• Open Letter from Writers

    November 1, 2015

    Through this open letter, we address everyone, from the President of India to the child who has just learnt to read and discover the world around her.

    Many of us writers have spoken up, in one way or the other, whenever our country has been at a point of crisis. But in recent times, we have seen an assault on certain facets of our day-to-day living, from attacks on the scientific temper to physical and often fatal attacks on citizens.

    In response, over the last few weeks, several writers returned awards and resigned from their positions in the Sahitya Akademi; or issued statements of protest about the encouragement to intolerance which will have an adverse effect on our polity as well as on the relationship between castes and communities. Our concerns involve more than any one institution such as the Sahitya Akademi. The all-pervasive concern is with safeguarding the constitutional rights of each and every citizen to live as she chooses. This, we see, is being violated every day with old divisions such as caste becoming deeper and more violent; with new divisions being created to shrink the space for discussion and debate; with educational, cultural and other institutions being weakened further by censorship and fear of debate; and worst of all, the idea of India – the idea our freedom fighters envisioned – being distorted into a homogenous India, with its diversity torn apart.

    We will continue to express our concerns in as many ways as we can, and in as many voices as possible. We appeal to all citizens of conscience to join us and keep our idea of a plural, tolerant, diverse and argumentative India alive.

    Yours sincerely,

    1. Adil Jussawalla
    2. Ajmer Aulakh
    3. Ananya Guha
    4. Anil Joshi
    5. Arup Kumar Dutta
    6. Ashok Vajpeyi
    7. Atamjit Singh
    8. Baldev Sadaknama
    9. Bina Sarkar Ellias
    10. Chaman Lal
    11. Dalip Kaur Tiwana
    12. Damodar Mauzo
    13. Darshan Buttar
    14. Datta Naik
    15. Easterine Kire
    16. Ganesh Devy
    17. Githa Hariharan
    18. Gurbachan Singh Bhullar
    19. Jaswinder
    20. K. Satchidanandan
    21. Keki Daruwalla
    22. Krishna Sobti
    23. Kum Veerabhadrappa
    24. Mandakranta Sen
    25. Mangalesh Dabral
    26. Manmohan
    27. Mitra Phukan
    28. Mohan Bhandari
    29. Nayantara Sahgal
    30. Pargat Singh Satauj
    31. Patricia Mukhim
    32. Pradnya Pawar
    33. Rahman Abbas
    34. Rajesh Joshi
    35. Sara Joseph
    36. Shashi Deshpande
    37. Subha
    38. Surjit Patar
    39. Uday Prakash
    40. Waryam Sandhu
    41. Xonzoi Barbora

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