After 100 independent filmmakers, over 200 literary giants have written an open letter to the voters ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections saying that ‘hate of politics’ must be voted out. Arundhati Roy, Girish Karnad, Amitav Ghosh and Romila Thapar are among those who have penned the appeal. “Anyone who questions the powers-that-be is in danger of being harassed or arrested on false and ridiculous charges. All of us want this to change…The first step, the one we can take soon, is to vote out hate politics,” the appeal read.
The statement comes after celebrated indie filmmakers such as Anand Patwardhan, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan and Devashish Makhija issued an appeal to defeat fascism in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, saying the country is going it's most "testing times ever".
In a joint statement issued on the website www.artistuniteindia.com, the group of 103 filmmakers called upon people "to protect the democracy of the country" and claimed that the "BJP has made the country the boardroom property of a handful of businessmen".
It was signed by 103 filmmakers, including Vetri Maaran, Q, Deepa Dhanraj, Kabir Singh Chowdhry.
The writers appeal opened on a sombre note. “The upcoming election finds our country at the crossroads. Our Constitution guarantees all its citizens equal rights, the freedom to eat, pray and live as they choose, freedom of expression and the right to dissent. But in the last few years, we have seen citizens being lynched or assaulted or discriminated against because of their community, caste, gender, or the region they come from. Hate politics has been used to divide the country; create fear; and exclude more and more people from living as full-fledged citizens. Writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians and other cultural practitioners have been hounded, intimidated, and censored. Anyone who questions the powers-that-be is in danger of being harassed or arrested on false and ridiculous charges.”
“All of us want this to change. We don’t want rationalists, writers and activists to be hounded or assassinated. We want stern measures against violence in word or deed against women, dalits, adivasis and minority communities. We want resources and measures for jobs, education, research, healthcare and equal opportunities for all. Most of all, we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish. How do we do this? How do we bring about the change we need so urgently? There are many things we need to do and can do. But there is a critical first step,” the statement added.
“The first step, the one we can take soon, is to vote out hate politics. Vote out the division of our people; vote out inequality; vote against violence, intimidation and censorship. This is the only way we can vote for an India that renews the promises made by our Constitution. This is why we appeal to all citizens to vote for a diverse and equal India,” the statement concluded.