Shashi Tharoor , Senior Congress leader and three -time Lok Sabha MP, has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring himself “deeply disturbed” by the FIR filed against the authors of an open letter to the PM in July.
Tharoor urged the PM to “affirm the constitutional principle of Article 19” and guarantee freedom of speech and expression.
In a two-page letter he posted on social media, he also reminded PM Modi of a powerful speech made before the US Congress in 2016, in which Modi called the Constitution a “holy book” and said “… freedom of faith, speech… and equality of all citizens, regardless of background, are enshrined as fundamental rights”.
Urging all those who believe in #FreedomOfExpression to send this or similar letters to @PMOIndia @narendramodi urging him to affirm the constitutional principle of our Article 19 rights & the value of democratic dissent — even if more FIRs follow as a result! #SaveFreeSpeech pic.twitter.com/MDIrros64j
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 8, 2019
“As citizens of India we hope that every one of us can fearlessly bring to your notice issues of national importance, so that you can take the lead to address them. We would like to believe that you too would support the right to freedom of expression, so ‘mann ki baat’… does not become ‘maun ki baat’,” Shashi Tharoor wrote.
In an earlier tweet the Thiruvananthapuram MP had expressed his shock over the FIR filed against 49 celebrities
This is a shocking & chilling development. Does Article 19 of the Constitution have no meaning for a police officer & a Chief Judicial Magistrate? Where is our democracy heading if free expression is countered by this kind of “legal” harassment? https://t.co/WvTbxX2eM4
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 4, 2019