• “Our individual and collective voices are gathering cumulative strength…”

    sahmat                                           Sanu V.R., Courtesy Sahmat, http://www.sahmat.org/Sanu%20V.R.jpg

    The artist community of India stands in firm solidarity with the actions of our writers who have relinquished awards and positions, and spoken up in protest against the alarming rise of intolerance in the country. We condemn and mourn the murders of MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dhabolkar and Govind Pansare, rationalists and free thinkers whose voices have been silenced by rightwing dogmatists but whose ‘presence’ must ignite our resistance to the conditions of hate being generated around us.

    We will never forget the battle we fought for our pre-eminent artist MF Husain who was hounded out of the country and died in exile. We remember the rightwing invasion and dismantling of freedoms in one of the country’s best known art schools in Baroda. We witness the present government’s appointment of grossly unqualified persons to the FTII Society and its disregard of the ongoing strike by the students of this leading institute. We see a writer like Perumal Murugan being intimidated into declaring his death as a writer, a matter of dire shame in any society.
    While the Prime Minister of the country has been conspicuously reticent in his response to the recent events, the reactions of BJP ministers in his government reveal their ignorance and prejudice. Mahesh Sharma, minister of state for culture, has made abhorrent comments about mob lynching and murder. His remarks suggesting that writers should stop writing to prove their point are alarming – empowered as he is to take policy decisions in the domain of culture. Arun Jaitely, minister of finance, information and broadcasting, has mocked the actions of our respected writers as a manufactured “paper rebellion”. He asks for scrutiny of political and ideological affiliations of those who are protesting.

    To these and other such provocations there is a clear answer: while the actual affiliations of the protesting writers and artists, scholars and journalists may be many and varied, their individual and collective voices are gaining cumulative strength. It is this that the ruling party will have to reckon with: the protestors’ declared disaffiliation from the government that encourages marauding outfits to enforce a series of regressive commands in this culturally diverse country.

    The scale of social violence and fatal assaults on ordinary citizens (as in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh; Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir; Faridabad, Harayana) is escalating. The contemptuous comments about religious minorities and Dalits made by those within the government confirm that there is little difference between the RSS-BJP mainstream and supposed “fringe” elements. The perfunctory warnings and regrets issued by ruling party ideologues – to defend he agendas of “development” and “governance” advanced by Narendra Modi – are merely expedient. The Sangh Parivar and its Hindutva forces operating through their goon brigades form the support base of this government; they are all complicit in the attempts to impose conformity of thought, belief and practice.
    The ideology of the ruling party has revealed its contempt for creative and intellectual work; bigotry and censorship will only grow. As in the past, we must challenge the divisive forces through varied forms of appeal and protest, articulation and refusal. Our demand can be nothing less than that the entire range of constitutional rights and freedoms of the citizens of this country – freedom of expression and speech, right to dissent and exert difference in life choices including culture and religion – be ensured.

    A government that does not tolerate difference, that does not safeguard the lives and interests of its marginalised and vulnerable citizens, loses its legitimacy in a democratic polity. We are facing this situation now, already.

    Aastha Chauhan, artist, Delhi
    Aban Raza, artist, Delhi
    Abdul Mabood, Delhi
    Abhilasha Kumari, media professor, Delhi
    Abhimanue V.G., artist, Delhi
    Abhishek Hazra, artist, Bangalore
    Ahmar Raza, scientist, Delhi
    Aishwaryan K, artist, Bengaluru.
