“We stand in solidarity with all those who speak for our fellow citizens’ rights”

In a dangerous move for Indian democracy, several human rights activists have been taken into police custody.

Who are some of these alleged “conspirators” who have either been taken into custody or had their homes searched? Sudha Bhardwaj is an advocate and the national secretary for People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). Father Stan Swamy is an active campaigner against communalism in Jharkhand. Arun Ferreira is an activist who has also written on issues such as casteism, communalism and economic inequality. Varavara Rao is a Marxist writer and teacher of Telugu literature. Gautam Navlakha is a civil rights activist, journalist and writer. Anand Teltumbde is a respected writer, civil rights activist and political analyst. K. Satyanarayana is a dalit studies scholar.

Their crimes? Insisting on human rights, writing, analysing, teaching, giving voice to dissent against injustice and inequality.

This too at a time when the investigation into the assassination of Gauri Lankesh, MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar has revealed bombs, guns, camps for arms training, hit lists and plans for what can rightly be called “criminal conspiracy” to use violence to kill, crush diversity and dissent, undo the Constitution, and the India it promises all of us.

We condemn this attempt to distract the public from this real conspiracy with a fabricated one. We condemn the crushing of dissent. We stand in solidarity with all those who speak for our fellow citizens’ rights.

For the Indian Cultural Forum

Nayantara Sahgal
Romila Thapar
Arundhati Roy
K Satchidanandan
Githa Hariharan
Bezwada Wilson
Damodar Mauzo
Ashok Vajpeyi
Naseeruddin Shah
Ratna Pathak Shah
Nandita Das
Shashi Deshpande
Sanjna Kapoor
Ganesh Devy
Keki Daruwalla
T M Krishna
Mallika Sarabhai
Kiran Nagarkar
Bama
Orijit Sen
Adil Jussawalla
Mahesh Dattani
K P Ramanunni
P Sachidanandan
Paul Zacharia
Vivan Sundaram
Atul Dodiya
Nancy Adajania
Anuradha Kapur
N S Madhavan
Shanta Gokhale
Sameera Iyengar
Satish Alekar
Sushama Deshpande
Harsh Mander
Apoorvanand
Alok Bhalla
Mangalesh Dabral
Megha Pansare
Rajesh Joshi
Chandan Gowda
Rahamath Tarikere
Volga
Arundhati Ghosh
Shyam Menon
Om Thanvi
E V Ramakrishnan
Rita Kothari
Pushpamala N
Susie Tharu
Geetanjali Shree
Ritu Menon
Achin Vanaik
Pamela Philipose
Madhusree Dutta
Anuradha Parikh
Meenakshi Shedde
Prabir Purkayastha
Samik Bandyopadhyay
Ram Rahman
Makarand Sathe
Rubin D'Cruz
Gauhar Raza
Vijay Prashad
Ananya Vajpeyi
Sridala Swami
K Srilata
Arundhathi Subramaniam
Indira Chandrasekhar
Naveen Kishore
Vidya Rao
Kureepuzha Sreekumar
Kalpana Kannabiran
Prabodh Parikh
Shoma A Chatterji
Leela Samson
Susmit Panda
Souradeep Roy
Sneha Chowdhury
Kalpana Karunakaran
Ishrat Syed
Kalpana Swaminathan
Lourdes M Supriya
Yogesh S
Manjiri Indurkar
Mala Dayal
Arjun Rajendran
Nabina Das
Rheea Rodrigues Mukherjee
Rohith
Nandini Dhar
Durga Prasad Panda
Shikha Saklani Malaviya
Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal
Sujatha Mathai
Sivakami Velliangiri
Sumana Roy
Uttaran Das Gupta
Sujit Prasad
Michael Creighton
Aditya Mani Jha
Shalim M Hussain
Shekhar Pathak
Madiwaleppa D Okkund
Badri Raina
Saba Hasan
Sethumadhavan
Amit Bhaduri
Harish K Puri
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
The writers, artists and activists of Dakshinayana Karnataka
Debjani Sengupta
Rohinton Daruwala
Abhijit Khandkar
Divya Nadkarni
Hemant Divate
Smruti Divate
Huzaifa Pandit
Manik Sharma
Jitesh Jaggi
Suhit Kelkar
Tanuj Solanki
Mihir Vatsa
Medha Singh
Arun Sagar
Namrata Pathak
Datta Chavan
Chandramohan Sathyanathan
Athira Unni
Anju Makhija
Aishwarya Iyer
Aseem Sundan
Ayaz Rasool Nazki
Amit Bhaduri
Mrinalini Harchandrai
Navkirat Sodhi
Maaz Bin Bilal
Dona Mayoora
Priya Sarukkai Chabria