Chennai: As more opposition parties raise concerns over the FIR filed against 49 eminent personalities from various walks of life including for having written an open letter to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to stop ‘mob lynching’ let loose against the minorities, the DMK strongly condemned the FIR on Saturday and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the case against them.Coming down on the sedition charge having been slammed on the 49 persons, the DMK president M K Stalin said there “cannot be a greater danger to democracy” than charging intellectuals and artistes like historian Ramachandra Guha directors Manirathnam, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Revathi Menon among others, as ‘anti-Nationals’.These persons are socially concerned about various issues and to charge them with sedition was preposterous and totally unacceptable, said Mr. Stalin. How could an appeal to uphold communal harmony, secularism and tolerance, which are part of the basic structure of the Indian Constitution, be construed as an act of treason, asked the DMK leader.Stating that this was another ‘trying circumstance’ under the BJP-headed Central government, Mr Stalin termed as “totally unacceptable” the threat posed to the freedom of expression due to various acts of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. These have stoked fears whether “we are living in a democratic society at all,” Stalin said and added that people in power should realise how history has repeatedly shown that those who have “crushed” democratic institutions have eventually been “defeated”.The Centre had a responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution and the Rule of Law, Mr. Stalin said and urged that the case against all the 49 eminent persons be withdrawn at once.The MDMK leader, Mr. Vaiko, PMK young wing leader, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, and CPI state secretary, R. Mutharasan, among others have all with one voice vehemently slammed the action in Bihar following an order by a chief judicial magistrate against the 49 personalities and demanded the unconditional withdrawal of the case against them.Meanwhile, Union minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekar said in Lucknow, that the government has filed no sedition case against the 49 signatories of the letter to the Prime Minister. While he did not elaborate, what he perhaps meant to say was that the Centre had no role in a Magistrate ordering the FIR on a private complaint from a citizen.
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