Artists Unite India, an informal collective of the artists fraternity from across the country, on Friday published a public appeal on its website, urging people not to vote for the ruling BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.
The appeal was undersigned by over a 100 film directors, including documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, festival director Bina Paul and National Award winners Devashish Makhija and Gurvinder Singh.
The appeal, titled Save Democracy, said that the country is faced with the threat of fascism under the current leadership that has polarised the country along religious lines.
“They are now using mob lynching and cow vigilantism to split the country communally. Marginalising 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’,” read an excerpt from the letter.
The idea of drafting this appeal came from Malayalam director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan of the S Durga fame. “We wanted the conversation to start among the Indian art fraternity across disciplines. So, a bunch of us contacted artistes we knew and believed would be willing to take the bull by its horns. We were sure we didn’t want to address issues pertaining only to the film industry such as censorship; we wanted the gesture to be a political statement,” Sasidharan told The Indian Express.