Tamil folk singer Kovan who was arrested last week on charges of sedition by the Tamil Nadu government was produced before a magistrate court in Chennai on Wednesday. The Chennai police sought custody of the man, but his lawyers opposed such a move.
The magistrate adjourned the court for a day and will hear both versions on Thursday.
Emerging from the court, Kovan said, "I will continue to fight. I will continue to sing. People might call this derogatory and say it's a personal attack. If you go and ask people who have been affected because of this evil (alcoholism), their anguish is much more than what I have expressed."
He added, "If the government really cares about the welfare of the people, then they should go to the women folk and listen to their problems. TASMAC has affected every family. This is not a problem of the high society. I will not stop singing. I will continue to fight for prohibition."
Kovan, a member of Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam (MKIK) performing arts group based in Trichy was forced onto a police van by cops in the wee hours of Friday. The cops had allegedly not mentioned the reason for arrest while they took him to Chennai.
MKIK is an arts and public performance group which takes up political agitations and campaigns. He was sent to 14 days of judicial custody.
He was slapped with charges of sedition, attempt to create enmity between social groups and sale of any printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter for two of his songs, "Moodu Tasmac Moodu" and "Ooruku oru Sarayam".
In both the songs, Kovan is heard criticizing the government’s policy of monopolizing the sale of alcoholic beverages for the sake of revenue while compromising on basic services for its citizens.The opposiiton and activists in Tamil Nadu had criticised the government for misusing the sedition law and arresting the singer. His songs became more viral after the arrest.