Scribe booked for posting cartoon lampooning Rama on her FB page

The cartoon that landed Swathi Vadlamudi in trouble

A case was booked against a woman journalist here for posting a cartoon on Lord Rama, which allegedly hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

Saidabad police registered a case under Section 295 (a) of the Indian Penal Code (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), against Swathi Vadlamudi, a journalist working with an English daily, following a complaint filed by Hindu Sanghatan president and advocate Kashimshetty Karuna Sagar on Monday.

Swathi, who expresses her views through her drawings on her Facebook page, posted a cartoon on April 10, expressing her anguish over the sensational Kathua and Unnao rape incidents. In the cartoon, Sita is seen telling Lord Rama: “I am glad I was kidnapped by Ravan and not by your bhakths.” The cartoon went viral on social media.

'My right'

The complainant contended that he too sympathised with the little rape victim of Kathua but where is the need to bring Hindu gods into this. “How does it bring justice to the rape victims? If a Hindu commits a crime somewhere in Jammu, how does it justify blaming millions of devotees of Lord Rama?” he questioned. While the police asked Karuna Sagar to submit evidence, Swathi said she had chosen the cartoon to express her views and it was her fundamental right to do so.
 
“Thousands appreciated my expression. The cartoon also received a lot of vulgar, cheap and abusive comments on different social media platforms. I know that someone has filed a case but I have not received any notice,” she added.
 
Meanwhile, Telangana Union of Working Journalists president Allam Narayana and Secretary Kranthi Kiran condemned the FIR filed against the journalist. The Human Rights Forum (HRF) too backed Swathi saying the cartoon was a satirical allusion to the perilous state of women’s safety in India and should be widely circulated on social media.

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