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‘Hrithik has insulted and humiliated the Pope’

More than a month ago Kangana Ranaut made a statement about how her ex-boyfriend ensured that she is not a part of Aashiqui 3.

Kangana’s statement on social media read: ‘Yes many lame rumours are doing rounds, even a dumb ass can tell where the rumours are coming from. I don’t know why “exes do silly things” to get your attention. For me that chapter is over and I don’t dig graves.’

Although Kangana did not name anyone in her statement, actor Hrithik Roshan’s tweet followed suit: ‘There are more chances of me having had an affair with the Pope than any of the — I am sure — wonderful women the media has been naming. Thanks, but no thanks!’

The tweet received flak from the Catholic community who were upset with Hrithik’s mention of the Pope, the head of the Catholic church.

Abraham Mathai, president, Indian Christian Voice, among those offended by Hrithik’s tweet, sent a legal notice to the actor.

Mathai, below, left, tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf why he sent a legal notice and what he plans to do if the actor does not respond.

Why have you filed a case against Hrithik Roshan?

I have only sent him a lawyer’s notice for the simple reason that there are 6 billion people in this world and Hrithik could only name the Pope as one he would have an affair with. I have asked him to recant his statement and issue an unconditional apology.

I have also said I respect his personal life including his right to choose with who he wishes to be in a relationship. However, his tweet implies that the ‘Pope is gay.’

That is a great insult and humiliation to a religious head.

He posted that tweet in likely anger against an actress.

Tell me one thing. If you are unhappy with Kangana Ranaut for any matter, why name the Pope?

The Pope who is not only the religious head of the Catholic community in India but also the whole world.

Can’t we take the tweet on a lighter note and not make it a serious issue?

Come on, how can you say that we can take the issue lightly? We will definitely take it lightly once he apologises.

If not, we will not file a case under Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code.

Do you think Hrithik’s tweet was intended to hurt the Catholic community?

That is for Hrithik Roshan to answer, not me.

Your lawyer Rizwan Siddique is also Kangana’s lawyer.

Her lawyer is a friend of mine. Instead of going to another lawyer I went to him as I know him for a long time.

Why did you file a case nearly a month-and-a-half after he posted the tweet?

Because I had no idea about the tweet earlier. One of my Christian friends forwarded Hrithik’s tweet to me on Saturday (March 26). The moment we were became aware of the tweet we sent him a notice.

 

Nonetheless, it is 45 days after the fact.

The law says report the crime the moment you come to know of it. We are not connected with the Bollywood gossip circuit, so I am not obliged to know what he is doing.

The moment I came to know about this tweet, I took cognisance of it and sent him a notice.

Surprisingly for over 45 days no other Catholic felt hurt enough to to take action.

That is what I am saying. The Christian community did not know about this. Now the archbishop has condemned it. He has also issued a press statement.

Don’t you think the timing is wrong and your friendship with Kangana’s lawyer may make your involvement suspect?

I could have taken any other lawyer, but I have a friend in Kangana’s lawyer, so what is the problem? I feel the media should not deflect the main issue.

The main issue is that he has insulted and humiliated the Pope. Whether I send the notice through Ranaut’s lawyer or some other lawyer is not the bone of contention.

Pope Francis, a most progressive Pontiff, has accepted that gays are not a problem. What is the issue then?

He has never accepted it. He said that gays should be welcomed in the church. He has not endorsed gay marriages so far. Don’t put words in his mouth.

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