49 distinguished personalities from the world of cinema, theatre and academia along with activists have written an open letter to Priminster Modi expressing concern over the tragic events like lynchings happening in recent times in the country.
They demanded that the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities be immediately stopped.
Expressing their concern they say- “We were shocked to learn from the NCRB that there have been no less than 840 instances of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2016, and a definite decline in the percentage of convictions,” “You have criticized such lynchings in Parliament Mr. Prime Minister, but that is not enough! What action has actually been taken against the perpetrators?”
“Regrettably ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a provocative ‘war-cry’ today that leads to law and order problems, and many lynchings take place in its name. It is shocking that so much violence should be perpetrated in the name of religion! These are not the Middle Ages! The name of Ram is sacred to many in the majority community of India. As the highest Executive of this country, you must put a stop to the name of Ram being defiled in this manner,” the letter said.
The letter also highlighted the significance of dissent in a democracy.
There is no democracy without dissent. People should not be branded anti-national or urban Naxal and incarcerated because of dissent against the government.”
“We hope our suggestions will be taken in the spirit that they are meant – as Indians genuinely concerned with, and anxious about, the fate of our nation,” it said.
The signatories to the letter include Bengali actor-director Aparna Sen, Konkana Sen Sharma, southern filmmaker-actor Revathy, Mani Rathnam, social activist Binayak Sen and sociologist Ashis Nandy among others.