"Voice of the oppressed not meant to be criminalized," says Madras HC as it quashes FIR against Pa Ranjith

The court held that the filmmaker's criticism of the Chola kingdom was based on historical facts.

Published: 30th November 2021 01:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2021 01:52 PM   |  A+A-

Film director Pa.Ranjith (Photo | Martin Louis)

Film director Pa.Ranjith (File photo | Martin Louis)

By Online Desk

CHENNAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has reportedly quashed criminal proceedings initiated against film director Pa.Ranjith for his remarks against Chola dynasty King, Raja Raja Chola.

While quashing the suo moto FIR registered against the director of Sarpatta Parambarai by the Thirupananthal police, the court held that the filmmaker's criticism of the Chola kingdom was based on historical facts. The court also held that the director has not exceeded the limit of freedom of speech.

"Voice of the oppressed is not meant to be oppressed or criminalized. But to be listened, discussed, addressed and remedied," the court observed according to Live Law.

The legal news site added that the court also quoted Dr BR Ambedkar to explain the meaning of 'fraternity and the antithesis, i.e., caste system, in the context of the constitution and oppressed classes. When the constitution itself demands economic reforms and remedial measures to alleviate the perils of the caste system, it makes little sense to punish the voice of the oppressed though it reverberated in the form of criticism.

During a public gathering in Thanjavur, Ranjith had reportedly said that Raja Raja Chola had taken over lands owned by Dalits in the Cauvery-delta-region and given them away to temples. "Many are glorifying Raja Raja Cholan. But, I am not in a position to do the same," he noted.


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