The open letter is a counter to the earlier one signed on by filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen and other against the growing incidents of lynching and forced 'Jai Shri Ram' chants.
Kangana Ranaut, Prasoon Joshi join 60 signatories in open letter against 'selective outrage'
Mumbai - 26 Jul 2019 16:00 IST
After 49 filmmakers, litterateurs, and eminent personalities wrote to the prime minister condemning the increasing events of lynching done and the weaponisation of the call 'Jai Shree Ram, 60 other filmmakers have written a counter letter condemning this 'selective outrage'. The signatories included actress Kangana Ranaut, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, and filmmakers Ashoke Pandit, and Vivek Agnihotri among others.
In the letter, the signatories stated, "An open letter which has been published on 23 July 2019, and addressed to prime minister Shri Narendra Modi has astonished us. 49 self-styled “guardians” and “conscience keepers” of the nation and of democratic values have once again expressed selective concern and demonstrated clear political bias and motive."
"To us, the undersigned, this document of selective outrage comes across as an attempt to foist a FALSE NARRATIVE with the intention of denigrating the democratic ethos and norms of our collective functioning as a nation and people. It is aimed at tarnishing India’s international standing and to negatively portray prime minister Modi’s untiring efforts to effectuate governance on the foundations of positive nationalism and humanism which is the core of INDIANNESS."
Bringing up the now familiar issue of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the letter read, "[they] kept silent when tribals and the marginalised have become victims of Naxal terror, they have kept silent when separatists have issued dictates to burn schools in Kashmir, they have kept silent when the demand for dismembering India, for making pieces of her - Tukde Tukde – were made, they kept silent when slogans chanted by terrorists and terror groups were echoed in some leading university campuses in the country."
They added, "The “open letter” comes across to us as an attempt to mock the mandate of the marginalised, to create a false sense of fear and siege and to try and derail India’s march towards collective empowerment of all sections of society. It is clearly an attempt to defame the nation. WE DO CONDEMN the conspiracy."
Three days ago, filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen and Adoor Gopalakrishnan were among the many signatories of an open letter that condemned the increasing incidents of lynching in the name of 'Jai Shri Ram'. The signatories appealed the prime minister to act against the growing 'weaponisation of the slogan'.
Incidentally, a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and spokesperson B Gopalakrishnan asked the filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan to 'go to the moon if you cannot tolerate Jai Shri Ram'.
'People of India voted for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in the country. It will be raised again and if needed, will be attempted even before the residence of Adoor. That is a democratic right. Had Gandhiji been alive now, he would have gone on a fast in front of Adoor’s residence. Sir, you are filmmaker who should be revered, but do not decry the culture of the nation,' the spokesperson wrote in a social media post.