Row erupts over sedi­tion FIR against 49 celebri­ties

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK —Writer Amit Chaud­huri

The FIR on charges of sedi­tion and other of­fences or­dered filed by 49 celebri­ties by the chief ju­di­cial mag­is­trate of Muzaf­farpur, Bi­har, for writ­ing a let­ter to the PM snow­balled into a con­tro­versy and led to a blow­back on Fri­day, with one of the sig­na­to­ries to the let­ter, film­maker Adoor Gopalakr­ish­nan, say­ing the gov­ern­ment and the ju­di­ciary seemed to have missed see­ing peo­ple shoot­ing at an ef­figy of Ma­hatma Gandhi but an FIR had been or­dered against 49 ac­tors, di­rec­tors and in­tel­lec­tu­als ex­press­ing con­cern about in­creas­ing in­stances of mob lynchings.

The sig­na­to­ries to the let­ter to the PM in­cluded Ra­maDemoc­racy is not about si­lence but about var­i­ous kinds of voices, de­bates and dis­cus­sions… As far as I know, we are not in a state of emer­gency chan­dra Guha, Shyam Bene­gal, Aparna Sen, Amit Chaud­huri, Kaushik Sen, Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Soumi­tra Chat­ter­jee and Shubha Mud­gal.

Gopalakr­ish­nan said the CJM court’s de­ci­sion pointed to the dis­turb­ing state of af­fairs in the coun­try. “And what wor­ries us most is that a court has ad­mit­ted the case,” he told re­porters on Fri­day.

“We wrote the let­ter be­liev­ing that democ­racy pre­vailed in the coun­try, and it was in­tended to bring to the at­ten­tion of the PM about in­jus­tice (sic). Nor­mally a gov­ern­ment should be look­ing into such a com­plaint and (should) find so­lu­tions if there is any merit in it. Here, an FIR was reg­is­tered against the com­plainants in­stead,” Gopalakr­ish­nan said. All the sig­na­to­ries were artists and cul­tural ac­tivists who did not have any po­lit­i­cal in­ter­est, he added. Ac­tor Aparna Sen re­fused com­ment as the mat­ter was sub ju­dice.

TIMES VIEW: P 18

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