A Karnataka lawyer has approached a court demanding sedition charges be filed against actress-turned-politician Ramya for praising Pakistanis, triggering a controversy with many saying the colonial-era law is being used to curb free speech.
Ramya, a Congress leader, visited Islamabad last week for a meeting of young parliamentarians from the Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations.
On her return, she said she didn’t agree with defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who recently compared Pakistan to hell .“Pakistan is not hell; people there are just like us. They treated us very well,” she told reporters.
This infuriated Katnamane Vittal Gowda from Kodagu – about 250 km from Bengaluru — who moved a court in Somwarpet on Monday and said he was “appalled” by the 33-year-old’s comments. The court will hear the case on August 27.
Ramya has said she will not apologise. “I don’t think I am wrong. It’s freedom of speech, also our duty to speak on inclusiveness and peace. Curbing freedoms is wrong in democracy,” she told news agency ANI.
Video: ABP Sanjha