A Coorg court will conduct hearings on October 19 in the sedition case filed against Kannadiga actor-turned-politician Ramya by a lawyer in Karnataka for praising people in Pakistan. Caught in a controversy over her remarks that “Pakistan is not hell, people there are just like us,” Ramya on Thursday stuck to her views and ruled out an apology.
Her remarks came as a veiled counter to comments of Defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who while lashing out at Islamabad for promoting terror, had said last week, “going to Pakistan is same as going to hell.” The former Mandya MP had visited Islamabad as part of a SAARC delegation of young lawmakers and made the remarks at a meeting in her constituency.
While the BJP staged protests terming her remarks ‘anti-national,’ the actress stood her ground. “I don’t think I am wrong. It’s freedom of speech, also our duty to speak on inclusiveness and peace.” The Ramya controversy has cropped up afresh amid a raging row over sedition charge filed against Amnesty International India, after anti-national and anti-Army slogans were allegedly raised at an event on Kashmir organised by the organisation in Bengaluru recently.
Meanwhile, the Congress sought to turn the tables on BJP over its attack on Ramya, contending that if wanting better ties with Pakistan was sedition, then the first case should be lodged against Prime Minister Narendra Modi “who made an impromptu stopover for festivities with the Pakistan premier.”