• Open Letter to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi

    Press Release

    February 3, 2020

    Image courtesy: The Wire

    Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
    We speak to you as women of this country, and the women of Delhi – Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Adivasi and Dalit – who are horrified at the atmosphere of violence against women that members of your party have created merely to try and win an election.
    ·        When Mr. Anurag Thakur, a sitting Minister in the central government exhorts a crowd to yell ‘Goli maaron saalon ko’, please remember that in this case the ‘saalon’ is lakhs of peacefully protesting women, sitting in parks and maidans across the city, with young children on their laps.
    ·        Another campaigner for your party, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh,  Ajay Singh Bisht aka ‘Yogi Adityanath’ kicked off his campaign in Delhi by saying ‘Boli se nahi to goli’ se maanenge!
    ·        When the esteemed Home Minister, Mr Amit Shah asks people to push the EVM button on 8 February with such force “that protesters feel the current”. Is he wishing to electrocute the women?
    Is the BJP now openly endangering the lives of India’s women and children? This is what history will record and India will not forgive, Mr. Prime Minister. For the nation saw the direct result of this violent atmosphere created by members of your party, which inspired ‘Ram Bhakt’ Gopal to open fire at innocent students in Jamia on January 30th, and another terrorist weaponised by the hate being spread by your party, fired at the women of Shaheen Bagh on 1st February.
    ·       Mr. Parvesh Verma, your party MP said, “Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). People of Delhi will have to think and take a decision. They’ll enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them.”
    What is this kind of communal hate and fear mongering that you, as head of government are encouraging, that seeks to make women of all communities feel more insecure and threatened? Vote for BJP or you will get raped! Is this your election message to Delhi’s women? Is this how low your party has sunk?
    Women understand the meaning of rape, Mr. Prime Minister. We have long suffered violence on our bodies, with little access to justice, despite your government’s slogan of Beti Bachao!  We condemn this attempt to demean our histories of pain and fear by using it for cheap, divisive electioneering.  
    We do not fear the Shaheen Baghs of Delhi, Mr. Prime Minister. What we fear is a government that directs its security forces to attack peacefully protesting students, women and men. Elected members who openly threaten ordinary citizens. And a police force that stands by and watches as people inspired by this hate-filled rhetoric indulge in acts of violence.

    Your government may disagree with the reasons for this nation-wide uprising against the NPR-NRC-CAA. But peaceful protest is our constitutional right. That is all we are doing. Lakhs of Delhi’s women are not just part of this movement, they are leading it. Empowered women are on the frontlines. We will not be silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors, when all they are doing it fighting to protect and preserve the Constitution of our country.
    Mr Prime Minister, you may belong to BJP, but you are the Prime Minister of the country and have a Constitutional obligation to protect the rights of all citizens. When members of your party exhort mobs to use violence and bullets and you remain silent or support them, remember it is you who are responsible.
    ·       You need to speak out against such targeted violence and hate speech
    ·       You need to take immediate action,including under all relevant criminal provisions of the penal code, against these violence mongering members of your party.
    ·       You need to fight the Delhi election in a manner that upholds the dignity of our Constitution and ensures the security of India’s women.

    Issued by:


    1.              Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
    2.              Ajita, Nisha, Rinchin & Shalini, Convenors, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)
    3.              All India Democratic Women’s Association
    4.              National Federation of Indian Women
    5.              All India Progressive Women’s Association
    6.              Muslim Women’s Forum
    7.              Pinjra Tod
    8.              Centre for Struggling Women
    9.              All India Queer Association
    10.          Jamia Queer Collective
    11.          Makaam- Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, Delhi
    12.          Aman Biradari
    13.          Karwan-e- Mohabbat