    Ajay Desai, artist, Delhi
    Aji V.N., artist, Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Akansha Rastogi, WALA collective, Delhi
    Akshaya Tankha, art historian, University of Toronto, Canada
    Alnoor Mitha, artist, curator, Manchester, UK
    Amar Kanwar, artist and filmmaker, Delhi
    Amrita Gupta Singh, art historian, Mumbai
    Anamika Haksar, theatre director, Mumbai
    Ananya Vajpeyi, CSDS, Delhi
    Anindita Bhattacharya, artist, Delhi
    Anish Ahluwalia, artist and filmmaker
    Anish Kapoor, artist, London
    Anita Dube, artist, Delhi
    Anjolie Ela Menon, artist, Delhi
    Anju Dodiya, artist, Mumbai
    Anjum Singh, artist, Delhi
    Anshuman Dasgupta, art historian, Santiniketan
    Anupam Saikia, Dept. of Fine Arts, University of Hyderabad
    Anupam Singh, artist, Mumbai
    Anuradha Kapur, theatre director, Delhi
    Aradhana Seth, production designer, artist, Goa
    Archana Hande, artist, Mumbai
    Arghya Priya Majumdar, artist, Santiniketan
    Arpana Caur, artist, Delhi
    Arpita Singh, artist, Delhi
    Arshad Hakim, artist, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
    Arshad Hakim, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
    Arshiya Lokhandwala, curator, gallerist, Mumbai
    Arun Kumar H.G., artist, Delhi
    Arunima Choudhury, Kolkata
    Ashim Purkasthaya, artist, Delhi
    Ashis Kumar Das, artist, Mumbai
    Ashrafi S. Bhagat, art historian, Chennai
    Atreyee Gupta, art historian, Berlin
    Atul Bhalla, artist, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
    Atul Dodiya, artist, Mumbai
    Aurora Graldi, PhD Candidate in South Asian Art History, Vienna University
    Avani Batra, Delhi
    Avinash Veeraraghavan, artist, Bangalore
    Ayisha Abraham, artist, Bangalore
    Babitha Lingraj, artist, Bangalore
    Babu Eshwar Prasad, artist and filmmaker, Bangalore
    Balan Nambiar, artist, Bangalore
    Balbir Krishan, artist, Delhi
    Belinder Dhanoa, art critic, Delhi
    Bhagath Singh E.K,artist,Kerala
    Bharathesh G.D., artist, Bangalore
    Bharati Kapadia, artist, Mumbai
    Bharti Kher, artist Delhi
    Bhavani G.S., artist, Bangalore
    Bhavani Shiva, artist, Bangalore
    Biju Jose, artist, Bangalore
    Bina Sarkar Elias, editor & publisher, International Galerie
    C.F. John, artist, Bangalore
    Catherine Asher, art historian, USA
    Chaitanya Sambrani, art historian, Canberra
    Champa Sharath, artist, Bangalore
    Chandrima Bhattacharyya, artist, Bangalore
    Chinar Shah, artist, Bangalore
    Chintan Upadhyay, artist, Delhi/Mumbai
    Chitra Ganesh, artist, New York, USA
    Christopher Pinney, art historian, London, UK
    Cop Shiva, photographer, Bangalore
    Deepa Mahajan, artist, Mumbai/Singapore
    Deepak Ananth, art historian, Paris
    Deepanjana Klein, art historian, New York, USA
    Deepika Sorabjee, curator, Mumbai
    Deeptha Achar, art critic, Baroda
    Dev Benegal, New York, USA
    Devika Daulet-Singh, gallerist, Delhi
    Dhruvi Acharya, artist, Mumbai
    Diana Gomes, artist, Baroda
    Dilip Mitra, artist, Santiniketan
    Dimple Shah, artist, Bangalore
    Dipti Khera, art historian, New York University, USA
    Faiza Hasan, artist, Hyderabad.
