Won't apologise, actor Ramya on facing sedition for Pak comment

"Pakistan is not hell. People there are just like us. They treated us very well”, this very comment of actor-politician Ramya on her recent visit to Islamabad as part of a SAARC delegation of young lawmakers drew lots of flak. She has been attacked on social media and was dragged to the court by a lawyer who has filed a "sedition case" in Kodagu in southern Karnataka, around 250 km from state capital Bengaluru.

Ramya stick to her word and said that she has not done any mistake by making this comment on India’s rival country Pakistan and that she won’t apologize. She is an indivial and has the right to express her views in this democratic country.

The 33-year-old Kannada film star whose real name is Divya Spandana, had made this comment in reference to to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's last week comment that "going to Pakistan is like going to hell".

"I will not apologise as I have done nothing wrong. I am entitled to my views and that is what democracy is about," Ramya told NDTV, alleging that sedition laws are misused against "anybody and everybody".

"I can say sorry, it is the easiest thing for me, but if I do it in this case, the purpose is lost. Right now I really need to stand up for myself...What I said is harmless...People trying to spread hatred are legal and people who are civil and trying to bring people together are unlawful - such an irony," she commented.

The case against her has been filed by lawyer Katnamane Vittal Gowda and the case will be heard on Saturday.

Addressing the complaint registered against her comments, she said, "I respectfully disagree, Pakistan is not hell, people there are just like us. Politicians want to polarise and spread hatred. Just because borders separate us we shouldn't hate others. It's freedom of speech, also our duty to speak on inclusiveness and peace. Curbing freedoms is wrong in democracy."

Speaking to ANI, Ramya said, "It's really sad but such is the situation in the country today. Everybody is entitled to their views and that is what democracy is about, you can't force your ideology on anyone."

Ramya said she is not ready to apologize, the former actress said, "I don’t have ego at all and in any given incident I would have apologised, but if I do it in this case, the larger cause we're fighting for would go."