New Delhi: After bashing celebrities who expressed concerns over mob lynching, at least 62 celebrities and artists, including filmstar Kangana Ranaut, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Rajya Sabha MP Sonal Mansingh and filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar and Vivek Agnihotri, on Friday wrote an open letter against the “selective outrage and false narratives” against the Modi government.
Titled ‘Against Selective Outrage & False Narratives’, the letter terms those who wrote about mob-killings as “self-styled guardians and conscience keepers” and charges them of political bias.
The 62 celebrities have reacted to the open letter written by some well-known persons to PM Narendra Modi stating that the letter to the PM was an “attempt to foist a false narrative with an intention of denigrating the democratic ethos and norms of our collective functioning as a nation”, and that their concern “smacks of dishonesty and opportunism”.
“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,” the letter read.
“The signatories to the ‘open letter’ have, in the past, 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 echoes in some leading university campuses in the country,” it added.
The new letter also includes names of Grammy Award winner instrumentalist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, filmmaker Ashok Pandit, actor Pallavi Joshi, folk artist Malini Awasthi,actor Manoj Joshi and film personality Biswajit Chatterjee among others.
“When people are jailed for saying ‘Jai Sri Ram’ or when a temple is attacked in Delhi, then the 49 people who wrote to the PM don’t say anything. Selective outrage is going on,” Bhandarkar said.
Ranaut added,” We are part of a major shift, things are changing for betterment of the nation and a few people are rattled by this. Common people have chosen their leaders, ones who disregard people’s will are the ones who have no respect or consideration for democracy.”
The 62 celebrities also wrote in the letter,” Prime Minister Modi has very succinctly put forward the mantra of his governance and that is SABKA SATH, SABKA VIKAS and to that he has now included SABKA VISHVAS.”
The letter claimed the 49 “achievers” were hypocrites because they “remained uncomfortably silent” on other hate crimes. The letter also questioned their silence when “widely peddled hate crimes” turned out to be false cases. They also questioned the silence on political murders in West Bengal under CM Mamata Banerjee.
In a letter dated July 23, 49 celebrities including singer Shubha Mudgal, actor Konkana Sen Sharma, filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal and Mani Ratnam wrote to Modi demanding “exemplary punishment” should be meted out “swiftly and surely” in lynching cases. They also highlighted that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a “provocative war-cry” in the present day.