The FIR comes after the celebrities had written an open letter to Prime Minister Modi expressing concern over the rising incidents of communal violence in the country.

How is it sedition Stalin condemns FIR against Mani Ratnam Revathi and others
news Controversy Saturday, October 05, 2019 - 15:28

DMK chief MK Stalin has condemned the FIR against noted filmmaker Mani Ratnam, actor Revathi and historian Ramachandra Guha and other prominent personalities who wrote to Prime Minister Modi expressing concern over the rising incidence of communal violence in the country.

In a statement, Stalin said that there was no greater danger than branding these individuals traitors. “History has witnessed those who take up authoritarianism be defeated before democracy,” he said.

“How is it sedition to request the prevalence of communal harmony and tolerance which form the basic tenets of the constitution? How horrible is this!” the statement read. 

Further, Stalin added, “This government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is undertaking actions against the freedom of expression. This cannot be accepted in any form.” 

The BJP government must realise that those who have handcuffed freedom of expression have faced great defeat before democracy, he wrote.

On Friday, Sadar police station in Muzaffarpur, Bihar confirmed that an FIR had been filed against 49 celebrities who penned a letter to the Prime Minister in July this year. The FIR comes after an order to the effect was passed on August 20 by Chief Judicial Magistrate Surya Kant Tiwari in regard to a petition by the advocate Sudhir Ojha.

Advocate Sudhir told PTI that the artists who had signed the open letter were all named as accused in the petition because they allegedly "tarnished the image of the country and undermined the impressive performance of the Prime Minister" besides "supporting secessionist tendencies.”

The Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly also called upon the Prime Minister to initiate efforts to withdraw the case against the 49 persons. 

Incidentally, while the FIR alleges that the signatories were seditious and undermined the PM’s “impressive performance”, the signatories had stated in the letter that anti-government stand cannot be construed as an anti-national stand. “Criticising the ruling party does not imply criticising the nation. An open environment where dissent is not crushed only makes for a stronger nation,” the letter had stated.

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