• “In the name of democracy”: Over 300 members of the Creative and Scholarly Community issue an open statement against CAA

    ICF Team

    January 13, 2020

    We are artists, filmmakers, writers and scholars. Our work reflects people’s lives, struggles and hopes. We offer our dreams to everyone. But what dream can show us the way in the midst of the present nightmare?

    Our vision for this nation demands that we speak up now, in the name of our democracy and the constitution that protects it. 

    We stand in solidarity with the students and others who are protesting and speaking out against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and against the National Register of Citizens (NRC). We salute their collective cry for upholding the principles of the Constitution of India, with its promise of a plural and diverse society. We are aware that we have not always lived up to that promise, and many of us have too often remained silent in the face of injustice. The gravity of this moment demands that each of us stand for our principles.

    The policies and actions of the present government, passed quickly through parliament and without opportunity for public dissent or open discussion, are antithetical to the principle of a secular, inclusive nation. 

    The soul of the nation is threatened. The livelihoods and statehoods of millions of our fellow Indians are at stake. Under the NRC, anyone unable to produce documentation (which, in many cases, does not exist) to prove their ancestry may be rendered stateless. Those deemed “illegal” through the NRC may be eligible for citizenship under the CAA, unless they are Muslim. 

    Contrary to the stated objective of the government, this does not appear to be a benign legislation, only meant to shelter persecuted minorities. The list of exclusions seems to indicate otherwise. Why are minorities from other neighbours like Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar excluded? Is it because the ruling powers in these latter countries are not Muslim? It appears that the legislation believes that only Muslim governments can be perpetrators of religious persecution. Why exclude the most persecuted minorities in the region, the Rohingya of Myanmar or the Uighurs of China? This legislation only acknowledges Muslim perpetrators, never Muslim victims. The aim is transparent: Muslims are the unwelcome Other. 

    This is state-sanctioned religious persecution, and we will not condone it. 

    In Assam and the Northeast, and in Kashmir, the indigenous identity and livelihood is threatened as never before, and we will not condone it.

    The response of the government and law-enforcement agencies to the distress of its citizens has been callous and high-handed. India has seen the most Internet shutdowns of any democracy in the world. Police brutality has left hundreds injured, including many students from Jamia Milia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University. Several citizens have been killed while protesting. Many more have been placed in preventive detention. Section 144 has been imposed in numerous states to curb protests. 

    We need look no further than Kashmir to see how far this government is willing to go to suppress democratic dissent. Kashmir has suffered the longest Internet shutdown ever imposed by a democratic government.

    Enough is enough.

    Those of us who have been quiet in the past, our silence ends now. We will be clear-sighted in our dissent. Like our freedom fighters before us, we stand for a secular and inclusive vision of India. We stand with those who bravely oppose anti-Muslim and divisive policies. We stand with those who stand up for democracy. We will be with you on our streets and across all our platforms. We are in solidarity.

    Read the statement in Hindi here.
    Read the statement in Marathi here.

