The BJP's Malavika Avinash criticised Ramya's timing, but conceded that she may have got caught in the crossfire over Pakistan.

BJP fascist branding people anti-national KPCC leader defends ex-MP Ramya
news Anti-Nationalism Monday, August 22, 2016 - 19:57

While the Congress has risen in defence of Sandalwood-actor-turned-politician Ramya a day after she was targeted by the BJP and the ABVP for her comment on Pakistan, some BJP politicians too concede that the ex-MP probably did not make the statement with any malicious intent.

According to the Kannada news channel Public TV, Ramya, who recently returned from the SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference in Islamabad, said, “…Minister Manohar Parrikar said that ‘Going to Pakistan is like going to hell’. It is nothing like that. People there are just like us and there is no difference. They treated us very well…”

In response, BJP leader Prahlad Joshi on Monday said that Ramya and Congress endorsed anti-nationals. "If she supports Pakistan, why doesn't she go settle there? Congress party supported anti-nationals like Yakoob Memon, Afzal Guru. So now, it looks like they support these ideologies and so she along with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and party leader Digvijaya Singh can go settle there."
However, Executive President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Dinesh Gundu Rao defended Ramya’s statement, arguing that she was neither speaking against the nation nor the central government.

“Now the problem is the fascist kind of attitude that we are seeing. Unfortunately, in our country, this hyped-up nationalism is creating an atmosphere of suffocation. Anyone’s remarks are taken a different way and people are branded as anti-nationalist,” Dinesh said.

“She was just making a normal comment on Pakistan and not on its policies. She just spoke about people. It is unfortunately given a wrong twist that shows the narrowmindedness of the nationalist ideology, ​where someone who does not believe in the ideology is an anti-national,” he added.

Former actor and BJP Karnataka spokesperson Malavika Avinash criticised the timing of Ramya’s comment, but conceded that Ramya probably did not intend for her statement to seem anti-national.

“The time and space around which this comment is made by an influential person is important. Whatever former actress and Congress leader Ramya said was at a time when Kashmir has been in a curfew for the last 45 days. The relationship between the countries is volatile and many soldiers from Karnataka have lost their lives,” said Malavika.

“She went there as a delegate. She is bound to be treated well just as India would treat a parliamentarian visiting India. But that does not mean the situation is fine there. They are exporting terrorism to India every day. Isn’t that how Lt Col Niranjan died?” she asked

However, she added, “Maybe she did not intend to mix up both and she is just caught in the crossfire. One must not give it a political colour.” ​

 

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