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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

SC must uphold justice, says Kamal Haasan on sedition case against celebrities

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Tuesday hoped that the Supreme Court will uphold justice in the sedition case filed against 49 eminent personalities pointing out that the case was against the letter and spirit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aspirations of ’harmonious India’.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2019 17:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chennai
All of us, as members of the Indian cultural community, as citizens of conscience, condemn such harassment said Tamil politician Kamal Haasan.
All of us, as members of the Indian cultural community, as citizens of conscience, condemn such harassment said Tamil politician Kamal Haasan.(PTI Photo )
         

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Tuesday hoped that the Supreme Court will uphold justice in the sedition case filed against 49 eminent personalities pointing out that the case was against the letter and spirit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aspirations of ’harmonious India’.

Last week, an FIR was filed in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur against personalities, including directors Aparna Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and writer-columnist Ramchandra Guha for alleged sedition over a letter they wrote to the PM in July, voicing concern over growing incidents of mob lynching.

“The Prime minister seeks a harmonious India. His statements in the Parliament confirm it. Should not the state and its law follow it in letter and spirit? 49 of my peers have been accused, of sedition, contradicting the PM’s aspirations,” the veteran of close to 200 Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada movies wrote on twitter.

The Tamil politician added, “I request as a citizen that Our Higher courts move in to uphold justice with Democracy and quash the case emanating from Bihar.”

Last week, an FIR was filed in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur against personalities, including directors Aparna Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and writer-columnist Ramchandra Guha for alleged sedition over a letter they wrote to the PM in July, voicing concern over growing incidents of mob lynching.

Over 180 members of the cultural community, including actor Naseeruddin Shah, cinematographer Anand Pradhan, historian Romila Thapar and activist Harsh Mander among others, condemned the FIR lodged against 49 celebrities for an open letter they wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In new letter issued on Monday, October 7, the eminent personalities questioned how writing an open letter to the prime minister could be called “an act of sedition”. “An FIR has been lodged against forty-nine of our colleagues in the cultural community, simply because they performed their duty as respected members of civil society. They wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, expressing concern about mob lynching in our country.

“Can this be called an act of sedition? Or is harassment by misusing the courts a ploy to silence citizens’ voices?” the letter read.

The signatories, including writers Ashok Vajpeyi and Jerry Pinto, academician Ira Bhaskar, poet Jeet Thayil, author Shamsul Islam, musician TM Krishna and filmmaker-activist Saba Dewan, promised they will continue to speak up against silencing of “people’s voices”.

“All of us, as members of the Indian cultural community, as citizens of conscience, condemn such harassment. We do more: we endorse every word of the letter our colleagues wrote to the Prime Minister. This is why we share their letter here once again, and appeal to the cultural, academic and legal communities to do the same. This is why more of us will speak every day,” the letter added.

The FIR was lodged on October 3 under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those related to sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings and insulting with an intent to provoke breach of peace.

First Published: Oct 08, 2019 17:26 IST

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