Campaign

Citizens condemn hounding of intellectuals



September 7, 2021
Over 150 Citizens from all walks of life have condemned outright the hounding of intellectuals, poets and actors, both Javed Akhtar and Naseeruddin Shah. The press statement with the Text of the Statement and Details of Signatories is below.
We request that this finds place in your esteemed publication/portal or channel network. Forces that seek to stifle independent voices need to be called out.
Citizens from all walks of life stand by Javed Akhtar, Naseeruddin Shah
Press statement
We, the undersigned, support unequivocally the recent interview given by author and poet, Javed Akhtar to the media in the context of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan. We strongly condemn attempts to intimidate him and affirm his right to speak his views. We strongly disagree with those in the sangh parivar, led by a BJP MLA and other elements from the same wider parivar who have objected to the understanding of right wing supremacists, be it of the Muslim or Hindu kind.
In an interview to NDTV news channel, Javed Akhtar spoke with clarity and passion. We agree with his statement that irrespective of the religion in whose name they claim to speak, right-wingers — be they Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christians — share a common majoritarian world-view. This is particularly evident when it comes to their views on the status of women in the family and in society. The Taliban are but an extreme and violent version of the same common fundamentalist mind-set. It is not for nothing that many in recent years have referred to violent elements from the sangh parivar as the ‘Hindu Taliban’.
It is not insignificant that around the same time as the venal reactions to the interview by Javed Akhtar, sections of the Muslim community who have raised similar objections to recent comments by actor Naseeruddin Shah. In his video clip which went viral, Shah is specifically addressing the Indian Muslim community where he is warning Muslim compatriots against rigid forms of Islam, advising an espousal of modernity. Shah is only re-iterating the long, vibrant and tolerant tradition of Indian Islam that has been in recent decades afflicted by the Saudi-exported Wahhabi Islam, a trend that large sections of Indian Muslims recognise and also deplore.

