New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday waded into the row over sedition case against 49 celebrities, tweeting an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the subject and urging those who believe in Freedom of Expression to write similar letters, even at the cost of having FIRs filed against them.
The development comes just a day after 185 prominent personalities wrote to the Prime Minister, ‘endorsing every word‘ of the letter written by the 49 celebrities. In an open letter to PM Modi in July, the celebrities had urged him to take cognisance of incidents of mob lynchings across the country and curbing of dissent.
On Tuesday, Tharoor, the Thiruvananthapuram MP tweeted: “Urging all those who believe in Freedom of Expression to send this or similar letters to PM Modi urging him to affirm the constitutional principle of our Article 19, i.e. rights & the value of democratic dissent, even if more FIRs follow as a result! Save free speech.”
Controversy erupted on Friday when a local court in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur court ordered that a sedition case be filed against the 49 celebrities. A local advocate, SK Ojha, had approached the court against them in July, three days after their letter to the Prime Minister, whose image, the advocate in his plea alleged, they were trying to tarnish.
The Bihar Police has already clarified that the FIR has been filed on the order of the court.
Opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi and MK Stalin have criticised the government and asked it to withdraw the case. The government, however, has said that it has not filed the FIR.