More Than 100 Artists Urge Indians Not to Vote for BJP's 'All-Consuming Hatred'

"The BJP has been quite vocal about its practices of misogyny, bigotry and Islamophobia and communal polarization is at an all-time peak. Violence based on caste prejudice is the new normal."

New Delhi: In a statement released on Monday (April 8), just three days before voting for the 2019 elections begins, more than 100 visual artists have urged voters not the re-elect the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Modi government’s rule, they say, “has created a pervasive atmosphere of fear and all-consuming hatred, which has infiltrated our homes”.

Similar statements have also been issued by theatre persons, scientists,

Signatories of the statement include Orijit Sen, Babu Eshwar Prasad, Sukanya Ghosh, Georgina Maddox and Dakxin Chhara. The full text of the statement is below.


We stand at a critical juncture in our national history on the eve of a make or break election. The results will either take it forward towards our constitutional ideals or back to a brute majoritarian ideal of a so-called “nationalism”. We therefore make this impassioned appeal to our fellow citizens to save the soul of our nation from being permanently scarred by attempts to undermine our Constitution and assaults on what we hold most dear. In the last few years we have seen concerted attacks on freedom of expression, imposition of a theocratic state, unchecked mob-lynchings, state-sanctioned terror against the most vulnerable sections of society, and corporatisation of India’s national assets. The BJP-led government has created a pervasive atmosphere of fear and all-consuming hatred, which has infiltrated our homes. We believe that this sustained regressive agenda is to impose an intolerant, mono-culture and destroy our rich and diversified social fabric. We do not wish to see it a day more in office. This is thus an appeal to all thinking citizens to see through their subterfuge and vote for change.

Also read: Vote Against the BJP and Its Allies, Say Over 700 Theatre Artists

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently claimed that not a single instance of “Hindu terror” could be found in the history of our country, he in a way admitted that the Bharatiya Janata Party considers itself to be an exclusive party for Hindus and their brand of Hindutva. He of course conveniently overlooked Nathuram Godse’s connection to the Hindu Mahasabha. Even if for a moment were we to believe that the BJP and its minions that form the Hindutva brigade can’t be held responsible for promoting the reign of terror and communal violence that has rocked the country in recent times, there are enough reasons for us to doubt those claims of innocence given the growing incidents of murders of those who oppose the attempt to stem the flow of their bigotry like Gauri Lankesh, Kalburgi, Pansare and Dabholkar.

It would be a Herculean task to list the wreckage caused by the current NDA government given its abject track record since 2014. It has miserably failed to deliver on any front except on optics. To begin with, we have had the colossal disaster of demonetization. While the move was meant to unearth black money, it continues to be in circulation as ever before, while the government has not deemed it necessary to account for the huge losses owing to the ill-conceived move. The legitimate demands of farmers have not been met, and they are being driven to suicide almost on a daily basis. Corruption has been rampant. The Rafale scam has exposed it at the highest level. Panama papers received no attention in spite of a significant Indian presence. Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, among others, were allowed to flee the country, together with their loot.

State-owned institutions across a wide range of fields from HAL to ONGC and from BSNL to the finest of universities have suffered due to bad policies and undue interference. Unemployment is raging, incomes are stagnant, prices are rising, welfare schemes are dysfunctional, RTI laws have been diluted, labour issues have gone unaddressed, environmental laws have been grossly violated, and the list goes on. There has been rampant privatization while crony capitalism has been encouraged. The Prime Minister, meanwhile, spent a large part of his tenure pursuing dubious foreign policy initiatives, while more important core domestic issues that affect the poor and the disadvantaged were completely neglected.

Also read: 150+ Scientists Appeal to the People to ‘Vote Wisely’ in 2019 Elections

The NDA government at the centre, and the governments that it has formed in various states, have attempted to cover up their failures by resorting to blatant lies, misinformation and cooked-up statistics. The central government has interfered with the functioning of autonomous institutions and constitutional bodies to further its self-interest and wield power, be it the RBI, the CBI, the ED or educational institutions. Even statistics are now not sacrosanct but are being conveniently changed to suit the narrative. There have even been attempts to interfere with the judiciary and emasculate and even manage the Election Commission.

The curriculums in schools and universities have been revised to promote Hindutva and key appointments to academic bodies and cultural institutions have been made disregarding norms, to fulfill the broad aims of the RSS. Those owing allegiance to the Hindutva brigade now are at the helm of key art and cultural institutions of the country. We artists condemn, in particular, the waste of public money on fancy cultural art projects and statues taken up by the BJP and its allies. These funds could have been far better utilized for more aesthetically appealing works of lasting significance.

Also read: 200 Writers Appeal to Citizens to Vote out Hate Politics

The BJP has been quite vocal about its practices of misogyny, bigotry and Islamophobia and communal polarization is at an all-time peak. Violence based on caste prejudice is the new normal. Terms like love-jihad, gau hatyare, tukde-tukde gang or urban Naxals are coined to incite violence on any flimsy ground against Dalits, Muslims, intellectuals, social activists, artists, writers and vulnerable sections of society. And in almost all the cases the perpetrators of crime and violence have no fear of law and are allowed to go scot free. The concept of an ideal Indian woman being a passive actor with no agency is glorifed, while women are raped brazenly. Ordinances are brought in breach of established parliamentary norms to polarize the polity. Fake encounters are considered a part of normal policing. In a nutshell, the rule of law is dead.

