Karnataka-based lawyer Katanamane Vittal Gowda has filed a petition against actor-turned politician Ramya demanding that the Congress leader be charged with sedition for her positive comments on Pakistan following a recent visit.
The complaint has been filed at the office of the Judicial Magistrate of First Class Court at Somavarapete in Madikeri, located around 250 kms from Bengaluru. Gowda has accused her of insulting India and appreciating Pakistan, a country blamed for promoting terrorism in India, and has requested the court to book her for sedition under section 124a of the IPC.
The case will be heard on Aug. 27, according to local media reports.
Ramya, whose real name is Divya Spandana, had responded to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's statement which said that "going to Pakistan is Like going to hell." The Kannada actor said: "Pakistan is not hell. People there are just like us. They treated us very well."
She had visited Islamabad for a meeting of young parliamentarians from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Ramya also appreciated Pakistan's hospitality and said that they were "nice" to her.
Her statements invited Twitter trolls and triggered massive protests with ABVP and BJP activists calling her "anti-national" and demanding that she apologise or leave the country. Members of the Yuva Bharat, a pro-BJP group in Mysuru, launched a campaign urging the actor to "shift to Pakistan", CNN News18 reported.
However, Ramya has refused to apologise for her comments.
"It's really sad, but such is (the) situation in the country today. Everybody is entitled to their views and that is what democracy is about. You can't force your ideology on anyone. Politicians want to polarise and spread hatred. Just because borders separate us, we shouldn't hate others. It's freedom of speech, also our duty to speak on inclusiveness and peace. Curbing freedom is wrong... (I) don't think I am wrong," Ramya told ANI.
She added she "won't leave India, it's my home... I don't have (an) ego at all and in any given incident, I would've apologised, but if I do in this case, the larger cause we're fighting for would go."
She also told CNN News18 that it was high time sedition was repealed.