‘Song, Dance, Laughter is Under Threat’: Over 600 Theatre Artists Including Konkona Sen Sharma, Naseeruddin Shah Urge People to Vote Out BJP & Its Allies
"Vote to empower the weakest, protect liberty, protect the environment, and foster scientific thinking.”
Following on the footsteps of filmmakers, writers, scientists, now over 600 theatre artists have come out against the Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, asking people ‘to vote bigotry, hatred, and apathy out of power.’
The joint statement was co-signed by 616 theatre artists hailing from across India including Amol Palekar, Navtej Johar, Mahesh Dattani, Naseeruddin Shah, Anamika Haksar, Anurag Kashyap, Ratna Pathak Shah, Dolly Thakore, Lillete Dubey and Konkona Sen Sharma.
The statement read, “… idea of India is under threat. Today, song, dance, laughter is under threat. Today, our beloved Constitution is under threat. The institutions that have to nurture argument, debate and dissent have been suffocated. To question, to call out lies, to speak the truth, is branded ‘anti-national’…”
It added, “The ways in which this hatred has seeped into our daily fabric are alarming and it has to STOP.”
Without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the statement condemned the government’s policies and the free rein given to Hindutva goons. “The BJP, which came to power five years ago with the promise of development, has given free rein to Hindutva goons to indulge in the politics of hate and violence. The man who was portrayed as the savior… has destroyed the livelihoods of millions… rogues have looted the country and run away. The wealth of the rich has grown astronomically, while the poor have become even poorer.”
The statement ended with an appeal to the Indian electorate to ‘vote wisely’, to ‘defeat the forces of darkness and barbarism’.
“Our appeal – vote bigotry, hatred, and apathy out of power. Vote against the BJP and its allies. Vote to empower the weakest, protect liberty, protect the environment, and foster scientific thinking. Vote for secular democratic, inclusive India. Vote for the freedom to dream. Vote wisely,” the statement read.