Over 200 Writers Appeal To Cast Out "Hate Politics", Asks To Vote For "Diverse & Equal" India
In an unprecedented appeal, over 200 Indian writers on Monday signed a petition appealing to Indians not to vote hate politics in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and vote for a “diverse and equal India.”
The list of writers who signed the petition contains some prominent writer like Girish Karnad, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Bama, Nayantara Sahgal, TM Krishna, Vivek Shanbhag, Jeet Thayil, K Satchidanandan and Romila Thapar.
The writers issued the appeal in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, Bangla, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu languages as they wanted to reach out to the whole country.
Why this appeal
In last few years, we have constantly seen citizens being lynched or assaulted because of their community, caste, or their region and that comes from hate politics that has been used and proliferated by the ruling party and certainly, it has larger ramifications in our country. This has led to creating an atmosphere of fear in the hearts of the people. Writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians and other cultural practitioners have been constantly hounded, intimidated, and censored.
Charges of sedition have recently multiplied in India as a way to curb free speech and to intimidate government critics.
Powerful Indian corporations, which do not hesitate to sue authors, journalists, or activists for defamation, backed up with claims for damages no author, publishing house, newspaper, or nonprofit group can afford to pay.
The signatories said the country is at a crossroads in the upcoming polls. “Our Constitution guarantees all its citizen’s equal rights, the freedom to eat, pray and live as they choose, freedom of expression and the right to dissent,” they added. “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.”
“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 writers said.
The writers said we need strong measures to combat violence against women, Dalits, adivasis and minorities. “We want resources and measures for jobs, education, research, healthcare and equal opportunities for all,” they said. “Most of all, we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish.”
The signatories believe that voting out hate politics is the “critical first step”. “Vote out the division of our people, vote out inequality, vote against violence, intimidation and censorship,” they said. “This is the only way we can vote for an India that renews the promises made by our Constitution.”
This comes days after over 100 filmmakers signed a petition to vote out BJP, as they also believe that hate politics has increased in the country and freedom of expression has been just for namesake.