As many as 100 filmmakers have signed a petition asking people of India to not vote for the BJP in this year’s Lok Sabha polls. Among the signatories are Anand Patwardhan, Anjali Monteiro, Devashish Makhija, Sandhya Goghale and Unni Vijayan.
Their joint petition stated that India was going through ‘the most testing times ever.’ adding that India’s cultural diversity was in danger. The letter read, “Our country is going through the most testing times ever. Though culturally vivid and geographically diverse, we have always stayed united. As a nation. It has indeed been a great feeling to be a citizen of this wonderful country.
“But all that is at stake now. Fascism threatens to strike us hard with all its might if we don’t choose wisely in the coming Lok Sabha election. Period.”
They went on to add that situation in India had changed alarmingly since the BJP came to power in 2014. The letter read, “As we all know, ever since the BJP came to power in 2014, things have changed. And only for the worse. A country polarised along religious lines isn’t the India we have known. Besides, the BJP and its allies have failed miserably in keeping their election promises.
“They are now using mob lynching and cow vigilantism to split the country communally. Marginalizing Dalits and Muslims is the name of the game. They are spreading their hate campaigns with the help of the internet and social media. Patriotism is their trump card. Any individual or institution that raises the slightest dissent is labelled ‘anti-national’. ‘Patriotism’ is how they grow their vote bank. Let us not forget that some of our eminent writers and media persons lost their lives because they dared to dissent.”
The filmmakers explained that exploiting ‘the armed forces’ had become one of the strategies for the BJP. The letter read that the BJP would even take India to an ‘unnecessary war’ if it suited their electoral agenda.
“There is unrelenting onslaught on the cultural and scientific institutions in the country. They mock the collective intelligence of the people by appointing persons with no relevance or experience as heads of these institutions, propagating unscientific and irrational beliefs even at international science seminars, making us the laughing stock of the entire world. Banning and censoring ‘works of art’, especially the most powerful of the lot – Cinema and Books – is their way of keeping the population away from the truth,” they added.
Saying that this was ‘our last chance’ the signatories to the letter urged the voters to cast their votes wisely.
Here are the signatories of the letter: Aashiq Abu, Abhijnan Sarkar, Abhro Banerjee, Ajayan Bala, Ambika Rao, Amitabha Chatterjee, Amshan Kumar, Amudhan R, Anand Patwardhan, Aneez K Mappila, Anirudda Sharma, Anjali Monteiro, Anupama Bose, Arun Karthick, Arun M, Arun N Sivan, Asha Unnithan, Babu Easwar Prasad, Baburaj V G, Baburaj Pandavath, Bina Paul, C S Venkateswaran, Dar Ghai, Devashish Makhija, Debjani Banerjee
Debalina, Deepa Dhanraj, Deepesh T, Dileep Daz, Divya Bharathi, Gobi Nayanar, Goutham Soorya, Gurvinder Singh, Indrasis Acharya, Indraneel Lahiri, Jayan Cheriyan, Jeeva K J
Jeeva Ponnuchamy, Jiju Antony, Jisha Jhelum Roy, Jubith Namradath, Kabir Singh Chowdhry, K B Venu, K P Jayashankar, Kombai S Anwar, Kamal K M, Leela Santhosh, Leena Manimekalai, Madhupal, Maheen Mirza, Malini Jeevarathnam, Manisha Korde, Manoj Kana,
M G Sasi, Miransha Naik, Maulik Raj, Muhsin Parari, Nishtha Jain, P F Mathews, Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy, Pradeep Nair, Pradeep Dipu, Prakash Bare, Pramod Payyannur, Prasanna S Kumar, Pratap Jospeh, Prateek Vats, Praveen Morchhale, Prem Chand, Priyanandanan, Pushpendra Singh, Rafeeq Ellias, Ranjith Sankaran
Rinchin, Ritesh Sil, Sajeevan Anthikkad, Saji Palamel, Sajin Baabu, Sanalkumar Sasidharan
Sandhya Goghale, Sanjay Wadhwa, Sanju Surendran, Santosh Babusenan, Sapna Bhavnani
Sarvnik Kaur, Satish Babusenan, Shaji Mathew, Sherief Easa, Sherry Govindan, Sreebala K Menon, Subhash KR, Sudevan, Sukhpreet Kahlon, Suman Mukhopadhyay, Sunny Joseph
Suresh Achoos, Unni Vijayan, Vetri Maaran, Venu ISC, Viju Varma, Vinu Kolichal