In this July 7, 2010 file photo, Booker Prize-winning novelist Arundhati Roy speaks during a meeting protesting the killing of freelance journalist Hem Chand Pandey in a police encounter, in New Delhi, India. Roy has joined the growing number of writers, filmmakers, scientists and historians voicing alarm over what they describe as a climate of religious intolerance and violence in India. Roy, most famous for her 1997 novel "The God of Small Things," said in a sharply worded editorial Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in The Indian Express that millions of minorities "are being forced to live in terror, unsure of when and from where the assault will come." (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi, File)
Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, other Indian writers to voters: ‘Vote out hate politics’
INQUIRER.net / 04:30 PM April 02, 2019
Around 210 Indian writers joined forces to appeal to their fellow citizens to vote for a diverse and equal India as the country gears up for its mega-election this April.
The writers, which included Man Booker-awardee Arundhati Roy, Nayantara Sahgal, Amitav Ghosh and Girish Karnad, among others, released a joint statement addressing their fellow citizens on the Indian Cultural Forum on April 1. The appeal came in view of the citizens, artists and other cultural practitioners who have been lynched, assaulted, intimidated and censored in India in the last few years.
“All of us want this to change. We don’t want rationalists, writers and activists to be hounded or assassinated,” the writers’ statement read. “We want stern measures against violence in word or deed against women, dalits, adivasis and minority communities… Most of all, we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish.”
The writers noted the first crucial step in going about the change they need so urgently, which is through voting in the upcoming election.
“Vote out hate politics. Vote out the division of our people; vote out inequality; vote against violence, intimidation and censorship,” they said. “This is the only way we can vote for an India that renews the promises made by our Constitution. This is why we appeal to all citizens to vote for a diverse and equal India.”
Indian’s election this April would be the world’s biggest democratic election, as 900 million Indians across the country take to polling stations to vote for their chosen candidates. It is also the first time in history that Indians have registered under a “third gender” — 39,000 of them — after a Supreme Court ruling formally recognized transgender Indians last 2014. Cody Cepeda/JB