Vote to Defend Our Constitution: Appeal by Bollywood Actors and Writers

In the run-up to the general elections and with the growing threats on the freedom of speech and expression, artistes from film industry, theatre and the world of literature have been vociferously appealing to voters to exercise their democratic right with due deliberation. The latest to join in the appeal to save India from hate politics are 71 Bollywood actors, writers and musicians which include prominent names like actress Shabana Azmi, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, actress Swara Bhaskar, musician Shubha Mudgal, filmmaker Anusha Khan among others.

Constitution of India

In the appeal, the signatories have urged the voters to vote to defend the idea of India and save our Constitution.

The letter reads, “We appeal to all the people of India, our dear brothers and sisters, to use your power as citizens and as caring human beings to defend our Constitution, and nurture the very idea of India. Please, pause and think, before you vote.”

Though they haven’t directly targeted the current ruling dispensation, which is infamous for its divisive politics and politics of polarisation, they have expressed their concerns about the anti-democratic forces posing a threat on our founding principles of diversity, equality and the separation of religion from politics, in the current times.

Recently there was another appeal made by 600 artists in 12 languages from across the country to the voters to vote ‘bigotry, hatred and apathy out of power’. This included prominent names like Naseeruddin Shah, AnuragKashyap, RatnaPathak Shah, GirishKarnad, AmolPalekar, ShantaGokhale among others. Also, 107 artists from the Marathi creative industry appealed the public to consider the last five years before casting their votes. The signatories were national-award winning authors and literary writers such as writer BhalchandraNemade, playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar, film director ArunKhopkar among others.
The right-wing supremacist Hindutva party BJP has had a flickering relationship with the creative industry. While politically motivated and controversial appointments of chairman, CBFC and Director, FTII antagonised the creative professionals, films like ‘PM NarendraModi’ held the PM in high regards.

The current government’s nasty strategy of labelling the dissenters as ‘anti-nationals’ or ‘Pro-Pakistan’ is not hidden anymore. Despite the threats of drawing the ire of ‘nationalists’, such valiant efforts by eminent personalities gives a ray of hope to save our democratic structure.
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