Mumbai: More than two dozen well known film and music personalities as well as some noted human rights activists and journalists have appealed to the voters to elect a secular party in the Lok Sabha election. Noted among them are Govind Nihalani, Vishal Bhardwaj, Imtiaz Ali, Shubha Mudgal, Swara Bhaskar etc .They have signed an open letter urging the voters to â€œvote for the secular party, which is most likely to win in your constituencyâ€.
Hereâ€™s full text of their open letter
The best thing about our country is its cultural diversity, its pluralism â€“ the co-existence of a number of religions and ethnicities over centuries, and hence the blooming of multiple streams of intellectual and artistic thought. And, this has been possible only because Indian society has prided itself on being essentially secular in character, rejecting communal hatred, embracing tolerance.
Today, that very sense of India is vulnerable. The need of the hour is to protect our countryâ€™s secular foundation. Undoubtedly, corruption and governance are important issues, but we will have to vigilantly work out ways of holding our government accountable to that. However, one thing is clear: Indiaâ€™s secular character is not negotiable! Not now, not ever. As Indian citizens who love our motherland, we appeal to you to vote for the secular party, which is most likely to win in your constituency.
Imtiaz Ali (Writer-Director: Highway, Jab We Met) Vishal Bhardwaj (Writer-Director: Omkara, Maqbool) Govind Nihalani (Director: Tamas, Ardh Satya) Saeed Mirza (Director: Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai) Zoya Akhtar (Writer-Director: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) Anand Patwardhan (Documentary Film-maker: Jai Bhim Comrade) Vijay Krishna Acharya (Director: Dhoom 3) Kabir Khan (Director: Ek Tha Tiger) Kundan Shah (Director: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro) Nandita Das (Director-Actress: Firaaq, Fire) Hansal Mehta (Director: Shahid) Anjum Rajabali (Writer: Raajneeti, Satyagraha) Shubha Mudgal (Singer-Musician) Swara Bhaskar (Actor: Raanjhana, Tanu Weds Manu) Aditi Rao Hydari (Actor: Murder 3, Rockstar) Mahesh Bhatt (Director-Producer: Saaraansh, Jannat) Anil Mehta (Cinematographer: Lagaan, Jab Tak Hai Jaan) Saket Chaudhary (Writer-Director: Shaadi Ke Side Effects) Rakesh Sharma (Documentary Film-maker: Final Solution) Vinay Shukla (Writer-Director: Godmother) Kamlesh Pandey (Writer: Rang De Basanti) Robin Bhatt (Writer: Chennai Express, Krish 3) Aneesh Pradhan (Tabla Maestro) Sanjay Chhel (Writer: Rangeela, Yes Boss) Sameer Anjan (Lyricist: Dhoom 3, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) Imteyaz Husain (Writer: Parinda) Rajesh Dubey (TV Writer: Balika Vadhu) Vinod Ranganath (TV Writer: Shanti, Swaabhiman) Jalees Sherwani (Lyricist: Dabang) Amitabh Shukla (Film Editor: Lagaan) Sukant Panigrahi (Art Director) Surabhi Sharma (Documentary Film-maker) Anusha Khan (Producer) Bishwadeep Chatterjee (Sound Designer: 3 Idiots) C.K. Muraleedharan (Cinematographer: 3 Idiots) Dr Manasee Palshikar (Screenwriter-Teacher) Jyoti Dogra (Actor: Joy Sengupta (Actor) Kauser Munir (Lyricist: Dhoom 3) Mazahir Rahim (Screenwriter) Nishant Radhakrishnan (Film Editor: Satyamev Jayate) Preety Ali (Producer) Priyanka Borpujari (Screenwriter) Rajashree (Filmmaker-Teacher) Ruchika Oberoi (Film-maker) Rukmini Sen (Screenwriter and TV Journalist) Sameera Iyengar (Theatre activist) Sharad Tripathi (Screenwriter) Shivani Tibrewala Chand (Playwright) Siminatini Dhuru (Activist) Sona Jain (Film-maker) Tushar Gandhi (Activist) Teesta Setalvaad (Activist) Javed Anand (Activist)