Did Mani Ratnam Sign Letter Written to Modi Over Mob Lynching? Yes
Mani Ratnam’s team confirmed to The Quint that the filmmaker did sign the letter.
As many as 49 celebrities from different fields signed a letter on 23 July that was addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Several Twitter users including Shefali Vaidya and Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri later took to twitter to claim that filmmaker Mani Ratnam did not sign the letter and that his signature was forged.
Signed by the likes of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Anurag Kashyap, Aparna Sen, the letter expressed concern at the number of “religious identity-based hate crimes” and mob lynching incidents in the country.
BUT WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
Mani Ratnam’s team confirmed to The Quint that the filmmaker did sign the letter. On being questioned about the spread of false claims made on social media, the source said that the team had no idea about the same.
MEDIA OUTLETS GOT IT WRONG
Several users have attributed the claim to a News18 Hindi article which is titled as ‘मॉब लिंचिंग पर पीएम मोदी को खत, मणिरत्नम का खुलासा- मेरे साइन 'फर्जी'’ The article mentions that Mani Ratnam’s team had denied that he signed any such letter, quoting the conversation the team had with news channel Aaj Tak.
Right-wing website Swarajya published an article with the headline ‘Fake Signature In Letter To PM Modi? Filmmaker Mani Ratnam Denies Signing Any Letter On ‘Mob Lynchings.’’ This article, too, attributed the source as News18.
WHAT WAS THE LETTER ABOUT?
The 23 July letter also stressed that there is “no democracy without dissent.”
The letter lists statistics about the rise in lynchings and hate crimes against minorities including Dalits, Muslims and Christians particularly since PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assumed power in May 2014. It urges the PM to crack down on these cases and implement harsher laws against the crimes.
Other signatories from the film and entertainment industries include filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Ketan Mehta, actor Konkona Sen and musician Shubha Mudgal.
In a statement to the press, Sen said that those who have signed the letter are “deeply concerned about the fate of our country.” She expressed her distress at mob lynchings and instances when people have been forced to say “Jai Shri Ram”. Speaking about the letter she said, “No one has the right to brand any of us, any of the signatories as anti-national. We are simply doing this because we love our country. We are raising our voices against the secular fabric of our country being ruined.”
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