Supreme Court has asked BJP leader Priyanka Sharma to seek apology from Mamata Banerjee. She shared a picture on Facebook in which Mamata’s face was photoshopped on the form of actor Priyanka Chopra at the MET Gala in New York. She got arrested for this.
“Is there any difficulty in apologizing? We are asking her to apologize for herself. Freedom of speech ends where it affects others’ rights,” the Supreme Court said. The court also issued a notice to West Bengal Police over the way the party activist was taken into custody.
Ms. Sharma’s lawyer argued that “if one is asked to apologize for memes, will citizens come and apologize for a caricature”. Lawyer Neeraj Kishan Kaul said Priyanka Sharma did not create the morphed picture and she is being made to apologize only because of her association with the BJP. He said the order will have a “chilling effect on freedom of expression”. The court is being passed on the specific circumstances of the case.
Priyanka Sharma was arrested last Friday after she shared a photo in which Mamata Banerjee’s face has been photo-shopped on the form of actor Priyanka Chopra. In the original picture, the actor was photographed at the MET Gala in New York.
Ms. Sharma was picked up by the police from her home and was sent to two weeks’ judicial custody. The charges cited on the complaint by a Trinamool Congress leader include “defamation and offensive messages”.
The arrest was an extreme measure taken by Banerjee. This is not a good quality of a leader in a democracy. The BJP is somehow tasting its own medicine of intolerance towards jokes, and caricatures.