Two days after a group of eminent personalities from the film fraternity wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over religion-based hate crimes, another group of people from the industry wrote a counter letter against "selective outrage and false narratives".
A total of 62 people including actress Kangana Ranaut, Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and lyricist Prasoon Joshi and filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar, Vivek Agnihotri and Rajya Sabha member Sonal Mansingh penned the counter letter to the Prime Minister concerning over the outrageous acts in the name of religion.
The counter letter by the 62 personalities claimed that the open letter addressed to PM Modi, which was published on 23 July 2019, has left them astonished. They claimed that the earlier letter aimed at tarnishing the nation's image. "Forty-nine self-styled 'guardians' and conscience keepers' of the nation... have expressed selective concern and demonstrated clear political bias and motive," read the letter.
61 personalities including actor Kangana Ranaut, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Classical Dancer and MP Sonal Mansingh,Instrumentalist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar& Vivek Agnihotri write an open letter against 'selective outrage and false narratives'. pic.twitter.com/RGYIxXeJzS— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2019
"The signatories of 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," added the letter.
"We are a part of a major shift, things are changing for the betterment of the nation and 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," said Kangana Ranaut, reports ANI.
The letter claimed that celebrities are seeking a non-bailable law against mob-lynching over religious sentiments. The letter stated that some influential people are creating false narratives about the nation and the untiring work of the Prime Minister.
The citizens' letter written on July 23 was signed by 49 dignitaries including historian Ramchandra Guha, filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and singer Shobha Mudgal. Their letter stated that 'Jai Shri Ram' has become a provocative war cry with many lynchings taking place in its name.
The citizens' letter was supported by the Chief Minister of West Mamata Banerjee, actress Swara Bhasker. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi responded to the letter saying that the Dalits and minorities in India are safe and criminal incidents should not be communalised.