'I respectfully disagree, but Pakistan is not hell', says former actress and Congress member Ramya - NEWS SENTRY


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

'I respectfully disagree, but Pakistan is not hell', says former actress and Congress member Ramya

NEW DELHI: "I respectful disagree, but Pakistan is not hell," reiterated Kannada actress and Congress member Ramya, today, after news broke that a lawyer has filed a complaint against her in court, asking a case of sedition be filed against her.

Ramya said she won't apologize, either, as she has no reason to, and hasn't done anything wrong.

"I don't have any ego at all and in any given incident, I would have apologised, but if I do in this case, the larger cause we're fighting for would go," Ramya explained.

The Kannada actress - whose real name is Divya Spandana - first indicated she thinks Pakistan may not quite be hell, when she recently addressed a women's rally in Mandya, Karnataka.

Some people protested because they believed her statements were a direct response to a comment Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar made last week when he equated visiting Pakistan with visiting hell.

A Karnataka lawyer has registered a civil case against Ramya under IPC sections 124 (A) and 511 - the first one is to do with sedition.

"It's really sad that there is such a situation in the country today, "Politicians want to polarise and spread hatred. Just because borders separate us we shouldn't hate others" Ramya said on Times Now, referring to the complaint filed against her.

"I'm free to express myself, am I not? Everyone is entitled to their views and that is what democracy is about. You can't force your ideology on anyone," Ramya, a former Mandya MP from Karnataka's Mandya constituency said today.

"It's freedom of speech, it's also our duty to speak on inclusiveness and peace. Curbing freedoms is wrong in democracy," Ramya added.

The former actress had at the rally talked about Pakistan's hospitality. At the time she had just returned from visiting Pakistan for the SAARC Youth Summit.

On August 16, Parrikar reportedly said: "Our soldiers sent back five terrorists yesterday. Going to Pakistan is the same as going to hell," Parrikar said, according to ANI. "Pakistan has encouraged terrorism, and now they are facing consequences of that policy," he also said.

Twitter juxtaposed the two comments and all hell broke loose. Ramya was trolled. And then a gentleman from a Karnataka village took it upon himself to save the nation from anyone saying good things about Pakistan.

"I went there (Pakistan) for the SAARC Youth Summit. I spoke about peace, harmony and unity in diversity. When I got back, I was asked how Pakistan was and I said that the people there are just like us, and that we were treated very well. There was a lot of respect," Ramya told TOI yesterday.

The Congress member repeated several times today that she stands by what she said. "I don't think I'm wrong. I also love Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. Of course I won't leave India, it's my home and I am not going to leave my dogs," Ramya said, clearly stating her priorities.

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