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More than 800 theatre artistes make an appeal to vote out divisive politics

April 9 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 4/9/2019 12:24:59 PM IST

More than 800 theatre artistes from across the country have issued a joint statement urging the citizens to “vote out” the divisive politics from power.

According to a statement released on Artist Unite India, the theatre artistes said that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are the “most critical” in the history of independent India.

“Today, that very 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’. The seeds of hatred have entered our food, prayers and festivals. The ways in which this hatred has seeped into our daily fabric are alarming and it has to STOP,” said the statement, which was released in 11 other languages. In the statement, the artistes slammed the BJP-led NDA government for throttling dissent and promoting an environment of hate and violence. “A democracy must empower its weakest, its most marginalised. A democracy cannot function without questioning, debate, and vibrant opposition. All this is being concertedly eroded by the current government. 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 statement, which has so far been endorsed by 835 artistes, read. The statement also made an appeal to the Indian voters asking them to vote out bigotry, hatred and apathy and, instead, vote for “love and compassion, for equality and social justice, and to defeat the forces of darkness and barbarism”.

The theatre artists were also joined by over 100 visual artists who issued a similar statement. In the statement, released on the same platform, the artists appealed to the people to “usher in a new and inclusive government that respects democracy and secular values” in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier, a group of over 200 prominent writers, including Amitav Ghosh and Nayantara Sahgal, have appealed to the people to vote out “hate politics” and choose a “diverse and equal India.            (AGENCIES)

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