Artists Unite! Please Endorse The Declaration!!

Artists Unite!  
for Democracy | against Hate
In India’s recent history the politics of hate, division and exclusion has never been so dominant as we find it today, with a poisonous ideology which informs it deeply entrenched into the state and in governance. Never before has hate been directed with such calculated intent against Muslims, Christians, Adivasis, Dalits, women and even children.

The right to life, the right to love, food choices, cultural expression, language and histories are all under assault by this politics, which is at war with the people of India and their diverse cultures. Cultural and social life in India is being torn asunder by a toxic cocktail of propaganda, violence, censorship and distorted histories.

India is a uniquely rich repository of cultures that evolved out of long histories of philosophical, religious, literary, linguistic and artistic encounters. Those who wish to subsume politics into the imperatives of populist regression are attacking all aspects of this culture, which stands firmly in opposition to their idea of a monolithic and exclusionist India. New cultural narratives are being spawned by this ideology of hate, imbued with a sense of victimhood, revenge, aggression, and violence that has manifested itself in many forms, from horrific acts of lynching to the murderous attacks on writers and artists, the violent disruption of cultural events, destruction of educational and cultural institutions and the rewriting of school text-books. The emancipatory and spiritual possibilities of culture are being replaced by a language that relies solely on war cries, propaganda, and the images, metaphors, visions and sounds of supremacy.

The ongoing assault on culture is an attack on democracy. When cultural life is attacked democracy itself is in peril because of the disappearance of a language that articulates our shared spiritual and social lives, shared histories and shared memories. Democracy is not a majoritarian project to identify enemies and enforce uniformity of language, behaviour and culture. Democracy is the celebration of a collective will for peace, of living together with dignity and equality.

As artists and cultural practitioners we are and will continue to resist the politics of hate. We are and will continue to safeguard a culture that speaks of humanity and democracy; a culture that finds its echo in the fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian constitution. We recognize that the populist hate politics of today is riding the wave of disenchantment with democratic, secular political parties that have failed to deliver on the social democratic charter of the constitution. Pernicious inequalities based on class, caste, ethnicity, religion and gender not only pose a moral crisis for the country but they also reflect a political failure. Recent reports suggest that one percent of our population has appropriated 73 per cent of the wealth generated in 2017, a statistic that speaks about the state of poverty and desperation, as well as the nature of development that is being promoted in the country. An agrarian crisis is taking its toll on millions of farmers. Adivasis are being driven out of their forests. Workers lives have become ever more precarious. We are spiralling towards an ecological disaster on the back of an idea of development that has become synonymous with greed and profiteering.

We appeal to democratic, secular political parties to think anew of a politics rooted in economic and social justice; ecological and environmental sustainability; plurality and diversity; decentralization and devolution of power; ethics, love, compassion and tolerance and the rule of law.

As artists and cultural practitioners we re-dedicate ourselves at this critical moment to defend a culture that speaks of love, equality and solidarity. We will fight hate with love. We will counter violence with peace. Through our images, speech, words, music and bodies we will resist the cultural destruction of India.

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Name|Arts Discipline|City/town/village 
  1.  A. Mangai / Theatre Activist and Academician / Tamil Nadu
  2. Ajay Noronha / Filmmaker / Mumbai   
  3. Ajayan Adat/ Film Sound Designer /
  4. Ajitha G.S. / editor, books / Bangalore
  5. Amandeep Sandhu / Writer / Bangalore
  6. Amudhan R.P/Filmmaker / film activist /Chennai
  7. Anand Patwardhan / Filmmaker/Mumbai
  8. Anjali Monteiro/ Filmmaker/ Mumbai
  9. Arundhati Ghosh /Arts Support / Bangalore
  10. Asad Zaidi/ Writer / Publisher/Gurgaon
  11. Ashfaque E.J / Filmmaker /Journalist / New Delhi
  12. Ashok Sukumaran/Artist and Architect/Mumbai 
  13. Ashok Tiwari /Theatre practitioner / Delhi
  14. Claudio Maffioletti / ArtOxygen / Mumbai
  15. Deepa Dhanraj / Filmmaker / Bangalore
  16. Deepa Kumaravel / Writer / Chennai
  17. Devika / Actor/ advocate / Chennai
  18. Furqan Faridi/ Journalist / Filmmaker/ Delhi
  19. G.N Devy/Literary critic, writer/Dharwad
  20. Hans Kaushik / Artist / Chennai
  21. Hina  / ODDJOINT / Goa
  22. K.P. Jayasankar/ Filmmaker/ Mumbai
  23. Kasturi Basu / Filmmaker, Film movement worker/ Kolkata
  24. Kaveri Bharath /Ceramic artist/ Chennai
  25. Kirtana Kumar / Actor / Director  /Bangalore
  26. Konarak Reddy /Musician / Bangalore
  27. Kumar Mukesh / Writer / Cultural activist / Kaithal
  28. Lalit Vachani /Filmmaker and Lecturer/ University of Göttingen, Germany
  29. Leandre DSouza / ArtOxygen / Mumbai
  30. Lokesh Jain /Theatre practitioner / Delhi
  31. Mandeep Raikhy/Dance practitioner/New Delhi 
  32. Moloyashree Hashmi / Jana Natya Manch / New Delhi
  33. Mukul Kesavan/Writer/Delhi
  34. Navroze Contractor / Cinematographer / Filmmaker / Bangalore
  35. Neel Chaudhuri / Playwright and Theatre director / Delhi
  36. Nicholas Hoffland/Writer / Cook / New Delhi
  37. Preethi Athreya / Dancer/Choreographer / Chennai
  38. Premjish Achari/ Curator and Art Critic/ New Delhi
  39. Pushpamala N / Artist /Bangalore
  40. Rahul Roy/Filmmaker/Gurgaon
  41. Ranjana Dave / Dance practitioner / New Delhi 
  42. Saba Dewan/Filmmaker/Gurgaon
  43. Samara Chopra / Musician / New Delhi
  44. Sanjay Kak/Filmmaker/ New Delhi
  45. Sanjeev Khandekar / Artist / Mumbai
  46. Shaheen Ahmed/ Filmmaker/ Calicut
  47. Shaina Anand/Filmaker and Artist/Mumbai
  48. Shamya Dasgupta / Author / Journalist /Bangalore
  49. Sharmila Samant/Artist/ Greater Noida
  50. Shaunak Mahbubani/Curator/New Delhi
  51. Shiv Ahuja/Photographer/Gurgaon
  52. Shohini Ghosh/ Filmmaker / Academician / New Delhi 
  53. Shuddhabrata Sengupta/ Artist, Raqs Media Collective/ New Delhi
  54. Simrat Dugal/Artist/ New Delhi
  55. Sonia Rashid /Ceramist /Bhopal
  56. Subrata Beura/ Film Society Activist/ Bhubaneswar
  57. Sudhanva Deshpande / Theatre practitioner and publisher / New Delhi
  58. Surabhi Sharma / Filmmaker /Mumbai
  59. Taru Dalmia /Musician / Delhi
  60. Tushar Joag/Artist/ Greater Noida
  61. Uma Chakravarti / Feminist historian and Filmmaker / Delhi
  62. Vaishali Narkar/ Artist / Mumbai
  63. Varunika Saraf/ Artist and Art Historian/ Hyderabad
  64. Vidisha /  Artist/ Curator/ Organizer/ New Delhi
  65. Virkein Dhar / Performer/Designer/ Delhi
  66. Zui Kumar-Reddy / Artist / Bangalore