Rapper Taran Kaur Dhillon – who is famously known as Hard Kaur – has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including sedition and defamation for her posts on social media against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, The Times of India reported on Wednesday.
After a complaint was filed by local lawyer Shashank Shekhar, Kaur was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 124A (sedition, attempt to excite disaffection or hatred), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion), 500 (defamation) and 505 (intent to incite), and section 66 of the IT Act (for sending offensive messages).
The complainant, who is a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteer, claimed he was deeply hurt to see such remarks on social media against Bhagwat and Adityanath, The Times of India reported.
In a Facebook post on June 18, Kaur called Adityanath “Orange rapeman”. “If this guy was a superhero his name would be – Rapeman Yogi,” Kaur wrote sharing an image of Adityanath. “You call him when you want your sisters, mothers, daughters raped. National Hero. I personally call him #OrangeRapeMan #IndiaStandUp.”
In another post on the same day, she called Bhagwat a “racist murderer”. “He is responsible for all terrorist attacks in India including 26/11, Pulwama attack,” she claimed. “The face of all problems in India. Constitutional casteism is a crime…You are banned by Sardar Patel ji after [Mahatma] Gandhi’s murder by [Nathuram] Godse. You are not allowed to function. In history Mahatma Buddha and Mahavir fought against the brahminical caste system. You are not a nationalist, you are a racist murderer…,” her post read.
In her third post, Kaur shared a picture of the book cover of “Who killed Karkare?” by SM Mushrif, former inspector general of police, Maharashtra. Her caption of the picture said: “RSS DID #indiastandup”. Kaur also posted a photo of journalist Gauri Lankesh who was killed in 2017 outside her home in Bengaluru, and wrote: “I’ll never let your killers go. The world will know mam.”
Inspector Vijay Pratap Singh said that a first information report was filed and the matter is being investigated.
Hard Kaur was born in India and now lives in the United Kingdom. She is known for her Punjabi rap renditions and has featured in many Bollywood songs.
This is not the first time the sedition law is being invoked against social media posts, even though the Supreme Court has stated that this amounts to misuse. Recently, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel insisted that the sedition charge be revoked against a man who had criticised him on social media.