Over a hundred members of the filmmaking community from across India — most of them independent filmmakers — have come together under the umbrella of “Save Democracy” to issue an appeal to the people of India not to vote for the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha election.
They include well-known names like Vetri Maaran, Anand Patwardhan, Sanalkumar Sasidharan, Sudevan, Q, Deepa Dhanraj, Gurvinder Singh, Pushpendra Singh, Kabir Singh Chowdhry, Anjali Monteiro, Praveen Morchhale, Devashish Makhija and festival director and editor, Bina Paul.
The statement was put up early on Friday on the website www.artistuniteindia.com
The reasons offered for their active stand against the BJP include the “unleashing of polarisation and hate politics; marginalisation of Dalits, Muslims and farmers; steady erosion of the cultural and scientific institutions; and increasing censorship,” among others.
“Though culturally vivid and geographically diverse, we have always stayed united... It has indeed been a great feeling to be a citizen of this wonderful country,” says the statement.
It goes on to say that all that is at stake now and that fascism threatens to strike us hard if we don’t choose wisely in the coming Lok Sabha election. The filmmakers allege that ever since the BJP came to power in 2014, the country has been polarised along religious lines.
‘New trump card’
According to them, the BJP and its allies have also failed miserably in keeping their election promises. “They are now using mob lynching and cow vigilantism to split the country communally.”
The signatories call patriotism BJP’s trump card. “Any individual or institution that raises the slightest dissent is labelled ‘anti-national.’ ‘Patriotism’ is how they grow their vote bank,” says the statement. It goes on to point to romanticising and exploiting the armed forces as another one of its strategies, even risking the nation engaging in war.