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India: Citizens Appeal To All Political Parties to Stand United Against the BJP led Alliance in the 2019 National Elections

12 March

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The 2019 elections are going to decide the destiny of India like never before. A Govt elected by 31 per cent of those who cast their votes in 2014 is determined to change the very nature of India against the will of the 69 per cent who voted for the Opposition parties: India that had withstood even the trauma of Partition and retained its pluralist character which is now under serious threat by the present Govt and its ideological parent, the RSS. The real fight is for saving the very soul of our great nation with such a glorious, ancient history and civilization from the devastating onslaught unleashed by the current regime.

It is thus a decisive time for the Opposition parties and leaders to rise to the enormity of their responsibility and suspend their individual and party’s egos for small gains here and there. The stakes are much higher now. It is time for showing magnanimity in putting up a single front to defeat the pseudo-nationalist, power-hungry regime; remember 69 per cent of voters in 2014 voted for you, but you frittered it all away at the altar of factional and individual egos. Surely, if it happens again, there would be nothing left to fight for. There have of course been recent, laudable examples of sacrifice of such egos and inflicting crushing defeat on the ruling party. It is our fervent appeal to follow these examples to save India.

We suggest that in opposition to the ruling party’s agenda of “Divide and Rule”, let the Opposition parties set an alternate agenda with the focus on the shared cultural inheritance and common destiny. It is also important to bring issues of steady economic decline over the past five years on all fronts—farmers, jobs, small traders — on one hand and the growth of crony capitalism on the other. Corruption has also entered centre stage over these years. And of course the question of the sanctity and autonomy of institutions and indeed of the Constitution itself are crucial for this agenda.

We hope that our appeal will be given serious consideration when strategies for the elections are drawn up. Our hope rests with you.

Signatories:

No Name Affiliation / Identification

1 Harbans Mukhia Historian, Retd. Prof JNU
2 Zoya Hasan Political Scientist
3 John Dayal Journalist and Commentator
4 Saeed Akhtar Mirza Screen Writer and Film Director
5 Sumit Chakravartty Editor, Mainstream
6 Saeed Naqvi Senior Journalist and Commentator
7 Nandini Sundar Professor, Delhi University
8 Rudi Heredia Independent Researcher
9 Anuradha Chenoy Retd. Prof JNU
10 Sheba Chhachhi Artist, Delhi
11 Aruna Roy Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan
12 A. C. Michael National Coordinator - United Christian Forum
13 Kamal Mitra Chenoy Retd. Prof JNU
14 Aijaz Zaka Syed Journalist and columnist
15 Amit Sengupta Journalist
16 Anand Patwardhan Film Maker
17 Jeniffer Mirza Senior Citizen
18 Asad Zaidi writer, publisher
19 Anil Chaudhury Director, INSAF
20 Jawed Naqvi Journalist and columnist
21 Kamyani Lawyer
22 Ram Puniyani All India Secular Forum
23 Badri Raina Writer and Columnist
24 Dipak Dholakia Writer and former broadcast journalist
25 Imrana Qadeer Retd. Prof JNU
26 Farah Naqvi Writer and Activist, Delhi
27 Nalini Taneja teacher, publisher
28 Jaffer Latief Najar PhD scholar, The Hague
29 Sagar Rabari Khedut Ekta Manch (Farmers Unity Platform)
30 Savita Varde-Naqvi Former UN Official
31 Zafar Agha Journalist
32 Snehal Shah Independent Researcher
33 P. K. Murthy Lal Zhanda Coal Mines Mazdoor Union
34 Rudi Heredia Independent Researcher
35 Gargi Chakravartty Former Teacher Delhi University
36 Sumedh Shah Senior Citizen
37 Vijay Singh Former Teacher, Delhi University
38 Tripta Wahi Former Teacher, Delhi University
39 Faraz Ahmad Journalist
40 Ovais Sultan Khan Human rights activist
41 Feroz Mehdi Alternatives International, Canada
42 Devasia Muthuplackal Secular Perspective
43 Latha Jishnu Journalist and columnist
44 Harsh Kapoor Independent researcher
45 Samar Bagchi NAPM, West Bengal
46 Brinelle D’Souza
47 M. I. Raj
48 Rabin Chakraborty
49 V.B.Chandrasekaran Founder Trustee, Mahatma Gandhi Sabari Aashramam
50 Saral Jhingran Writer
51. Suhas Paranjape, Thane