We believe that the first step towards restoring our democratic traditions as envisioned by our forefathers is to vote out the current government lock, stock and barrel and usher in a new and inclusive government that respects democracy and secular values.

We therefore fervently request you to vote against the BJP, and vote strategically for whichever party stands the best chance of defeating the BJP in your region. On the day of voting, do keep a check on any violations of electoral laws. This is perhaps the most important election that India has ever faced. It is an opportunity to save our democratic polity, protect liberty and our secular tradition. This is the only chance we have. Use it wisely.

S# Name Place
1 Aarti Vir Hyderabad
2 Abhishek goswami Jaipur
3 Abid Meerut. U.P
4 Ajay Sharma B Delhi
5 Ajit Kumar g Kerala
6 Ajithlal Sivalal Kerala
7 Akshay Shimpi. Mumbai
8 Aman singh Bihar
9 Amit Kumar Delhi
10 Anthony Nirmal. Vatican ,Rome
11 Ankur rai, Mumbai
12 Anoop Trivedi, Delhi.
13 Arjun Kumar Singh Punjab
14 Arjun Thrissur, Kerala
15 Arun Eranakulam (Kerala)
16 Arunkumar H G, Dombekoppa / Gurgaon
17 Ashok vajpayee, Delhi
18 Ashok Bhowmik. Delhi
19 Atreyee Bhattachajee Chennai
20 Atul Bhalla Delhi
21 Babu Eshwar Prasad From Bengaluru
22 Bharati Kapadia Mumbai
23 Boobalan Manalmagudi
24 Dakxin Chhara Ahmedabad, Gujarat
25 Debnath Basu Howrah(W.B.)
26 Deepak John Mathew
27 Dharm Prakash, Delhi
28 Dhiraj Singh Delhi NCR
29 Firoz Nediyathu Lakshadweep
30 Gagan Deep Singh Sachdeva Amritsar, Punjab
31 Georgina Maddox
32 Gigi Scaria Delhi
33 Hari Nair, Goa
34 Iqbal Krishna
35 Jacob Thottathil Bangalore
36 Jaswinder sharma Kalagram, chandigarh
37 Jahangir Jani Mumbai
38 Johny ML Delhi and Trivandrum
39 Kaushal K sonkaria
40 Khandakar Ohida New Delhi
41 Koustav Nag Delhi
42 Kumar Ranjan New Delhi
43 Lenin m.k Idukki, Kerala
44 Lokesh Jain Delhi.
45 Manpreet Kaur Saund Punjab
46 Manu K. Mysore
47 Manu Parekh, Delhi
48 Mekhlla
49 Moloy Rakshit West Bengal
50 Murali Cheeroth. Bangalore
51 Ngurang Reena Arunachal Pradesh
52 Nikhileswar Baruah Guwahati/Vadodara
53 Nuzhat Kazmi
54 Ogin Nayam Arunachal Pradesh.
55 Orijit Sen Goa
56 Prakash Babu M.S. Bengaluru.
57 Praveen Kumar Bangalore
58 Pratap Morey Mumbai
59 Priyanka Delhi
60 P R Satheesh Kerala
61 Purshottam Bhatt KAKA Delhi
62 Raam Jator . Chandigarh
63 Chala Chari
64 Rana sabyasachi Hapur, UP
65 Ranbir Kaleka Delhi
66 Randeep Maddoke Panjab
67 Ranjan Kaul Delhi
68 Ravikumar Kashi, Bangalore
69 Ritesh R Chandigarh
70 Ritukamath
71 Roshan George Bangalore
72 Saba Hasan Delhi
73 Sabaridas Bangalore
New Delhi
74 Sachind
75 Saju Kunhan Mumbai.
76 Samyak Verma Delhi
77 Sanjeev Khandeka Mumbai
78 Saroj Kumar Das Jalandhar
79 Saumya.
80 Sayantani barman New delhi
81 Shailesh B.O Chennai
82 Sharmistha, Indore, MP.
83 Shinoob Mumbai/ Kochi
84 Shujaat Mirza Ahmedabad
85 Soumen Bhowmick Delhi
86 Sudheer Gupta. New Delhi
87 Sujith SN From Kerala
88 Sukanya Ghosh, Kolkata
89 Sumedh Rajendran Based in New Delhi
90 Sumitabha Pal Santiniketan, West Bengal.
91 Suneel Mamadapur Hyderabad
92 Surabhi
93 Suresh Jayaram Bangalore
94 Uttam Ghosh Mumbai
95 Vikesh bohidar Ghosh New Delhi
96 Vishwas Columbia Asia.
97 Vijaykumar Kalia Delhi
98 Waseem jagroo Kashmir
99 Zeeshan Hasan Akhtar New Delhi
100 Zargar Zahoor New Delhi
101 Zahar Zaman New Delhi