    1 Rahman Abbas 103 Bharati Jagannathan 205 Job Puthenpura
    2 Anvita Abbi 104 Jagmani 206 K. E. Radhakrishna
    3 Ajayan Adat 105 N.D. Jayaprakash 207 S. Raghunandana
    4 Ramona Adhikari 106 K.P. Jayasankar 208 Ram Rahman
    5 Faraz Ahmad 107 Pervin Jehangir 209 Usha Rai
    6 Anvar Ali 108 Dhirendra Jha 210 Badri Raina
    7 Zaheer Ali 109 Ram Naresh Jha 211 Mohan Raj
    8 Lalitha Alilu 110 Mary John 212 Vinod Raja
    9 Shimit Amin 111 Mary Joseph 213 Anjum Rajabali
    10 Jyothi Ananthasubbarao 112 Rajesh Joshi 214 Hiralal Rajasthani
    11 Vidya Das Arora 113 Jane K. 215 P. P. Ramachandran
    12 Sushila Bahanda 114 Sushi Kadanakuppe 216 EV Ramakrishnan
    13 Vikas Bajpai 115 Srinivas Kakkilaya 217 Usha Raman
    14 Ritwik Banerjee 116 Vimala Kalagar 218 J. Mohan Rao
    15 Sudeshna Banerjee 117 Priya Kalapurayil 219 M. Govinda Rao
    16 Sumanta Banerjee 118 Rina Kamath 220 Smriti Rao
    17 Susan Barton 119 Kalpana Kannabiran 221 Venugopal Rao
    18 Aamir Bashir 120 Aman Kanwar 222 Vidya Rao
    19 Amit Basole 121 Harsh Kapoor 223 Girdhar Rathi
    20 Rakhi Basu 122 Ram Kapoor 224 P. P. Raveendran
    21 Dev Benegal 123 Geeta Kapur 225 Ajit Kumar Ray
    22 Homi Bhabha 124 Manju Kapur 226 Soumen Ray
    23 Amit Bhaduri 125 Aruni Kashyap 227 Gauhar Raza
    24 Madhu Bhaduri 126 Suhit Kelkar 228 Nadeem Rezavi
    25 Nabakumar Bhattacharyya 127 Sonal Kellogg 229 Abhijit Roy
    26 Akeel Bilgrami 128 Mukul Kesavan 230 Dunu Roy
    27 Rani Day Burra 129 Faisal Khan 231 Kirity Roy
    28 Sundar Burra 130 Habib Khan 232 Kriti Roy
    29 Meena C. K. 131 Shah Alam Khan 233 Kumkum Roy
    30 Priya Sarukkai Chabria 132 Devaki Khanna 234 Krishnaswamy S.
    31 Suresh Chabria 133 Ayesha Kidwai 235 Yousuf Saeed
    32 Amitabha Chakrabarti 134 Santosh Kiro 236 Nayantara Sahgal
    33 Pariplab Chakraborty 135 K John Koshy 237 Ranabir Samaddar
    34 Sudhir Chandra 136 Mridula Koshy 238 Deepak Sanan
    35 Civic Chandran 137 Teresa Kotturan 239 Mallika Sarabhai
    36 Indu Chandrasekhar 138 Ancilla Kozhipat 240 Mahesh Saran
    37 R.K. Chandrika 139 Pradip Krishan 241 S. Saran
    38 Partha Chatterjee 140 Sumi Krishna 242 Madhu Sarin
    39 Shoma A. Chatterji 141 T.M. Krishna 243 Sumit Sarkar
    40 Salil Chaturvedi 142 Amitadyuti Kumar 244 Tanika Sarkar
    41 Amit Chaudhuri 143 Ashutosh Kumar 245 Lubna Sarwath
    42 Neel Chaudhuri 144 Kirtana Kumar 246 K.P. Sasi
    43 Vasundhara Chauhan 145 Radha Kumar 247

    Sanal Kumar Sasidharan

    44 Rajendra Chenni 146 Sandhya Kumar 248 K. Satchidanandan
    45 Anuradha Chenoy 147 Sitanath Lahkar 249 Makarand Sathe
    46 Kamal Chenoy 148 Basanti Lakra 250 Vira Sathidar
    47 Zasha Colah 149 Jyotsna Lall 251 Gigi Scaria
    48 Naresh Dadhich 150 Swapna Liddle 252 Rashme Sehgal
    49 Vasudha Dalmia 151 Ania Loomba 253 Antara Dev Sen
    50 Sumangala Damodaran 152 N.S. Madhavan 254 Partha Sen
    51 Swati Dandekar 153 N. S. Madhavan 255 Rukmini Sen
    52 Arpita Das 154 Amit Malik 256 Debjani Sengupta
    53 Nandita Das 155 Neeraj Malik 257 Saswati Sengupta
    54 Vibha Puri Das 156 Ranganathan Manohar 258 Ghanshyam Shah
    55 Maya Dayal 157 Mercy Margaret 259 Naseeruddin Shah
    56 Naina Dayal 158 Abdul Bari Masoud 260 Ratna Pathak Shah
    57 Deena VJ 159 Anand Mathew 261 Sunil Shanbag
    58 Anita Desai 160 Cynthia Mathew 262 Shiva Shankar
    59 Kiran Desai 161 Elsa Mathew 263

