A case was registered against him for hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity and hatred.

Telugu film critic Mahesh Kathi questioned by Hyd police after comments on RamayanaImage: Facebook/Mahesh Kathi
news Controversy Wednesday, July 04, 2018 - 09:03

The Hyderabad police on Tuesday served a notice to Telugu film critic Kathi Mahesh for allegedly making derogatory comments against Lord Rama and Sita.

Mahesh, who also acted in a few films, was booked by the police two days ago on a complaint lodged by leaders of Hindu Janasakthi alleging that he made the offensive comments during a debate on a television channel.

A case was registered against him for hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity and hatred.

While initial reports suggested that the Banjara Hills police took him into custody and might produce him before a magistrate later on Tuesday, the police denied this claim.

Speaking to TNM, Banjara Hills Station House Office (SHO), K Srinivas said, “We have only called him in for questioning and served him a notice under Section 44 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). We also took down his statement. He will have to come to the police station whenever we summon him. There was no arrest, neither did we produce him in front of a magistrate.”

Mahesh was later released from police custody.

Earlier this week, Mahesh was participating in a debate about a sedition case filed against rationalist Babu Gogineni. In the debate, he said, “For me, Ramayana is just another story…I believe Rama is as much a cheater (dagulbhaji) as he is ideal in that story. And I think perhaps Sita would have been better, might have gotten justice if she had stayed with Ravana. What’s wrong with that?”

Even as police complaints were filed against the film critic, Hindu seer Paripoornanda has said that he will go to any extent to ensure Kathi Mahesh is arrested for humiliating Hindu sentiments.

At a press meet he said, “Rama is not a god to me alone; he has hurt the sentiments of several crore people who worship Rama. We will definitely hit the roads (to protest) if the government doesn’t respond (to our demand to arrest him) by tomorrow.”

Mahesh Kathi was quick to respond to the criticism. He said on a Facebook Live, ‘They are trying to sow the poisonous seeds of discrimination…I have conviction in my values.’

In a Facebook post, he wrote, “There is no other meaning to the word ‘dagulbhaji’ than cheater in Telugu. It is not abusive, demeaning or raunchy. The people who attacked me could have done so for two reasons: one, they are politically unemployed, or two, they couldn’t take it as the person who made the comments is a Dalit. Can there be any other reason?”


IANS inputs

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