Our Silence Ends Now: 300 Celebs Write Open Letter Opposing CAA, NRC
Accepting that many of them were silent amid all the injustice that took place, "Those of us who have been quiet in the past, our silence ends now. We will be clear-sighted in our dissent."
Breaking the silence over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the turmoil surrounding it, over 300 artists, including filmmakers and veteran Bollywood actors, have signed an open letter, in solidarity with the students and protestors, against the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The list of signatories includes Ratna Pathak Shah, Jaaved Jafferi, Homi K Bhabha, Partha Chatterjee, Anita Desai, Kiran Desai, TM Krishna, Ashish Nandy, and Gaytri Chakravorty Spivak among others, who have come out in support of all the protestors across the country and to uphold the principles of the Constitution of India.
The signatories wrote, "We stand in solidarity with the students and others who are protesting and speaking out against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and against the National Register of Citizens (NRC). We salute their collective cry for upholding the principles of the Constitution of India, with its promise of a plural and diverse society. We are aware that we have not always lived up to that promise, and many of us have too often remained silent in the face of injustice. The gravity of this moment demands that each of us stand for our principles."
"The ongoing movement in India is student and women-led. Students were attacked and demonized. Even universities were attacked, so we have written this letter for them," Activist Shabnam Hashmi wrote in the letter.
Accepting that many of them remained silent amid all the injustice that took place, the artists wrote, "Those of us who have been quiet in the past, our silence ends now. We will be clear-sighted in our dissent. Like our freedom fighters before us, we stand for a secular and inclusive vision of India. We stand with those who bravely oppose anti-Muslim and divisive policies. We stand with those who stand up for democracy. We will be with you on our streets and across all our platforms. We are in solidarity."
"The policies and actions of the present government passed quickly through Parliament and without opportunity for public dissent or open discussion, are antithetical to the principle of a secular, inclusive nation. The soul of the nation is threatened," read the letter.
Questioning the motive of the government behind the Act, the letter asked why the minorities from neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar were excluded.
India has been witnessing massive unrest and protests against the CAA which guarantees citizenship to non-Muslims of three neighbouring countries Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Many see this as 'unconstitutional' and 'discriminatory' against Muslims.