star and former Congress MP Ramya.
Kannada movie star and former Congress MP Ramya.

NEW DELHI: An Indian movie actress who did not agree with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s description of Pakistan as “hell” and said she was treated well there has been accused of sedition in a local court. But the actor-politician said on Tuesday she would not apologise for her remarks she made at a public meeting.

“I respectfully disagree, but Pakistan is not hell,” Kannada movie star and former Congress MP Ramya said. She was speaking after a rightwing lawyer filed a case against her in a local court, seeking sedition charges.

Ms Ramya said she would not apologise as she had no reason to, and Pakistan was a good host.

“I don’t have any ego at all and in any given incident I would have apologised, but if I do it in this case, the larger cause we’re fighting for would go,” the actress, who visited Pakistan recently for a Saarc youth meeting, explained.

The popular actress first said she thought Pakistan was not quite the hell of Mr Parrikar’s vitriol when she recently addressed a women’s rally in Mandya, Karnataka.

Some protested because her statements challenged comments made by Mr Parrikar last week.

Reports said the rightwing lawyer had registered a civil case against Ms Ramya under IPC sections 124(A) and 511 — the first one is to do with sedition.

“It’s really sad that there is such a situation in the country today. Politicians want to polarise and spread hatred. Just because borders separate us we shouldn’t hate others,” she said on pro-Hindutva Times Now, referring to the complaint filed against her.

“I’m free to express myself, am I not? Everyone is entitled to their views and that is what democracy is about. You can’t force your ideology on anyone,” said Ms Ramya, a former MP from Karnataka’s Mandya constituency.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2016

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