OPEN LETTER

Bucking the trend

PTI2_16_2014_000172b

Open Letter to actor-politician Ramya on her refusal to apologise over comments praising Pakistan

Dear Ramya,

Thank God, you stood your ground and showed your mettle by refusing to apologise.

One wonders, why are people even asking you to apologise? Do these people know the meaning of sedition and whether your statement even remotely qualifies for such a charge.

It is ironic that a certain section of media and society are trying to make you a scapegoat. It is an open secret that these people are hypocritical and targeting you because of your political affiliations. There is no doubt that these protests are backed by vested interests to gain political brownie points.

Even if one goes by the merit of the case, does calling Pakistani citizens nice amount to unrest or a destructive force against the state? Are we that weak a nation?

Before accusing you, one should introspect whether the ministers' statement were actually called for and in interest of the nation? Shouldn't action be first taken against people who created unrest in the universities, attacked dalits, humiliated women, abused minorities and took law into their own hands. Why has there been stoic silence against the babas and ministers in the ruling government who have openly made crass dialogues and statements, which are highly seditious?

As for civil society, it's no longer oral diarrhoea, now it is mental diarrhoea. It has become a trend on social media to vomit whatever comes to mind. Senseless utterings such as sedition, sicular, anti-nationalists are trending in a race to show one-upmanship. 'Tyranny of the majority' has become a way of life. Else people are trolled or bullied into silence.

You have bucked the trend and done what most other prominent citizens and celebrities have shied away from.

Not only have you shown the power of a woman, but also the strength of the Constitution that one can have a mind of his own and the right to have the 'freedom of expression'.

It is time that we Indians realise that wars are fought with enemies at the borders and not among ourselves.

…....................................

This is not sedition

According to Article 19 (1) of the Constitution‚ everybody has the right to freedom of speech and expression. Of course, that freedom is not absolute but it does not mean that one cannot have a different opinion. Ramya's comment on Pakistan can be seen in this perspective. Her comment that Pakistan is not hell doesn't, in any way, compromise the sovereignty and integrity of India. The strength of democracy lies in difference of opinions. Manohar Parrikar believes that Pakistan is hell. He is entitled to his view. Nobody can force him to change his opinion.

Yes, Pakistan has been a ground of terrorism but that doesn't mean that all Pakistanis are terrorists. If Ramya has praised Pakistan while criticising the Indian state, the charge of sedition would have some meaning. Otherwise, it is nothing but a waste of time and money.

Shruti Roy

…....................................

Watch your words

India is a sovereign, secular republic, which is governed by the people. We, the people, elect our leaders to represent and rule our country. You being an actor as well as an honourable politician of Karnataka should watch your words before you speak. I think you need to remember that you should “think twice before you act”.

Our country is surrounded by envious neighbours who are always trying to create havoc in our peace-loving country. One among them is Pakistan, our arch rivals. Pakistan has tried to disturb our peace right from the early days of partition. It has sowed its evil seeds, which have grown into terror groups who are always proving dangerous to our nation. I hope you are aware that it has been proved that militant groups are trained and sent to India to create chaos in our nation.

Being a responsible citizen of our country, you should not pat the back of our enemy nation. Your statement has truly disturbed the patriotism of the people. Your sincere apologies to the people of our country would uplift your fallen image in the hearts of your fans and followers.

Arathi Raghuveer
Mysore

…....................................

Sedition—the new-found USP

First, I congratulate you for successfully achieving the goal for which you generated the avoidable controversy—to remind people that you still exist.

As far as your comments are concerned, being a shrewd politician, you knew that they will invite public ire and would get media attention. It doesn't even matter whether you really felt what you said about Pakistan. So, as far as terming it 'freedom of speech' is concerned, all I can say is that if it is your fundamental right, do not take offence if tomorrow your kids misbehave with you and call you names in the name of ‘freedom of speech’.

Some pseudo-intellectuals coming out in support of you say that the concept of sedition is nursed by medieval mindset. In that case, I wish to say that if sedition has really become a ‘passe concept’ and every so-called 'broadminded-opportunist' can get away with it, why not amend the Constitution and make ‘right to sedition’ the eighth fundamental right? Then, there will be many Umar Khalids, Anirbans and Ramyas all over without any restriction or constraint.

Nationalism is not seasonal; it is perpetual—independent of eras, ages, mindsets and ideologies. Learn to respect the nation first and then only can you expect respect yourself.

Rajneesh Batra
Delhi

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Topics : #Open Letter | #Pakistan

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