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