Artistes unite to speak ‘for democracy and against hate’

Artistes from across India have come together under the banner of ‘Artists Unite!’ and signed a declaration with the intention of reinforcing public traditions that speak “for democracy and against hate”.

The platform has also announced a two-day national convention in Delhi next year, to be held simultaneously with similar events nationwide. The convention will be held on February 16 and 17.

Around 450 signatories from more than 20 locations have so far signed the declaration cautioning that the ongoing assault on culture is an attack on democracy.

They have asserted that “democracy is not a majoritarian project to identify enemies and enforce uniformity of language, behaviour and culture. Democracy is the celebration of a collective will for peace, of living together with dignity and equality”.

The declaration states: “In India’s recent history, the politics of hate, division and exclusion has never been so dominant as we find it today, with a poisonous ideology which informs it deeply entrenched into the state and in governance. Never before has hate been directed with such calculated intent against Muslims, Christians, Adivasis, Dalits, women, trans people, people in conflict areas and even children.”

“The right to life, the right to love, food choices, cultural expression, language and histories are all under assault by this politics, which is at war with the people of India and their diverse cultures. Cultural and social life in India is being torn asunder by a toxic cocktail of propaganda, violence, censorship and distorted histories,” it adds.

Touching upon the issues of unequal distribution of wealth, agrarian crisis and workers plight, the artistes, in the declaration, made an appeal to the democratic, secular political parties to think anew of a politics rooted in economic and social justice; ecological and environmental sustainability; plurality and diversity; decentralisation and devolution of power; ethics, love, compassion, tolerance and the rule of law.

The idea behind the convention of artistes “is to weigh in with a collective voice, and with a creative energy that asserts arts and literature as a means of resistance to the hate politics that is sweeping the country and to mitigate the challenges to democracy”.

The signatories include well-known names like Atul Dodiya, Nalini Malani, Ranbir Kaleka, Geeta Kapur, Navtej Johar, Anand Patwardhan, Kiran Rao, Nandita Das, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Anjum Rajabali, Naseeruddin Shah, Dayanita Singh, Sudharak Olwe, Adil Jussawalla, Ashok Vajpeyi, K. Satchidanandan, Dadi Pudumjee, Arundhati Roy, G.N. Devy, Jerry Pinto and Vishnu Nagar.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 4:49:31 AM |

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