The day after a young college student, Amulya Leona was arrested in Bengaluru for allegedly raising ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogan, Twitterati on Friday wondered if godman Sri Sri Ravishankar can also be booked on the charge of sedition for saying, “ Jai Hind and Pakistan Zindabad should go hand in hand”.
The godman can be heard saying, "Pakistan and India and all countries, we should all remember that we are all human, we are all a part of this planet, we are sons of Ishwar, and we should come together with love... Pakistan, Hindustan should move forward with friendship. Jai Hind aur Pakistan Zindabad saath saath chalein (Long live India and long live Pakistan should go hand in hand)," The viral video is from the World Cultural Festival held in Delhi in 2016.
The 19-year-old girl student charged with sedition, a second-year student in a degree college pursuing BA in literature, sociology, psychology and journalism, was refused bail on Friday and was sent to jail for 14 days.
Later on Friday, another college student identified by the police as Ardra Narayanan was detained by the police for holding up a placard at the Bengaluru Town Hall that read, “Muslim, Kashmiri, Bahujan, Adivasi, Trans liberation now’ . She had held up the placard at a demonstration by the Right-wing Sri Ram Sene, which was condemning the slogan raised by Amulya Leona the previous day. Police rescued Narayanan and was questioning her at a police station when reports last came in.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had stepped in along with several other political leaders who wanted Amulya Leona to be punished. The chief minister said that the college student should not be given bail and appropriate punishment should be given to her.
There was a lot more sympathy for Amulya on Twitter, with people pointing out that a perusal of the video clip showed that she was merely trying to say that both India and Pakistan should live long and flourish. In a Facebook post last week, which also surfaced on Friday, the 19-year-old had written: "Whatever country may be - long live for all the countries!" before adding, “Long live India! Long live Pakistan! Long live Bangladesh! Long live Sri Lanka! Long live Nepal! Long live Afghanistan! Long live China! Long live Bhutan!"
"I am an Indian citizen according to law. It is my duty to respect my country and work for the people here. I will do it," she posted.
“What an insecure Republic we have become under the present government. A girl #Amulya shouts slogans: Hindustan & Pakistan zindabad and she is booked for sedition. Mothers jailed for their children acting in an anti-CAA and thousands booked in Chennai for taking part in protest,” tweeted Sanjay Kapur, Editor of Hard Talk.
The video in which godman Sri Sri Ravishankar made the statement about ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ can be watched here:
Commenting on the incident, Kavita Krishnan tweeted, “this is a disturbing mob attack on a young woman who was clearly trying to say that loving Hindustan doesn't mean hating Pakistan. Asaduddin Owaisi your muscle handed this girl over to cops, but you won't do anything to Waris Pathan for communalising Shaheen Bagh? You stand exposed.”
Kavita also posted a Facebook post of Amulya in this context explaining what she meant to say.
Founding editor of The Wire, Siddhartha Varadarajan wrote, “Idiotic to charge her with sedition! At worst, she showed bad judgment in displaying Southasianist zeal at an event where the point she was making (that India, Pak shud not see each other as enemies) was bound to be misconstrued. But this is not a crime!”
Meanwhile, father of Amulya filed a complaint in the local police station in Chikmagalur against unidentified BJP activists for allegedly attacking his house in Koppa her alleged pro-Pakistan slogan.
"The activists vandalised our house by smashing window glass panes, flower pots and damaging other household things," he said in the complaint.