    1.              Devaki Jain, Feminist Economist
    2.              Laila Tyabji, Craft activist and Chairperson, DASTKAR
    3.              Madhu Bhaduri,former Ambassador of India
    4.              Navrekha Sharma, former Ambassador of India
    5.              Zoya Hasan, Former Professor & Member, National Commission for Minorities
    6.              Uma Chakravarti, Feminist Historian and filmmaker
    7.              Syeda Hameed, Former Member, Planning Commission of India
    8.              Kamla Bhasin, Gender Rights Activist
    9.              Farah Naqvi, Author and Activist
    10.          Natasha Badhwar, Author and Film-maker
    11.          Reena Mohan, film maker
    12.          Nivedita Menon, Professor, JNU
    13.          Nupur Basu, Journalist
    14.          Geeta Seshu, Free Speech Collective, Mumbai
    15.          Geeta Kapur, art critic
    16.          Enakshi Ganguly, Child Rights activist
    17.          Anjali Bhardwaj, Satark Nagrik Sangathan
    18.          Maya Krishna Rao, Theatre artist
    19.          V. Geetha, Independent feminist scholar
    20.          Susie Tharu, Independent Scholar and Writer
    21.          Urvashi Butalia, Publisher
    22.          Vivan Sundaram, artist
    23.          Madhusree Dutta, artist
    24.          Sanjana Sarkar. Head, Institut Francais, Rajasthan Annex
    25.          Sadhna Arya, Delhi University
    26.          Brinda Singh, Human Resource Development
    27.          Deepa Pathak, self employed
    28.          Lalitha Krishna, Filmmaker
    29.          Indira C, Delhi
    30.          Priya Pillai, Delhi
    31.          Lekha Bhagat, Potter
    32.          Namita Nayak, Filmmaker
    33.          Ashima Roy Chowdhry, Feminist Activist
    34.          Sania Farooqui, Journalist
    35.          Subasri Krishnan, Filmmaker
    36.          Suresh Rajamani, Filmmaker
    37.          Adsa Fatima, Feminist activist
    38.          Deepa Venkatachalam,  Health Activist
    39.          Shreshtha Das, Independent Consultant
    40.          Dr. Ponni Arasu, Chennai
    41.          Nandini Manjrekar
    42.          Rituparna, Queer Feminist
    43.          Vani Subramanian, Film maker
    44.          Nandini Rao, feminist activist
    45.          Ritambhara, Feminist
    46.          Ananya Iyer, Student, M.A. Women's Studies
    47.          Seema Baquer, Cross Disability consultant
    48.          Suneeta Dhar, activist
    49.          Rafiul Alom Rahman, Queer Activist
    50.          Shipra Nigam, research scholar
    51.          Dipta Bhog, feminist activist
    52.          Malini Ghose. New Delhi
    53.          Archana Dwivedi, Feminist Activist
    54.          Purnima Gupta, Feminist Activist
    55.          Rakhi Sehgal, Researcher & Trade Unionist
    56.          Savita Sharma, Feminist Activist
    57.          Shirin, entrepreneur
    58.          Amrita Johri, Activist
    59.          Abha Choudhuri, Concerned citizen
    60.          Geeta Sahai, Writer, Filmmaker, Social entrepreneur
    61.          Freny Khodaiji, Film Producer, Animal Rights Activist
    62.          Minnie Vaid, Filmmaker and Author
    63.          Padmaja Shaw, Retired Professor, Journalism, Osmania University
    64.          Sharmin Khodaiji, Senior Research Associate, O. P. Jindal Global University
    65.          Shernaz Italia, Film Producer, Animal Rights Activist
    66.          Usha Rao, Anthropologist/independent media maker
    67.          Hansa Thapliyal, Filmmaker
    68.          Rahul Roy, Filmmaker
    69.          Janaki Abraham, Academic
    70.          Kavita Bahl, Filmmaker
    71.          Nandan Saxena, Filmmaker
    72.          Nishtha Jain, Filmmaker
    73.          Radha Misra, Academic
    74.          Ranjan Palit, Filmmaker
    75.          Saba Dewan, Filmmaker, Author
    76.          Samina Mishra, Filmmaker
