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400 intellectuals break silence, write to PM over rising intolerance

Over 400 intellectuals from India and abroad signed a letter of protest against the alleged increasing intolerance in the country and the mysterious silence of the Prime Minister on the issue, on Tuesday.

The letter of protest–Artist Alert: 2015, condemned the recent murder of authors, Dadri lynching case, and the Faridabad incident and declared their disaffiliation from a government that “encourages marauding outfits to enforce a series of regressive commands in this culturally diverse country”.

“The silence of Narendra Modi is different from the silence of Manmohan Singh and the statements of his ministers, MPs and RSS functionaries reveal their strategy of social and cultural engineering. A government that does not tolerate difference, that does not safeguard the lives and interests of its marginalised and vulnerable citizens, loses its legitimacy in a democratic polity,” said Vivan Sundaram, founder trustee of Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT).

“Modi and his ministers are clearly stating who they are by announcing their affiliations with RSS,” he added. The signatories of the protest letter declared their firm solidarity with the actions of writers who relinquished awards and positions and spoke up in protest against the alarming rise of intolerance in the country. The artistes also condemned the murders of M M Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, rationalists and free thinkers whose voices were allegedly silenced by right wing dogmatists.

“We see a writer like Perumal Murugan being intimidated into declaring his death as a writer, a matter of dire shame in any society,” he added.
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