Ketaki Chitale is an actress in Thane appearing in Marathi serials and theatre. Ratan Lal is a professor of history at Hindu College, Delhi. Both of them have had FIRs registered against them for something that they posted on their Facebook page.
Chitale had forwarded a small poem, not hers but written by someone else, which asked a politician to stop taking bribes and also to stop his anti-Brahmin politics. The language of the poem was in a poor taste. Though no names were taken, members of the Nationalist Congress Party took umbrage because they were convinced that it referred to their president, Sharad Pawar. These members filed multiple FIRs against Chitale in various parts of Maharashtra.
Lal made a comment on an aspect of the video survey of the interior of the Gyanvapi Mosque. The judge who heard the case said that he personally found Lal’s post “distasteful” and “unnecessary”, without indicating the exact words. A TV anchor reported that Lal said that the photo of the Shivling looked like a circumcised penis. An unnamed Muslim student at the Hindu College said: “Circumcision in our religion is a practice advocated by our Prophet and we follow it. What is the point of making such a ridiculous joke on it?”
Chitale has been in jail for more than 14 days now, and her custody has been extended. Lal was in jail for a day, and he is out in bail.
Chitale did not write the poem herself. Others may have also forwarded the poem. Post the arrest of Chitale, the poem has been circulated on the social media and it has now reached a wider audience. But no one else has been arrested.
Lal has written the post himself. The reasoning used to grant bail to him does not seem to have occurred to the judge who is denying the bail to Chitale.
Lal, being a teacher at a well-known college in Delhi will continue to influence the minds of young. Chitale is not in a position to do so.
Chitale makes an earning from her profession as an actress, which gives her sufficient money to live a decent life. She has to work for it, and it is the people who provide her with the sustenance directly. Lal’s salary would be much higher, and it would come to him from the taxpayers, even the poor ones. Plus, he is entitled to a pension which also comes from the taxpayers. Chitale would have to save for her retirement herself.
Finally, the political opponents of Pawar have condemned the language used by Chitale. However, no one amongst the Khan Market Gang has condemned the distasteful post of Lal. They actually say that he has the right to express himself in the way he has done. Moreover, the members of the Gang pretend that they know nothing about the Chitale case. Such hypocrisy.