After over 100 members of the film fraternity appealed to the people of India to oust the BJP from power, more than 200 writers have now come forward to urge the citizens to vote out “hate politics”.
The signatories have released the statement on Indian Cultural Forum, where they say, “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."
The list of the writers who have issued the statement includes prominent names like Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Basharat Peer, AJ Thomas, Anita Nair, Kunal Basu, Joy Mathew, and J Devika among others.
“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,” the statement began.
It went on to say, "All of us want this to change. We don’t want rationalists, writers and activists to be hounded or assassinated."
The statement also highlighted the marginalisation of dalits, adivasis and minority communities and said, "we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish.”
Without mentioning any party directly, the statement concluded, “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 comes three days after more than 100 members of the filmmaking community released a joint statement appealing people to not vote for the BJP. Among the 124 campaigners were veteran documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, S Durga director Sanal Sasidharan and senior filmmaker Vetri Maaran.