Don’t vote for BJP, Over 100 Filmmakers urge people

“Let your mandate be to choose a government that respects the Constitution of India, protects our freedom of speech and expression”, the artists wrote.

More than 100 members of the filmmaking industry have released a statement urging people not to vote for the BJP.

Most of the signatories are independent filmmakers, who released the statement under the umbrella of “Save Democracy”. The signatories include well-known names like Anand Patwardhan, Q, Sanalkumar Sasidharan, Pushpendra Singh, Sudevan, Q, Vetri Maaran, Deepa Dhanraj, Gurvinder Singh, Kabir Singh Chowdhry, Praveen Morchhale, Anjali Monteiro, Devashish Makhija and festival director and editor, Bina Paul.

The statement was released on artistsuniteindia.com, where they say the country is going through the “most testing times ever”.

“Fascism threatens to strike us hard with all its might if we don’t choose wisely in the coming Lok Sabha election,” the statement begins. They say since the BJP came to power in 2014, things have changed “for the worse”.

“A country polarised along religious lines isn’t the India we have known. Besides, the BJP and its allies have failed miserably in keeping their election promises. They are now using mob lynching and cow vigilantism to split the country communally,” the filmmakers say.

They highlighted the marginalisation of Dalits and Muslims and said the BJP is spreading “hate campaigns” with the help of the internet and social media. “Patriotism is their trump card. Any individual or institution that raises the slightest dissent is labelled ‘anti-national’. ‘Patriotism’ is how they grow their vote bank. Let us not forget that some of our eminent writers and media persons lost their lives because they dared to dissent,” the statement reads.

The ‘romanticisation’ of the armed forces and ‘neglect’ of farmers was also flagged by the artists. They also accused the manipulating statistical data and history.

It concludes:

We urge all of you to do everything in your capacity to keep this harmful regime from coming back to power. Let your mandate be to choose a government that respects the Constitution of India, protects our freedom of speech and expression, and refrains from all kinds of censorship.

The full statement has been reproduced below.
Our country is going through the most testing times ever. Though culturally vivid and geographically diverse, we have always stayed united. As a nation. It has indeed been a great feeling to be a citizen of this wonderful country.

But all that is at stake now.
Fascism threatens to strike us hard with all its might if we don’t choose wisely in the coming Lok Sabha election. Period.

As we all know, ever since the BJP came to power in 2014, things have changed. And only for the worse. A country polarised along religious lines isn’t the India we have known. Besides, the BJP and its allies have failed miserably in keeping their election promises. They are now using mob lynching and cow vigilantism to split the country communally. Marginalizing Dalits and Muslims is the name of the game. They are spreading their hate campaigns with the help of the internet and social media. Patriotism is their trump card. Any individual or institution that raises the slightest dissent is labelled ‘anti-national’. ‘Patriotism’ is how they grow their vote bank. Let us not forget that some of our eminent writers and media persons lost their lives because they dared to dissent.

Romanticizing and exploiting the armed forces is one of their strategies. Even at the risk of engaging the nation in an unnecessary war. There is unrelenting onslaught on the cultural and scientific institutions in the country. They mock the collective intelligence of the people by appointing persons with no relevance or experience as heads of these institutions, propagating unscientific and irrational beliefs even at international science seminars, making us the laughing stock of the entire world. Banning and censoring ‘works of art’, especially the most powerful of the lot – Cinema and Books – is their way of keeping the population away from the truth.

Farmers have been completely forgotten. In fact, the BJP has made the country the boardroom property of a handful of businessmen. Flawed economic policies that ended up as extreme disasters are covered up and made to look like successes. All with the help of false propaganda and marketing blitz. This has helped them to create a false optimism in the country.

Manipulation of statistics and history is another one of their fond projects. Giving them one more term in power will be a grave blunder. It could well be the last nail in the coffin for the biggest democracy in the world.

We urge all of you to do everything in your capacity to keep this harmful regime from coming back to power. Let your mandate be to choose a government that respects the Constitution of India, protects our freedom of speech and expression, and refrains from all kinds of censorship.

Yes, This is our last chance!

Signed by:
Aashiq Abu
Abhijnan Sarkar
Abhro Banerjee
Ajayan Bala
Ambika Rao
Amitabha Chatterjee
Amshan Kumar
Amudhan R
Anand Patwardhan
Aneez K Mappila
Anirudda Sharma
Anjali Monteiro
Anupama Bose
Arun Karthick
Arun M
Arun N Sivan
Asha Unnithan
Babu Easwar Prasad
Baburaj V G
Baburaj Pandavath
Bina Paul
C S Venkateswaran
Dar Ghai
Devashish Makhija
Debjani Banerjee
Debalina
Deepa Dhanraj
Deepesh T
Dileep Daz
Divya Bharathi
Gobi Nayanar
Goutham Soorya
Gurvinder Singh
Indrasis Acharya
Indraneel Lahiri
Jayan Cheriyan
Jeeva K J
Jeeva Ponnuchamy
Jiju Antony
Jisha
Jhelum Roy
Jubith Namradath
Kabir Singh Chowdhry
K B Venu
K P Jayashankar
Kombai S Anwar
Kamal K M
Leela Santhosh
Leena Manimekalai
Madhupal
Maheen Mirza
Malini Jeevarathnam
Manisha Korde
Manoj Kana
M G Sasi
Miransha Naik
Maulik Raj
Muhsin Parari
Nishtha Jain
P F Mathews
Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy
Pradeep Nair
Pradeep Dipu
Prakash Bare
Pramod Payyannur
Prasanna S Kumar
Pratap Jospeh
Prateek Vats
Praveen Morchhale
Prem Chand
Priyanandanan
Pushpendra Singh
Rafeeq Ellias
Ranjith Sankaran
Rinchin
Ritesh Sil
Sajeevan Anthikkad
Saji Palamel
Sajin Baabu
Sanalkumar Sasidharan
Sandhya Goghale
Sanjay Wadhwa
Sanju Surendran
Santosh Babusenan
Sapna Bhavnani
Sarvnik Kaur
Satish Babusenan
Shaji Mathew
Sherief Easa
Sherry Govindan
Sreebala K Menon
Subhash KR
Sudevan
Sukhpreet Kahlon
Suman Mukhopadhyay
Sunny Joseph
Suresh Achoos
Unni Vijayan
Vetri Maaran
Venu ISC
Viju Varma
Vinu Kolichal