Over a hundred little-known filmmakers, only a few days earlier, had issued a joint statement urging people to ‘Save Democracy’ and vote Prime Minister Modi out of power. Now, it appears, over 200 writers have come forward with a statement of their own against the incumbent government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The list features names which would be quite familiar to our readers due to their left-leaning divisive politics. Here, we take a look at some of them.
1. Anand Teltumbde
Teltumbde is the same alleged Urban Naxal who was arrested by Pune Police in connection with the violence at Bhima Koregaon. Special Judge KD Vadane, while rejecting his anticipatory bail plea, had remarked that there was sufficient evidence collected by the investigating officers to show his involvement in the alleged offence.
Public prosecutor Ujjwala Panwar had argued in court that the police have sufficient evidence to prove Teltumbde’s involvement in insurgent activities to destabilise the government through banned Maoist organisations. His name had surfaced during the course of the crackdown on alleged ‘Urban Naxals’ by the Pune Police last year.
2. Mrinal Pande
Mrinal Pande is the group editorial advisor of National Herald, the Congress mouthpiece, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 and the chair of Prasar Bharti in 2010 by the UPA government.
She is known to make bigoted remarks against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and recently, she made transphobic remarks against Prime Minister Modi as well.
3. Harsh Mander
Mander was earlier appointed a member of Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Committee. He has advocated for evangelical conversion in the past and ridiculed laws that prevent conversion. Mander is also a known Ishrat apologist, the female LeT operative who was killed in an encounter along with three others by Crime Branch Officials in Gujarat.
In an article that was shared by the current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, Mander writes, “Muslims are today’s castaways, political orphans with no home, for virtually every political party. This despite India being home to a tenth of the world’s Muslims, around 180 million people, making it the largest Muslim country after Indonesia and Pakistan. There has never been a harder time to be a Muslim in India, not since the stormy months that followed India’s Partition.” He was also a member of the group that drafted the anti-Hindu Communal Violence Bill.
As per DeshGujarat, Mander’s NGO, Center for Equity Studies (CES), has received significant amount of financial contribution from foreign organizations over the years. Interestingly, another member of the Governing Board of CES features in the list of the 200 writers, Zoya Hasan.
4. Romila Thapar
The ‘Eminent Historian’ had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court in the case of the arrests of five ‘Urban Naxals’ for their alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence. She had filed a review petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court order of rejecting a SIT probe into the arrests of Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferriera, Sudha Bhardwaj, and Gautam Navlakha. The court rejected the plea and further permitted the Maharashtra Police to continue with the investigation.
Historian and Archaeologist, Ramachandran Nagaswamy, a Padma Bhushan awardee, had said about the alleged Historian, “Historians like Romila Thapar hold a view that Asoka expounded an idea new to Indian political and social theory, that Asoka did not see dharma resulting from the good deeds that were inspired by formal religious beliefs but as conformity to social ethics. According to these historians, Asoka’s dharma is not Buddhist in nature but it was a new and original idea to which he gave a definition. It is a distorted idea as Asoka himself repeatedly says (in his edicts) that what he thought was not his own, but the ancient paurani prakriti.”
Thapar is known to peddle anti-Hindu propaganda in her writings and has been accused of distorting authentic Hindu history.
5. Arundhati Roy
The writer once famously, or rather infamously, opined that Maoists who are responsible for the deaths of so many civilians and soldiers are ‘Gandhians with Guns’.
While speaking at an event at Northwestern Law School in Chicago in 2013, she described the event of Godhra train burning case as: “A train full of pilgrims coming back from the destruction of this Ayodhya mosque which was disputed. The train caught fire; nobody knows who set fire to the train and 57 pilgrims were burnt…”. The demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Godhra massacre happened 10 years apart.
Arundhati Roy had infamously said that Kashmir was never an integral part of India and claimed that India had become a colonizing power as soon as it won its independence from the British. “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this,” Roy had claimed. She had said it in the same event where Gautam Navlakha, one of the arrested ‘Urban Naxals’, made contentious remarks which would be regarded by many as seditious and inflammatory.
The above-mentioned statement was made at an event organized by the JKCCS, the same organization which had published the report demonizing Amarnath Yatra in collaboration with a foreign-funded organisation that received grants from Christian organisations abroad.
It is also pertinent to mention that the JKCCS is affiliated to the CDRO, an umbrella organization that has intricate links to alleged ‘Urban Naxals’ and has an organization from Manipur with separatist inclinations coordinating under its banner as well.
6. Other Notable Mentions
T.M. Krishna, a musician whose show was cancelled by organizers for ‘exigencies of work’ after protests accusing him of ‘bigotry and Hinduphobia’, is a signatory to the statement as well. He had also admitted once that he feels no empathy when RSS workers are killed by communists or Islamists.
“Nehru’s Niece” Nayantara Sehgal, who returned her Sahitya Akademi award during the Intolerance Drama, was a signatory as well.
Thus, we see that the most prominent signatories to the statement that urges voters to oust Narendra Modi from power are an assorted consortium of foreign funded NGO members, Congress stooges who benefited greatly under Sonia Gandhi’s patronage and those with links to alleged ‘Urban Naxals’ or worse, accused of being one themselves.