Anjolie Ela Menon:
I have noted with growing alarm the taking over by the government of nine cultural institutions so far, including the replacement of the heads of all these nine institutions such as National Museum, IGNCA, FTII and Nehru Memorial Library.
The quiet hijacking of the Lalit Kala Akademi and its five branches was ominous.
I presume that collectively these institutions will provide the necessary infrastructure to enable the spread of a new divisive ideology.
Our voices have to be heard loud and clear to preserve the freedom of expression that has been the greatest gift of our republic.
I am not against any development, but if in the name and guise of development, our fundamental freedoms of speech and expression and the basic rights of the people are threatened – this is a more worrying development and a bigger threat.
I have never felt something like this before, although a few years ago M.F. Husain had to go in exile from our country; but today, this intolerance is increasing and has crossed criminal limits.
Recent happenings are harrowing and a threat to our freedom of expression. Dream seems to have usurped Vision. Our culture is the unifying factor in our country and any irresponsible action, or imposing values inimical to many who inhabit our country, will create great unhappiness and turmoil.
This fear is looming large and it is incumbent on our government to show that it is acting in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Constitution and, further, that it is not acting on behest of any other body.