    G.S. Gopinath, artist, Bangalore
    Gargi Raina, artist Baroda
    Gauri Gill, photographer, Delhi
    Gayatri Sinha, art critic, Delhi
    Geeta Doctor, writer, Chennai
    Geeta Kapur, art critic, Delhi
    Geetha Mehra, gallerist, Mumbai
    Gieve Patel, artist, Mumbai
    Gigi Scaria, artist, Delhi
    Gopika Chowfla, graphic designer, Delhi
    Gopika Nath, artist-craftsperson and writer, Gurgaon
    Goutam Das, artist, Santiniketan
    Gulammohammed Sheikh, artist, Baroda
    Hans Kaushik, artist, Chennai
    Hema Upadhyay, artist, Mumbai
    Homita Harish Katira, artist, Columbia, SC, USA
    Homita, artist, Mumbai
    Indrapramit Roy, artist, Baroda
    Indu Chandrasekhar, publisher, Delhi
    Ivan Smith, artist, Belper, Derbyshire, UK
    Jahangir Asgar Jani, artist, Mumbai
    Jaideep Mehrotra, artist, Mumbai
    Jaideep Sen, artist, Bangalore
    Jaishri Abichandani, artist, New York, USA
    James Khamliansawma, artist, Aizawl, Mizoram
    Janice Glowski, art historian, Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Jasbeer Singh, artist, Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Jatin Das, artist, Delhi
    Jeetin Rangher, artist, Bangalore
    Jitish Kallat, artist, Mumbai
    Johny M.L., art critic, Delhi
    Justin Ponmany, artist, Mumbai
    Jyotindra Jain, art historian, Delhi
    K.G. Subramanyan, artist, Baroda
    K.P. Reji, artist, Baroda
    K.V. Raghavendra Rao, artist, Bangalore, Vancouver, Canada
    Karishma D’Souza, Panaji, Goa
    Karishma Shah, artist, Surat
    Kathryn Myers, Professor of Art, University of Connecticut, USA
    Kaushik Bhaumik, artist, Delhi
    Kausik Mukhopadhyay, artist, Mumbai
    Kim Kyoungae, artist, Baroda
    Kirtana Thangavelu, art historian, S.N. School, Hyderabad
    Kirti Jain, theatre director, Delhi
    Krishen Khanna, artist, Delhi
    Krishnaraj Chonat, artist, Bangalore
    Kuldeep Singh, artist
    Kumari Ranjeeta, artist , Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
    Kunal Kalra, artist, Hyderabad
    L.N. Tallur, artist, Kundapura
    L.N.V. Srinivas, artist, S.N. School, Hyderabad
    Lalitha Gopalan, video scholar, USA
    Lalitha Shankar, artist, Bangalore
    Latika Gupta, art historian, Delhi
    Leela Mayor, artist, Baroda
    Lokesh Khodke, artist, Delhi
    M.K. Raina, theatre director, Delhi
    Madhuban Mitra, artist, Kolkata
    Madhusree Dutta, filmmaker, Mumbai
    Madhusudhanan, artist, Kerala
    Mahesh G., artist, Mysore
    Mahjabin Imam Majumdar, artist, Santiniketan
    Mahula Ghosh, artist, Delhi
    Mala Marwah, artist, Delhi
    Malavika Rajnarayan, artist, Baroda
    Manas Bhattacharya, artist, Kolkata
    Manjari Chakravarti, artist, Santiniketan
    Manmohan, writer, Delhi
    Mansi Bhatt, artist, Mumbai
    Manuela Ciotti, visual anthropologist, Denmark
    Marie Dias Arora, artist, Delhi
    Mary-Louise Totton, art historian, USA
    Meera Devidayal, artist, Mumbai
    Meera Menezes, art critic, Delhi
    Megha Joshi, artist, Delhi
    Meher Pestonji, writer,Mumbai
    Mithu Sen, artist, Delhi
    Molly Emma Aitken, art historian, USA
    Mona Berman, Director, Mona Berman Fine Arts, New Haven, USA
    Moutushi Chakraborty, artist, Kolkata
    Myna Mukherjee, cultural curator, Delhi
    N. Ramachandran, artist, Chennai
    N.N. Rimzon, artist, Thiruvananthapuram
    N.S. Harsha, artist, Mysore
    Nalini Malani, artist, Mumbai
    Naman Ahuja, art historian, JNU, Delhi
    Nanaiah Chettira, artist, Bangalore
    Nanak Ganguly, art critic, Kolkata
    Nancy Adajania, art critic, Mumbai
    Nandesh Shanthi Prakash, artist, Bangalore
    Nataraj Sharma, artist, Baroda
    Natasha Ginwala, curator, Berlin/Ahmedabad
    Naveen Kumar, artist, Bangalore
    Navjot Altaf, artist, Mumbai
    Navroze Contractor, photographer, Bangalore
    Neelakshi Suryanarayan, University of Delhi, Delhi
    Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry, theatre director, Chandigarh
    Neha Choksi, Mumbai and Los Angeles, USA
    Nibha Sikander, artist, Baroda
    Nihaal Fazal, artist, Bangalore
    Nikhileswar Baruah, artist, Baroda
    Nilanjana S. Roy, writer, Delhi
    Nilima Shiekh, artist, Baroda
    Nirmala Beluka, artist, EFL, Hyderabad
    Niyatee Shinde, art and photography writer, curator, photo-historian, Mumbai
    Noopur Desai, art writer and researcher, Pune
    Oindrilla Maity Surai, curator, Kolkata
    Oli Ghosh, artist, Mumbai.
