New Delhi: Over 200 Indian writers on Monday issued an appeal to Indians to vote out hate politics in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and vote for a “diverse and equal India”. The signatories include Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Girish Karnad, Nayantara Sahgal, Jeet Thayil, Romila Thapar and Vivek Shanbhag.
The writers issued the appeal in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, Bangla, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu languages.
“Our Constitution guarantees all its citizens equal rights, the freedom to eat, pray and live as they choose, freedom of expression and the right to dissent,” the letter says. “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.”
The signatories said 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.”
Read the full statement below:
Our Constitution guarantees all its citizens equal rights, the freedom to eat, pray and live as they choose, freedom of expression and the right to dissent. 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. 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.
All of us want this to change. We don’t want rationalists, writers and activists to be hounded or assassinated. We want stern measures against violence in word or deed against women, dalits, adivasis and minority communities. We want resources and measures for jobs, education, research, healthcare and equal opportunities for all. Most of all, we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish.
How do we do this? How do we bring about the change we need so urgently? There are many things we need to do and can do. But there is a critical first step.
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 is why we appeal to all citizens to vote for a diverse and equal India.
|1||AJ Thomas||71||Gulam Mohammed Sheikh||141||Pradnya Daya Pawar|
|2||AR Venkatachalapathy||72||HS Shivaprakash||142||Prem Tiwari|
|3||Abhay Maurya||73||Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar||143||Priya Sarukkai Chabria|
|4||Adil Jussawalla||74||Hariyash Rai||144||Purushottam Agarwal|
|5||Ajai Singh||75||Harsh Mander||145||R Unni|
|6||Akeel Bilgrami||76||Hemant Divate||146||Rahamath Tarikere|
|7||Ali Javid||77||Hemlata Maheshwar||147||Rahman Abbas|
|8||Alok Rai||78||Hiralal Rajasthani||148||Rajendra Chenni|
|9||Amit Chaudhuri||79||Huchangi Prasad||149||Rajendra Rajan|
|10||Amit Bhaduri||80||Ishrat Syed||150||Rajesh Joshi|
|11||Amitav Ghosh||81||J Devika||151||Rajiv Ranjan Singh|
|12||Anand||82||JM Parakh||152||Ramprakash Tripathi|
|13||Anand Teltumbde||83||Jaidev Taneja||153||Ranjit Hoskote|
|14||Ananya Vajpeyi||84||Jaishree Misra||154||Raosaheb Kasbe|
|15||Ania Loomba||85||Jeet Thayil||155||Rakesh Tiwari|
|16||Anil Joshi||86||Jerry Pinto||156||Ravishankar|
|17||Anita Nair||87||Joy Mathew||157||Rekha Awasthi|
|18||Anita Ratnam||88||JV Pawar||158||Ritu Menon|
|19||Anita Thampi||89||K G Shankara Pillai||159||Robin Ngangom|
|20||Anjali Purohit||90||K N Panikkar||160||Romila Thapar|
|21||Anupama HS||91||K Satchidanandan||161||Ruchira Gupta|
|22||Anuradha Kapur||92||Kalpana Swaminarayan||162||Rukmini Bhaya Nair|
|23||Anuradha Marwah||93||Kalpana Swaminathan||163||S Joseph|
|24||Anvar Ali||94||Kavery Nambisan||164||Sachin Ketkar|
|25||Apoorvanand||95||Keki Daruwalla||165||Saleem Peeradina|