04/03/2019, 10.30
INDIA
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200 Indian writers issue call to reject hate politics ahead of elections

The appeal was released by the Indian Writers ’Forum and shared hundreds of times. Intellectuals are against the lynching of Muslims, the murder of inconvenient journalists, discrimination against minorities. They want a country without censorship, violence and stalking.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "Let's vote against hate politics": this is what more than 200 Indian writers say on the eve of the general elections that begin next week, 11 April, and will end on 19 May. They intervene in the light of serious episodes of discrimination and intolerance towards those who express critical opinions, or simply "different" opinions with respect to the narrative dominated by the Hindu nationalist party. "All of us - they say - want a change. We don't want rational thinkers, writers and activists to be stalked or murdered ".

The writers 'appeal was published on the Indian Writers' Forum website and shared hundreds of times on social media pages. The document is signed by some of the most famous Indian intellectuals - including Girish Karnad, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Nayantara Sahgal and Romila Thapar.

According to the signatories, “our country is at a crossroads. Our Constitution guarantees all its citizens equal rights, freedom to eat, pray and live as they wish, freedom of expression and the right to dissent ". But in recent years, they stress, “we have seen citizens being lynched or assaulted or discriminated against because of their community, caste, gender, or the region they come from. Hate politics has been used to divide the country; create fear; and exclude more and more people from living as full-fledged citizens."

The reference of intellectuals is to attacked writers, journalists killed for their "uncomfortable" investigations, attacks on Christian and Muslim minorities, desecration of places of worship by Hindu fanatics. " Anyone who questions the powers-that-be is in danger of being harassed or arrested on false and ridiculous charges".

They conclude: "All of us want this to change. We don’t want rationalists, writers and activists to be hounded or assassinated. We want stern measures against violence in word or deed against women, dalits, adivasis and minority communities. We want resources and measures for jobs, education, research, healthcare and equal opportunities for all. Most of all, we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish”.

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