Harassment by misusing courts a ploy to silence citizens’ voices: Naseeruddin Shah, 179 others slam sedition charge against celebrities

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Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and historian Romila Thapar are among 180 public personalities who have written an open letter slamming the sedition charge filed against 49 celebrities for writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against mob lynchings.

Naseeruddin Shah
file photo- file photo – naseeruddin shah

The open letter, signed by 180 individuals including Shah and Thapar, asked if the sedition charge against 49 celebrities was a ploy to silence citizens’ voices by misusing the judiciary.

It read, “An FIR has been lodged against forty-nine of our colleagues in the cultural community, simply because they performed their duty as respected members of civil society. They wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, expressing concern about mob lynching in our country.

“Can this be called an act of sedition? Or is harassment by misusing the courts a ploy to silence citizens’ voices?”

The letter said that ‘as members of the Indian cultural community, as citizens of conscience, condemn such harassment.’ “We do more: we endorse every word of the letter our colleagues wrote to the Prime Minister. This is why we share their letter here once again, and appeal to the cultural, academic and legal communities to do the same. This is why more of us will speak every day. Against mob lynching. Against the silencing of people’s voices. Against the misuse of courts to harass citizens,” news agency PTI quoted the letter.

A local court in Muzaffarpur in Bihar earlier this month had ordered the filing of a sedition case against the likes of filmmakers Aparna Sen, Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, actor Soumitra Chatterjee and others for writing to PM Modi over the growing incidents of mob lynchings.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said that mob lynchings were being used to defame India. He had said that branding ‘some incidents of social violence as lynching are actually meant to defame our country, Hindu society and create fear among some communities.’

 

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