Miffed after hearing the news that an FIR was lodged in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district against celebrities, including himself, for writing an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi voicing concern over the growing incidents of mob lynching, ace film personality Adoor Gopalakrishnan has expressed huge dissatisfaction.
Speaking to the media in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday soon after hearing the news, Adoor as he is popularly known, said strange things are happening in our country.
“In our country, we have heard about people including a lady shooting at the model of Gandhiji to commemorate Nathuram Godse’s shooting Gandhiji and no court has registered any case in that. And that person is now a member of Parliament.
Will any court admit such a petition based on writing a letter which was meant to express one’s fears about the happenings in the country. And, if the news is true that a court has admitted it, then one will have to really suspect the legal system,” said a peeved Adoor.
Those who had signed the letter to Modi in July included Bollywood actress Konkana Sen, director Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, Shyam Benegal, Ramchandra Guha and 45 others.
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who visited his constituency in Wayanad to express solidarity with the protesters opposing the night traffic ban on the national highway, in reply to a question on Friday said that things have reached a stage that people are being arrested for speaking against Modi.
“The country is moving towards an authoritarian state and people who speak against the government or the Prime Minister are being put in jail, the media is being crushed. Presently an ideological fight is going on in the country and it’s about if the country is ruled by one person and one ideology and all the others should shut their mouth,” said Rahul Gandhi.
According to district police officials, the case was filed in Muzaffarpur’s Sadar police station on Thursday on the basis of an order by the local court.
An advocate S. K. Ojha had filed a petition in the Chief Judicial Magistrate court, which after hearing the case ordered police to lodge an FIR against the celebrities.
Ojha said that nearly 50 signatories to the letter were named as accused in his petition in which they allegedly “tarnished the image of the country and undermined the impressive performance of the Prime Minister”, besides “supporting secessionist tendencies”.
In the letter, the celebrities had stated that the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately while stressing that there was “no democracy without dissent”. The letter said that “Jai Shri Ram” had been reduced to a “provocative war cry”.