MUMBAI: As much as 180 public personalities from different quarters of life, including actor Naseeruddin Shah and historian Romila Thapar, have questioned the logic behind a sedition case against those 49 celebrities who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the increasing incidents of lynching in the country.
In a letter signed by these public figures wondered how courts are being misused to harass people by filing an FIR on sedition for expressing their concerns being the members of responsible civil society?
“How an FIR could register over 49 of our colleagues from the cultural community simply because they fulfilled their duty as respected members of civil society by expressing their deep concern about increased mob lynching in our country,” the letter read, and they also added the act by the centre to silence the citizens through court is truly a harassment.
This letter has come after a complaint filed in Bihar's Muzaffarpur against several personalities such as filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and writer-columnist Ramchandra Guha for writing a letter to PM Modi three months back expressing deep concern over growing incidents of mob lynching. But the eminent personalities have charged for several offences including sedition for utilising their freedom of speech.
Sharing the old letter written by the 49 eminent artists and writers, the 180 signatories wrote in the open letter that they artists, as well as the citizens of conscience, condemn such harassment will continue speaking every day and they will stand against the act of silencing people’s voice.
“We will do more, we will endorse every word of the letter our colleagues wrote to the Prime Minister and against mob lynching, against the silencing of people's voices and against the misuse of courts to harass citizens we will continue speaking,” they said in the letter.
The new letter has been signed by musician TM Krishna, filmmaker-activist Saba Dewan, writers Ashok Vajpeyi and Jerry Pinto, academician Ira Bhaskar, poet Jeet Thayil, actor Naseeruddin Shah and author Shamsul Islam.