A class IV girl student along with her mother and teacher were slapped with sedition charges for projecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a poor light while performing a skit play at a school function.
The skit was performed during a school function in an Urdu primary school in Bidar in Karnataka.
Farida Begum the School principal, Anuja Minsa (mother of the girl student) and the student have been reportedly booked under 124 (A) and 153 (A) IPC and the offence has been registered against the school.
The skit was presented by the school as part of the Republic Day programs organized in the school. However, the skit reportedly contained some dialogues, derogatory to the prime minister. The innocent girl student participating in the skit recited the dialogues as given to her and eventually faced the wrath of the police.
Bidar is located on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border. No sooner the news of police action against the school broke out, there was a strong reaction among theatre personalities in Maharashtra with a host of artists voicing strong protest against the police action.
Premanand Gajvi, President of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Natya Sammelan (ABMNS)condemned the high handedness of police and called for the need to oppose such attempts with all strength. “This could happen to anyone of us. Article 19 of the constitution bestows freedom of speech to every citizen and such attempts to suppress the voice of the people cannot be tolerated” he said.
Veteran actor Pradip Kabre said that certainly, these are not a healthy sign of democracy and such an attempt to throttle the voice of the people must be opposed. Even though the incident has taken place in neighboring Karnataka it encompasses all the citizens.
Maharashtra has a rich stage background and plays are held in Karnataka by Maharashtra artists. In turn, cultural programs are also held by Karnataka artists in Maharashtra. This is despite a long-standing pending border dispute between both the states. In the meanwhile, ABMNS is in the process of sending a memorandum to Karnataka chief minister condemning the incident.