Ramya writes on ‘sedition’ charge: ‘We need to build enduring bridges with our neighbours’

Ramya visited Pakistan earlier this month to attend the first SAARC Youth Parliamentarians’ Conference.

Written by Divya Spandana | Updated: August 23, 2016 8:29 pm
Ramya, ramya pakistan, ramya pakistan comments, ramya pakistan not hell, Ramya sedition, ramya sedition case, ramya pakistan, ramya news, india news, divya spandana, divya spandana news Actor-politician Ramya has refused to apologise for her remarks on Pakistan.

Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me whether political parties in India hold a stockpile of large, printed posters of politicians from rival parties. He had seen TV channels in Karnataka air scenes of demonstrations in which certain right wing groups loudly and theatrically alternated between burning pictures of me and stomping on them. One amusing frame had a number of grown men flipping slippers at my poster!

The reason I had provoked the ire of self-proclaimed ‘nationalists’ in saffron was that I had disagreed with Defence Minister Parrikar’s pronouncement that going to Pakistan is akin to a visit to hell. I had just returned from a visit to Islamabad and can safely report that what I found was not hell but a country that is home to people just like us, who happen, sadly, to be ruled by a regime that does not inspire confidence.

It is understandable to hold Pakistan’s military and government to account for their conduct, but when civil society in our neighbouring land holds out a hand of friendship to us, I think it is essential we welcome the effort.

Ramya on sedition case: Will not apologise for my Pakistan remark, said nothing wrong

I was in Islamabad to speak at the first SAARC Youth Parliamentarians’ Conference, attended by a cross section of young South Asian politicians from across party lines. Most importantly for me, it was a forum with a number of extremely inspiring Pakistani women with whom I, as a woman in politics, saw an opportunity to build a friendship that could tomorrow join us in achieving common goals in bringing our countries closer.

Ramya On Sedition Case: Watch video

 

While it is easy to denounce conversation with the Pakistani establishment, a conversation with ordinary Pakistanis is crucial regardless of whether or not our governments are on good terms. What these self appointed ‘nationalists’ want is to drum up hysteria and ensure that we never find solutions to longstanding problems. Theirs is a patriotism that begins and ends at making noise on the street—after all it is easy to gather a horde of bullies and demonstrate. It may get them prime time TV attention, but peace building requires a little more nuance and effort.

It is my conviction that to serve my country, which I do with commitment and pride, what is needed is the building of enduring bridges with our neighbours that will pave the way to a better world and a better future. The people gathered in Islamabad are a part of the solution, and to me joining this effort is a contribution in the right direction, no matter how many posters of me are burned by mobs of men who know no better.

With a complaint of sedition filed against me, I stand by my remarks that Pakistan is not hell and I see no reason to withdraw or apologise for it. It’s ironical that in a country where people get away with crimes such as a murder, those that seek peace are targeted.

Divya Spandana, also known as Ramya, is an actor and a former Lok Sabha MP representing Mandya. Views expressed by the author are personal.

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    Abhinav Gour
    Aug 23, 2016 at 2:33 pm
    No Indian has any enemity or hatred for common stani citizen. We have normal relations with them. We meet them when we travel to other countries. We interact in a very friendly manner. But the Government of stan is a different matter altogather. Dominated by land lords
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      anil joshi
      Aug 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm
      madam please discuss cauvery river problem with your neibour state and resolve rather than with improving relation with stan
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      1. prakash gotimukul
        Aug 23, 2016 at 11:02 am
        Who is stopping her. Let her go to kashmir border and tell the terrorist not to throw bombs n kill our soldiers...but that she shd do at border, not from her ac room
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          Chitesh
          Aug 23, 2016 at 9:11 pm
          Is she an actor never heard of her. Ask her if her father ever got a bullet at the borders besides being clad like a woman in lungi showing their privates like Anthony cheaterbaram; they are good in usurping publuc money; and southies are highly white compkexed like manmaun singh; when he sees sogha he can't answer right just gets blinded; shaneless budha. Who cares about these cheap dancers? . Tell her to don uniform and face bullets and stay away from her loved ones then she will value our army forces and country. Im sure this cheap winan has been bought they sell themselves for peanuts to get finance for films.
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            Chitesh
            Aug 23, 2016 at 9:16 pm
            We don't need a bar dancer to preach the country how to act. This drop out go back to school with ragha and study histoey and about terrorism all over the world; saydi sponsor joint venture.
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