Jonnavithula Ramalingeswara Rao has been booked under SC, ST Act and Prevention of Civil rights Act.

Case has been filed against poet and Telugu lyricist Jonnavithula Ramalingeswara Rao under the Prevention of Atrocities Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act for endorsing the practice of untouchabilityJonnavithula Ramalingeswara Rao/Facebook
news Crime Monday, June 01, 2020 - 20:44

A case has been filed against poet and Telugu lyricist Jonnavithula Ramalingeswara Rao under the Prevention of Atrocities Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act for endorsing the practice of untouchability. Jonnavithula, who is a Brahmin, while asserting his community’s “knowledge” wrote a poem singing praises about the practice of untouchability in the context of COVID-19.

Praising the Brahmin practice of untouchability, the song written by Jonnavithula said that this has now become a ‘crown’ for humankind in the context of COVID-19. This is a reference to physical distancing, which is advised as one of the precautions to be taken against the pandemic. “The idea of keeping distance has become a mantra to ward off death. All other nations’ solutions have failed. The power of Indian culture has been manifested,” the poet said in his song, which he sang in a video uploaded to a Hindu devotional YouTube channel called Chamiraju News.

Following this, Battula Ram Prasad, president of Mala Welfare Association, Telangana, approached the Nampally police in Hyderabad and filed a complaint on May 21. However, a case was registered recently after the police sought legal opinion on the case. Jonnavithula  has been booked section 3 (1) of Prevention of Atrocities Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act and 7 (1)(d) Prevention of Civil Rights Act (prevents any person from exercising any right accruing to him by reason of the abolition of  “untouchability” under article 17 of the Constitution)

Speaking to TNM, the complainant Ram Prasad said, “On March 23, during a live show on TV9, he sang this song. The same song was then shared on April 14 on Chamiraju YouTube channel, which promotes Hinduism, deliberately on the day of Ambedkar Jayanthi.”

“The poem contains malice, a message and direction to people in India to restore practice of untouchability and follow the discriminatory Hindu code propounded by Manu. He is also preaching humans across the world to follow the heinous practice of untouchability,” Ram Prasad added.

Accusing Jonnavithula of deliberate mischief to restore the discriminatory practices during the crisis, Ram Prasad said that the lyricist’s poem is an act of intentional insult with intent to humiliate members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Demanding the immediate arrest of Jonnavithula, Ram Prasad said, “The entire poem is aimed at promoting the feeling of enmity, ill-will and hatred against scheduled caste people.”

Ram Prasad also vented his anger against the Telugu TV channels for inviting Hindu preachers and ‘babas’ to give their opinion on COVID-19 crisis. “Are they doctors or health experts? Who are these people? What qualifications does Jonnavithula have to talk about the pandemic? Do TV channels have a social responsibility or not?” Ram Prasad argued.

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