    Padma Kaimal, art historian, Colgate University, USA
    Parag Tandel, artist, Mumbai
    Paramjit Singh, artist, Delhi
    Parthiv Shah, photographer and designer, Delhi
    Parul Dave Mukherji, art historian, JNU, Delhi
    Parvati Nayar, artist, Chennai
    Paula Sengupta, artist, Kolkata
    Pavan K.J., artist, Mysore
    Payal Arya, artist, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
    Philippe Calia, artist, Mumbai
    Pierre Strauch, Paier College of Art, USA
    Prabhavati Meppayil, artist, Bangalore
    Prajakta Palav Aher, artist, Mumbai.
    Prajakta Potnis, artist, Mumbai
    Pratul Dash, artist, Ghaziabad
    Pratul Dash, artist, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad
    Premalatha Seshadri, artist, Chennai
    Prithpal S Ladi, artist, Shillong
    Priti Paul, gallerist, Delhi
    Priya Ravish Mehra, artist, Delhi
    Priya Sundaravalli, artist, Auroville
    Purushottam Agrawal, writer, Delhi
    Pushpamala N., artist, Bangalore
    Rabindra Patra, artist, Delhi
    Radha Gomaty, Kochi, Kerala
    Ragini Bhow, artist, Bangalore
    Rahul Bhushan, graphic artist, Hyderabad
    Rahul Dev, art critic, Delhi
    Rahul J. Gajjar, artist, Baroda
    Rajan Barrett
    Rakhi Peswani, artist, Bangalore
    Ram Rahman, photographer, Delhi
    Raman Sivakumar, art historian, Santiniketan
    Ramesh Chandra, artist, Bangalore
    Ranbir Kaleka, artist, Delhi
    Ranjit Hoskote, art critic, Mumbai
    Ranjit Kandalgaonkar, artist, Mumbai
    Ranjith Raman, artist, Delhi
    Rashmee Pal Chouteau, artist, Kolkata
    Rashmi Kaleka, artist, Delhi
    Rashmimala Devi, artist, Baroda
    Rasna Bhushan, art critic, Hyderabad
    Rasna Bhushan, art critic, Hyderabad
    Ravikumar Kashi, artist, Bangalore
    Reena Saini Kallat, artist, Mumbai
    Rekha Rodwittiya, artist, Baroda
    Renu Modi, Gallery Espace, Delhi
    Risha Lee, Rubin Museum of Art, New York USA
    Riyas Komu, artist, Mumbai
    Rohini Devasher, artist, Delhi
    Rosalyn Dmello, art critic, Delhi
    Rupa Rani, artist, Delhi
    Rupali Patil, artist, Mumbai
    Rustom Bharucha, writer, Delhi
    Saba Hasan, artist, Delhi
    Sabina Jaitly, artist
    Sabitha T.P., art historian, UK
    Sachin Karne, artist, Baroda
    Sadanand Menon, photographer, critic, Chennai
    Sagar S. Naik Mule, artist, Hyderabad
    Sahej Rahal, artist, Mumbai
    Sajitha Madathil, actress, Kochi, Kerala
    Salik Ahmad, Delhi
    Saloni Mathur, art historian, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
    Samit Das, artist, art historian, Delhi
    Sanchayan Ghosh, artist, Santiniketan
    Sandeep Biswas, photographer, Delhi
    Sandeep Singhal, art collector, Mumbai
    Sanjeev Khandekar, artist, Mumbai
    Santhoshkumar Sakhinala, art historian, Hyderabad
    Saravanan Parasuraman, artist, Chennai
    Sarita Chouhan, Mumbai
    Sasha Altaf, art critic, Mumbai/Miami USA
    Savithri Rajeevan, poet, painter, Baroda
    Shaibani Azam, animator, Delhi
    Shakuntala Kulkarni, artist, Mumbai
    Shamala Nandesha, artist, Bangalore
    Shanthamani Muddiah, artist, Bangalore
    Shanthi Swaroopini, artist,Hyderabad
    Sharan Apparao, gallerist Chennai
    Sharmila Samant, artist, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
    Sheba Chhachhi, artist, Delhi
    Sheela Gowda, artist, Bangalore
    Shefalee Jain, artist, Ambedkar University Delhi
    Sheila Makhijani, artist, Delhi
    Sherna Dastur, designer, Delhi
    Shilpa Gupta, artist, Mumbai
    Shireen Gandhy, gallerist, Mumbai
    Shivaji.K. Panikkar, art historian, Delhi.
