After the Supreme Court announced the verdict over BJP's Youth wing leader Priyanka Sharma for sharing a meme of Mamata Banerjee on her social media, comedian Raju Srivastav came in support of her.
He said that art is a freedom of speech and expression and that it is a common practice of having satirical cartoons on big politicians including former PM Indira Gandhi, PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.
He said, "What Priyanka Sharma did with Mamata Banerjee's photo, must be just enjoyed nothing more than that. The cartoonists, stand-up comedians and poets across the world look for such characters, there are jokes and mimicry on big politicians. There are a lot of jokes on Trump and Kim Jong Un, many cartoons were made on Indira ji and Atal ji, cartoons are even made on Modiji."
"The front page of every newspaper has cartoons of any politicians. There were jokes on Lalu and Pappu. This keeps on happening, this is art, and this is freedom of speech and expression. I'd like to request to people to not bind the artists too much, otherwise how will they work? The art of cartoons will end," he added.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had granted conditional bail to BJP youth wing worker Priyanka Sharma contingent on her tendering a written apology for putting up a meme of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media. The apex court had observed in the bail plea of Priyanka Sharma, BJP youth wing worker who was arrested for sharing the morphed picture, that it can grant bail to her but she has to apologise. "We can grant bail but she has to apologise", the bench said.
While there are reports stating that the Supreme Court called back Priyanka Sharma's lawyer to rollback the apology demand, Republic Media Network is confirming facts on the same. Updates will be provided accordingly.
In the picture that Sharma had shared on May 9, Banerjee's face was superimposed on actor Priyanka Chopra's body, in the dress she wore to the 2019 Met Gala. Sharma was arrested on Friday and was sent to 14-days police custody.