Two Indian-American authors are among hundreds of writers who have voiced their opposition for presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, slamming him for “encouraging aggression” among his followers, intimidating dissenters and denigrating women and minorities.
India-born Samina Ali from California and Indian-origin Mira Jacob of New York joined hundreds of writers from across the US in adding their names to an online public petition against Trump, 69, whom they referred to as a dictator who “appeals to the most violent elements in society”.
Ali is an award-winning author, activist and cultural commentator, according to her profile on her website. Her debut novel ‘Madras on Rainy Days’ won France’s prestigious Prix Premier Roman Etranger award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction.
Jacob, who currently teaches fiction at New York University, is the author of the critically acclaimed novel ‘The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing’ which was shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award. Among the big names signing the petition are Stephen King, David Eggers, Amy Tan, Junot Diaz and Cheryl Strayed.
In the “open letter to the American people” on the literary website Lithub, the writers voiced their opposition for Trump, saying that mere wealth or celebrity status does not qualify “anyone to speak for the United States, to lead
its military, to maintain its alliances, or to represent its people” and as writers they are aware of the many ways that “language can be abused in the name of power.”
“Unequivocally” opposing Trump’s candidacy for President of the US, the writers said the rise of a political candidate who “deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful response.”
They said American history, despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has brought people of different backgrounds
together and not pitted them against one another. “The history of dictatorship is the history of manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies,” the writers said.