    Shreshta Rit Premnath, artist, New York, USA
    Shubha, writer, Delhi
    Shubhalakshmi Shukla, art writer, Mumbai
    Shuddhabrata Sengupta, artist, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi
    Shukla Sawant, artist, JNU, Delhi
    Sita Reddy, curator/writer, Hyderabad
    Smitha Cariappa, artist, Bangalore
    Sonal Khullar, art historian, Seattle, USA
    Sonam Chaturvedi, art student, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
    Sonia Jabbar, photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer, Delhi
    Sonia Khurana, artist, Delhi
    Sosa Joseph
    Soumik Nandy Majumdar, art historian, Santiniketan
    Srajana Kaikini, curator, research scholar, Bangalore
    Sreshta Rit Premnath, Assistant Professor, Parsons Fine Arts, New York
    Subba Ghosh, artist, Delhi
    Subodh Gupta, artist, Delhi
    Subodh Singh Triparti, art history, sculpture, JNAFAU, Hyderabad
    Sudarshan Shetty, artist, Mumbai
    Sudhir Patwardhan, artist, Mumbai
    Sudipta Sen, artist, Kolkata
    Sugata Ray, art historian, University of California, Berkeley, USA
    Suguresh Sultanpur, artist, Baroda
    Suhas Nimbalkar, artist, Pune
    Suman Gopinath, curator, Bangalore
    Sumathi Ramaswamy, historian, visual culture, Duke Univ., USA
    Sumedh Rajendran, artist, Delhi
    Sumesh Sharma, curator, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai
    Suneel Sinha,theatre, film & TV worker, Mumbai
    Sunil Kothari, Delhi
    Surekha, artist, Bangalore
    Surendran Nair, artist, Baroda
    Suresh B.V., artist, Baroda
    Suresh Jayaram, art historian, Bangalore
    Susan S. Bean, independent curator, USA
    Swati Khurana, artist ,New York
    Tallur L.N., artist, Kundapura
    Tanmoy Samanta, artist, Delhi
    Tanuja Rane, artist, Mumbai
    Tara Sabharwal, artist, Delhi
    Tunty Chauhan,Threshold Art Gallery , Delhi
    Tushar Joag, artist, Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
    Udeya Vir Singh, artist, Bangalore
    Uma Shankar Pathak, artist, Delhi
    Umar Aman, Delhi
    Urvi Khanna, Delhi
    Ushmita Sahu, artist, curator, Santiniketan
    Vaishali Narkar, artist, Mumbai
    Valay Gada, artist/designer, Delhi
    Varsha Nair, artist, Baroda
    Varunika Saraf, artist, Hyderabad
    Vasudha Thozhur, artist, Delhi
    Vasvi Oza: artist, Gujarat
    Veena Bhargava, artist, Kolkata
    Veer Munshi, artist, Delhi
    Velu Viswanadhan, artist, Paris/ Chennai
    Vibha Galhotra, artist, Delhi
    Vidya Rao, Music, Delhi
    Vidya Shivadas, curator, Delhi
    Vijay Sekhon, artist, Mumbai
    Vinod Bhardwaj, art critic, Delhi
    Vishaka Chanchani, art educator, Bangalore
    Viswanadhan, artist, Paris
    Viswanath B.R., artist/cinematographer, Bangalore
    Vivan Sundaram, artist, Delhi
    Yamini Nayar, artist
    Yardena Kurulkar, artist, Mumbai
    Yashodhara Dalmia, art critic, Delhi
    Yashwant Deshmukh, artist, Mumbai
    Yunus Khimani, artist, Jaipur

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