Signatories:
Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM, ADC
Aditi Chowdhury
Aftab Khan, Journalist, Nasik
A.J. Jawad, Advocate, Chennai
Ajit Pandit
Amir Rizvi, Designer, Mumbai
Anand Patwardhan, Documentary Film Maker, Mumbai
Anil Chandra
Anjum Rajabali, film writer
Anubha Rastogi, Lawyer, Mumbai
Arshad Alam, Academic/Researcher, Delhi
Aruna Gnanadason
Anuradha Kapur
Apeksha Vora
Ashok Maridas
Askari Zaidi, Writer
Atul Tiwari, Writer
Aquila Khan- Filmmaker
Aadya Pandey
Aawaaz-Niswaan (Organisation)
Ashhar Khan- Jaunpur
B T Venkatesh, Senior Advocate,
Bebaak collective (Organisation)
Benson
Brinelle D’souza, Academic and Activist
Cedric Prakash, Jesuit and Civil Rights Activist
Chayanika Shah
Chirashree Das Gupta
Cyrus Guzder, Philanthropist and Civil Rights Activist
Deepika D’Souza
Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) (Organisation)
Dinesh Abrol, Professor ISID (retd), Chief Scientist CSIR-NISTADS (retd).
Dipak Malik, Prof. (retd), Varanasi
Dr. Asokan Mundon
Dr. S Faizi
Enakshi Ganguly
Farhat
Farhan Rahman, Research Scholar, Ranchi
Feroze Mithiborwala, National Convener, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Mumbai
Forum Against Oppression of Women (Organisation)
Gautam Bhattacharya
Geeta Kapur, Art Historian and critique
Geeta Seshu, Co-editor, Free Speech Collective
Ghulam Moyiuddin Faruki, New York
Gurumoorthy
H. C. Satyarthi
Hasina Khan, Feminist
Harsh Kapoor, Independent Researcher, Delhi
Hartman de Souza, Writer and Teacher
Hindal Tyabji
Imran Khan, Independent Theatre Artist
Indira Chandrasekhar, Publisher and Activist
Irfan Engineer, Director, Centre for the Study of Society & Secularism, Mumbai
Irfan Khan
J.S. Bandukwala, Professor of Physics (retd), Vadodara
Javed Anand, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy, Mumbai
John Dayal, Author and Activist
Jyoti Punwani, Freelance Journalist Mumbai
K. M. Shrimali, Professor of History (retd), University of Delhi
Kasim Sait, Businessman, Philanthropist, Chennai
Kavitha Lankesh, Filmmaker
Keval Arora
Kirti Singh, Lawyer and Womens Rights Activist
Kumar Samatahala
Lalita Ramdas, Peace Activist
Lyndon Saldanha
M.K.Raina
Madangopal Singh
Madhu Prasad, Professor (retd), Delhi University
Madhusree Dutta
Mansoor Sardar, Bhiwandi
Masooma Ranalvi, Co-Founder, India Lead,WeSpeakOut, Delhi
(Prof.) Mazhar Mehdi (JNU, New Delhi)
Meera Dewan, Filmmaker
Mohammed Imran, Lucknow
(Prof) Mohammad Sajjad Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
(Prof.) Mohan Rao
Mukhtar Khan, Mumbai
Mukta Srivastava
Mumtaz Shaikh
Muniza Khan, Gandhian Institute, Academic & Activist, Varanasi
NS Shankar
Najid Hussain, USA
Nandan Maluste, entrepreuner and civil rights activist
Nagaragere Ramesh
Nasir Tyabji, formerly with Jamia Millia Islamia
P A Azeez
P.K.Shukla
Pamela Philipose, Senior Journalist
Parcham Collective
Parthiv Shah, photographer
Peggy Devaraj
Persis Ginwalla
Pradeep
Pradeep E, Bangalore
Premachandra U
Priyanka
Prabhat Patnaik, Prof Emeritus, JNU
Qamarjahan, Lucknow (Prof. retd)
Dr. Qaiser Shamim, Delhi
Qurban Ali, Senior Journalist, Delhi
Qutb Kidwai, Social Activist, Mumbai
(Dr) Ram Puniyani, Author, Social Activist
R.B.Sreekumar, former DGP, Gujarat
R Manohar
Rajinder Arora
Ram Rahman, Photographer
Ramachandran
Ramesh Dixit. social activist and academician. Lucknow
Razia Patel, Academic-Social Activist, Pune
Romar Correa
Rosey
Rudrashish Chakraborty
S.V. Raghurama Rao, Professor
Sabah Khan, Parcham, Mumbai
Dr. Sabiha Alam, Academic, Delhi
Sachin Chavan
Salim Yusuf, Lawyer-teacher, Bhiwandi
Sandhya Panaskar, Activist
Sayed Riyaz Raheem, Poet, Mumbai
Saurobijay Sarkar
Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, New Delhi
Shakeel Azmi, Poet
Shalini Dhawan, Designer, Mumbai
Shamsul Islam, Associate Professor University of Delhi (retd) and street theatre
practitioner
Shama Angelina Chatterjee
Shamim Abbasi- Ghazipur
(Dr) Shahnawaz Alam, Asst Professor
Sheela Sridhar
Shweta Damle
Simantini Dhuru, Documentary Film Maker, Mumbai
Sohail Hashmi, Writer, Film Maker, Heritage Activist, Delhi
Subhan Bande
Suhel B
Sujata Gothoskar
Sumit Chowdhury
Syed
Syed Sarwar Hussain, Writer, Patna
Syed Tehsin Ahmed, Political Activist, Delhi
(Dr) Teesta Setalvad, Author, Journalist, Activist
Tushar Gandhi, Peace, Rights and Liberalism Influencer
Vasanthi Raman, (Prof., retd), New Delhi
Vicky
Vinita Balekundri, Maharashtra Hawker Federation
Vivan Sundaram, Artist and Activist
Wan Manan
Yaqoob Rahi (Poet, Mumbai)
Zafar Agha, National Herald, Delhi
Zafar Bakht, Allahabad
Zaheer Ali, Chairman, Centre for Promotion of Democracy and Secularism,
Mumbai
Zakir Sardar Naufil Arya, Poet, Agra
Zoya Hasan, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)






Categories: Campaign, Statements

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