    77.          Uma Tanuku, Filmmaker
    78.          Aamana Singh, Graphic Designer
    79.          A.M. Padmanabhan, audiographer
    80.          Anjana Mangalagiri, Educationist
    81.          Devika Menon, PhD Scholar
    82.          Kanupriya Sharma, Sr. Archivist, New Delhi
    83.          Neena Verma, Filmmaker
    84.          Pooja Singh, Development professional, New Delhi
    85.          Preeti Gulati, PhD scholar
    86.          Sanjana Manaktala, Development professional, New Delhi
    87.          Vasundhara Chauhan, Concerned Citizen
    88.          Vanita Nayak Mukherjee, concerned citizen
    89.          Bharathy Singaravel, Writer
    90.          Dipti Bhalla Verma, Filmmaker
    91.          Shakti Kak, concerned citizen
    92.          Richa Hushing, Filmmaker
    93.          Rrivu Laha, Filmmaker
    94.          Brij Tankha, Academic
    95.          Bursenla,Media Lab, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru
    96.          Gauri D. Chakraborty, Academic
    97.          Kamini Tankha, Concerned citizen
    98.          Kristine Michael, Artist
    99.          Mirza Afzal Beg, Farmer
    100.      Ridhima Mehra, Concerned Citizen
    101.      Anandita Jumde, Editor
    102.      Archana Kapoor, Filmmaker
    103.      Ayisha Abraham, Academic, Artist
    104.      Mahima, Business
    105.      Dimple Oberoi Vahali
    106.      Meenakshi Barooah, Filmmaker
    107.      Muraleedharan C K, Cinematographer
    108.      Nabeela Rizvi, filmmaker and researcher
    109.      Namita Unnikrishnan, Therapist
    110.      Nilita Vachani, Filmmaker/ Educator
    111.      Rohini Devraj, Filmmaker
    112.      Samreen Farooqui, Filmmaker
    113.      Senjuti Mukherjee, Researcher, Archivist, Writer
    114.      Sheena Jain, independent researcher
    115.      Sherna Dastur, Graphic Designer
    116.      Sumalata K, Creative Director
    117.      Svetlana Naudiyal, Film Programmer
    118.      Urmi Juvekar, Screenwriter
    119.      Anumeha, Journalist
    120.      Jayoo Patwardhan, Architect, Filmmaker, Art Director
    121.      Jeroo Mulla, Educationist
    122.      Maya Palit, Journalist
    123.      Renu Gourisaria, retired schoolteacher
    124.      Mrinalini Vasudevan, Writer and Editor
    125.      Shalini Mukerji, Canine Trainer
    126.      Ratna Golaknath, Psychotherapist
    127.      Aradhana Anand, Furniture Designer
    128.      Rita Singh, retired school teacher
    129.      Ritambhara Shastri, journalist
    130.      Mala Srikanth, Doctor
    131.      Mimansa Sahay – Graphic Designer and Diver
    132.      Shabani Hassanwalia, New Delhi
    133.      Disha Mullick, Delhi
    134.      Pali Singh, student, DU
    135.      Arushi Mathur, Dancer
    136.      Satnam Kaur
    137.      Geeta Thatra, PhD student, JNU
    138.      Titas Ghosh, feminist researcher, New Delhi
    139.      Abhiti, Lawyer, Delhi
    140.      Abhilasha, Law Student, Delhi University
    141.      Suroor Mander, Lawyer
    142.      Honey Oberoi Vahali
    143.      Prabha N
    144.      Aamana Singh, New Delhi
    145.      Radha Mahendru, Art Worker
    146.      Faustina Johnson, Editor
    147.      Anne Correa, Lawyer
    148.      Drishya Nair, Scientist/researcher
    149.      Joyeeta Dey, researcher
    150.      Jennifer Areng Datta, Filmmaker, Film editor
    151.      Mallika Visvanathan, filmmaker, researcher
    152.      Pooja Madhavan, Editor
    153.      Pia Hazarika, illustrator
    154.      Diamond Oberoi Vahali
    155.      Veena, Cncerned citizen
    156.      Shagun Talwar, Consultant
    157.      Noopur, Ed-tech consultant
    158.      Ein Lall, Filmmaker
    159.      Sumona Chakravarty, Artist
    160.      Sinjita Basu, Educational Specialist, Bangalore
    161.      Sreemoyee Singh, PhD Scholar
    162.      Farha Khatun, Filmmaker


    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.