Vote Consciously; Save Democracy: Marathi Artists’ appeal to the Voters

With the general elections round the corner, the Marathi creative industry is the latest to join in the appeal to the public to save India from hate politics. A group of 107 Marathi artists, poets, authors and theatre personalities have appealed to the masses to vote consciously and let democracy prevail. The signatories are national-award winning authors and literary writers who have won prestigious awards like the Jnanpith award, Saraswati Samman, Sahitya Akademi award, etc. Few such prominent names are-writer Bhalchandra Nemade, playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar, film director Arun Khopkar, playwright and theatre director Shafaat Khan, playwright Satish Alekar, poet and author Neeraja, playwright and researcher Makarand Sathe, author Manaswini Lata Ravindra among others.

Though they haven’t directly named the current ruling dispensation, they have urged people to consider the last five years before casting their vote. The letter states, “We have always respected the freedom that we as citizens of this country have enjoyed. We have strongly protested every time these democratic systems came under attack, not mindful of the party in power. The last five years have seen attacks on civil and democratic rights of the citizens. People are being labelled ‘Deshdrohi’ and threatened for voicing their dissent. It is no longer adequate to merely condemn the aggression. We have to act more stridently and the forthcoming election offers us that opportunity.” It has further appealed to the masses to recognise the people who are trying to divide our nation on the basis of religion and caste by using the language of nationalism and completely ignoring the civic issues.

Recently there was another appeal made by 900 artists to the voters to vote out divisive politics from power. This included prominent names like Naseeruddin Shah, Anurag Kashyap, Ratna Pathak Shah, Girish Karnad among others.

The NDA-II has had a bitter sweet relationship with the creative industry. While politically motivated appointments to posts like chairman, CBFC and Director, FTII have predictably drawn the ire of film and creative professionals, there have been attempts to eulogise the current dispensation through films like ‘PM Narendra Modi’ too.

It is significant therefore that eminent artists have consented to lend their name to this brave petition.



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