More Of Us Will Speak: Over 1,300 Celebs Endorse Open Letter to PM

An FIR was filed in Muzaffarpur in Bihar on 3 October against nearly 50 celebrities who had written to PM Modi.

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The number of celebrities and noted personalities endorsing the open letter to Prime Minister Modi against mob lynchings is only rising, with the tally now crossing over 1,389 according to a latest statement by K Satchidanandan and Githa Hariharan.

After an FIR was filed on 3 October, against nearly 50 eminent personalities, including Ramachandra Guha, Mani Ratnam, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Aparna Sen, who had previously written to the PM in condemnation of the increasing incidents of mob lynchings and communal violence in the country, 185 more celebrities had endorsed the letter on Monday and the tally is now over 1300.

The latest signatories include personalities like writers Arundhati Roy, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Asghar Wajahat, Pankaj Bisht; artists Atul Dodiya, Pushpamala N, Anita Dube, Sudarshan Shetty; academics DN Jha, Utsa Patnaik, KM Shrimali; journalists Harish Khare, Parvathi Menon and TK Rajalakshmi, and others from the cultural community such as Sanjana Kapoor and Jawhar Sircar.


On Monday, the personalities including actor Naseeruddin Shah, dancer Mallika Sarabhai, author Nayantara Sahgal, historian Romila Thapar, singer TM Krishna, and artist Vivan Sundaram, had joined the list in support of the open letter.

The case was filed after a chief judicial magistrate passed an order on a petition filed against the celebrities before court, which also includes charges of sedition.

The petition claimed that the celebrities had allegedly tarnished the image of the country and undermined the prime minister’s impressive performance, apart from allegedly supporting secessionist tendencies.


Support for Celebrities Gains Political Momentum

More political parties and film bodies, on Sunday, demanded the withdrawal of the controversial sedition case filed against the celebrities.

The CPI(M) and the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy joined the DMK, the Congress and others in condemning the filing of the case.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said this reflects the “growing authoritarianism” in the country.

“This is tantamount to punishing all those who have a dissenting opinion on the policies of the present government. This is a complete negation of democratic rights and reflects the growing authoritarianism in the country,” the Left party said.

The Kerala State Chalachitra Academy called it a “blatant violation” of the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Constitution.

Asked about the case, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said the government has nothing to do with it. “An individual went to the court which has passed an order,” he said.

But Gopalakrishnan, one of the writers of the letter, has said the registration of a sedition case is a “matter of great concern”.

(With inputs from PTI)

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