More than 100 filmmakers and technicians across the South Indian film industry have united to issue a plea requesting the people not to vote the BJP into power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Under the name ‘Save Democracy,’ artists like Vetri Maaran, Anand Patwardhan, Aashiq Abu, Sanalkumar Sasidharan, Sudevan, Q, Deepa Dhanraj, Gurvinder Singh, Pushpendra Singh, Kabir Singh Chowdhry, Anjali Monteiro, Praveen Morchhale, Devashish Makhija and Bina Paul, who share similar views have expressed their opinion in the statement.
Calling the current climate ‘testing times,’ the statement said that the cultural multiplicity of the country was 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,” it read.
The statement then proceeds to list out the various changes that have come about ever since the BJP came to power in 2014. It touched upon the various incidents that made headlines including mob lynching, cow vigilantism and marginalization of the Dalits and Muslims.
The statement also mentions how the party labelled people voicing dissent as ‘anti-national.’ “Patriotism’ is how they grow their vote bank,” reads the statement. It also reminded the reader of the murder of writers and media personnel under the current government’s watch.
“Romanticizing and exploiting the armed forces is one of their strategies. Even at the risk of engaging the nation in an unnecessary war,” it further said. Appropriation of history and propagation of irrational beliefs at international seminars have also been discussed. Apart from the censoring of art, the plight of farmers has also found a mention in the statement.
“Let your mandate be to choose a government that respects the Constitution of India, protects our freedom of speech and expression, and refrains from all kinds of censorship,” it said before concluding the request saying it was the people’s last chance.
The plea was put up on the internet earlier today on the website www.artistuniteindia.com.