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Indian actor-politician facing sedition charges for pro-Pakistan comments

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NEW DELHI: Kannada actress and Congress member Ramya is facing ire from several quarters for making comments in favour of Pakistan.

“I respectful disagree, but Pakistan is not hell. People there are just like us,” said Ramya today in an interview.

She was recently in Islamabad to attend a SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference, where she referred to Manohar Parrikar’s statement, “going to Pakistan is like going to hell,” by responding with “Pakistan is not hell. People there are just like us. They treated us very well.”

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“I went there (Pakistan) for the SAARC Youth Summit. I spoke about peace, harmony and unity in diversity. When I got back, I was asked how Pakistan was and I said that the people there are just like us, and that we were treated very well. There was a lot of respect,” Ramya told Times of India yesterday.

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Ramya, whose real name is Divya Spandana, said she won’t apologize, either, as she has no reason to, and hasn’t done anything wrong.

“I don’t have any ego at all and in any given incident, I would have apologised, but if I do in this case, the larger cause we’re fighting for would go,” Ramya explained.

Some people protested because they believed her statements were a direct response to a comment Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar made last week when he equated visiting Pakistan with visiting hell.
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“It’s really sad that there is such a situation in the country today, “Politicians want to polarise and spread hatred. Just because borders separate us we shouldn’t hate others” Ramya said on Times Now, referring to the complaint filed against her.

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“I’m free to express myself, am I not? Everyone is entitled to their views and that is what democracy is about. You can’t force your ideology on anyone,” she added.

The Congress member repeated several times today that she stands by what she said.

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