Ramya questions role of BJP, RSS in Independence movement

New Delhi: Wading into a fresh controversy, actress-turned-politician Ramya, who is facing a private complaint on sedition charge for her “pro-Pakistan” remarks, has questioned the role of BJP and RSS in the country’s freedom struggle.

“Actually if you see, Congress was the reason for India getting its Independence. BJP, RSS did not participate in the freedom struggle. They sided with the British,” she told reporters at Mandya.

Her comments yesterday evoked a sharp reaction from BJP which hit back at her saying she had not learnt history. “All those who fought for the freedom were in Congress but later founded their own parties. Ramya has not learnt the nation’s history,” BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje said.

Another Lok Sabha member Pratap Simha described her comments as “absurd” and said she had betrayed that she lacked even the elementary knowledge of history. Ramya, a former Congress MP, is facing a private complaint on sedition charge for her “pro-Pakistan” remarks recently.

After a recent visit to Islamabad as part of a SAARC delegation of young lawmakers, Ramya had reportedly said at a meeting in Mandya, which she represented from 2013 to 2014 in Lok Sabha, “Pakistan is not hell. People there are just like us. They treated us very well.”

Her remarks had come as an apparent counter to comments of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who while lashing out at Islamabad for promoting terror, had said last week, “Going to Pakistan is same as going to hell.”

The 33-year-old multilingual actress’ comments had triggered a bitter backlash but she stood her ground saying that she would not apologise for her position.

An advocate has filed a complaint in a court at Somwarpet in Kodagu district, seeking action on sedition and other charges against Ramya for “insulting” Indian patriots by her remarks.

Advocate K Vittala Gowda in his complaint before the Somwarpet Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court has sought a direction to police to book Ramya under IPC sections 124(a)(sedition), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment).

The issue kicked up a controversy with questions being raised over invoking a colonial-era law to curb free speech.

Ramya’s remarks triggered a bitter backlash on social media and BJP and ABVP workers staged protests terming her remarks “anti-national”.