    Gajendra Narayan Sharma

    60 Sudhanva Deshpande 162 Cyril Mathias 264 Neelima Sharma
    61 Meera Devidayal 163 Damodar Mauzo 265 Shaveta Sharma
    62 J. Devika 164 Uday Mehta 266 Surabhi Sharma
    63 Asish Dey 165 Subhash Mendhapurkar 267 Jatin Sheth
    64 Dipak Dholakia 166 Aarti Aney Menon 268 Mira Shiva
    65 Arundhati Dhuru 167 Asma Menon 269 Geetanjali Shree
    66 Xavier Dias 168 Madhavi Menon 270 Dilip Simeon
    67 Anju Dodiya 169 Nivedita Menon 271 Devika Singh
    68 Atul Dodiya 170 Kappen Mercy 272 Savithri Singh
    69 Jean Dreze 171 Kristine Michael 273 Preeti Sinha
    70 Lillete Dubey 172 Hafiz Mohamad 274 Sachidanand Sinha
    71 Avalokita Dutt 173 Anjali Monteiro 275 Shantha Sinha
    72 Indranee Dutta 174 Sripad Motiram 276 Kita Sinku
    73 Walter Fernandes 175 Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay 277 Jawhar Sircar
    74 Arunima G. 176 Jeroo Mulla 278

    Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

    75 Karen Gabriel 177 Manu Chakravarthy N. 279 M. S. Sriram
    76 Ramakrishna Gampalahalli 178 Vishnu Nagar 280 K. V. Subrahmanyam
    77 Leela Gandhi 179 Karthika Nair 281 Kadayam Subramanian
    78 Mridula Garg 180 Mira Nair 282 Sumita
    79 Geetika 181 Rukmini Bhaya Nair 283 Vivan Sundaram
    80 Amitav Ghosh 182 Kavery Nambisan 284 Sehba Taban
    81 Jayati Ghosh 183 Ashish Nandy 285 Deepika Tandon
    82 Persis Ginwalla 184 Saeed Naqvi 286 Kiran Tandon
    83 Roshmi Goswami 185 Ravi Nitesh 287 Vikram Tandon
    84 Sheela Gowda 186 Veena Oldenberg 288 Anand Teltumbde
    85 Srinivasa Gowda 187 Vijay Padaki 289 Anita Thampi
    86 Meena Gupta 188 Reshma Pais 290 Romila Thapar
    87 Rajiv Gupta 189 Pratishtha Pandya 291 P. K. Michael Tharakan
    88 Atul Gurtu 190 D. Parthasarathy 292 Susie Tharu
    89 Rajan Gurukkal 191 Vinay Pathak 293 Asha Tirkey
    90 Leela Hansda 192 Chandrakant Patil 294 Palo Tunti
    91 Saba Hasan 193 Biswanath Patra 295 Ananya Vajpeyi
    92 Zoya Hasan 194 Anand Patwardhan 296 Vamsi Vakulabharanam
    93 Sohail Hashmi 195 Jayant Pawar 297 Achin Vanaik
    94 Shabnam Hashmi 196 Jerry Pinto 298 Sankar Varma
    95 Vinita Hembrom 197 Rita Pinto 299 Sushma Varma
    96 Nataraj Honnavalli 198 Ismail Poonawala 300 Sushma Veerappa
    97 M. G. Husain 199 Gyan Prakash 301 Prem Verma
    98 Shamsul Islam 200 M. Madhava Prasad 302 Gauri Vishwanathan
    99 Sameera Iyengar 201 Purendra Prasad 303 Asha Vombatkere
    100 Vikram Iyengar 202 Rohit Prasad 304 Sudhir Vombatkere
    101 Jaya Iyer 203 M. P. Pratheesh 305 Salim Yusufji
    102 Jaaved Jaferi 204 Rita Puthenkalam 306 Ajit Zacharias

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