‘Vote Against Hate Politics’: Over 200 Writers Appeal to Citizens
Over 200 writers from across the country on Monday, 1 April, appealed to the citizens to vote “against hate politics,” and for an equal and diverse India.
The appeal, published on the Indian Cultural Forum, has been signed by Girish Karnad, Nayantara Sahgal, Mukul Kesavan, Mrinal Pande, TM Krishna and Arundhati Roy, among others.
“In the last few years, we have seen citizens being lynched or assaulted or discriminated against because of their community, caste, gender, or the region they come from. Hate politics has been used to divide the country; create fear; and exclude more and more people from living as full-fledged citizens,” the appeal states.
‘Want to Safeguard Our Diversity’
Signed by 210 writers, the appeal has been made in 10 languages – Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Bangla, Punjabi, Telugu and Marathi.
They have also demanded stern action against violence against women, Dalits, Adivasis and minority communities.
"Most of all, we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish," they have said.
Read the full text of a statement issued by over 200 writers as an appeal to citizens to vote against hate politics below:
The upcoming election finds our country at the crossroads. Our Constitution guarantees all its citizens equal rights, the freedom to eat, pray and live as they choose, freedom of expression and the right to dissent. But in the last few years, we have seen citizens being lynched or assaulted or discriminated against because of their community, caste, gender, or the region they come from. Hate politics has been used to divide the country; create fear; and exclude more and more people from living as full-fledged citizens. Writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians and other cultural practitioners have been hounded, intimidated, and censored. Anyone who questions the powers-that-be is in danger of being harassed or arrested on false and ridiculous charges.
All of us want this to change. We don’t want rationalists, writers and activists to be hounded or assassinated. We want stern measures against violence in word or deed against women, dalits, adivasis and minority communities. We want resources and measures for jobs, education, research, healthcare and equal opportunities for all. Most of all, we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish.
How do we do this? How do we bring about the change we need so urgently? There are many things we need to do and can do. But there is a critical first step.
The first step, the one we can take soon, is to vote out hate politics. Vote out the division of our people; vote out inequality; vote against violence, intimidation and censorship. This is the only way we can vote for an India that renews the promises made by our Constitution. This is why we appeal to all citizens to vote for a diverse and equal India.