Published: 08th October 2019
SFI, DYFI bombard PMO with 1.5 lakh posted letters protesting FIR against 49 'seditious' artists
The celebrities including Mani Ratnam and Adoor Gopalakrishnan who had written an open letter against mob lynching and attack on dissent were charged with sedition
Over the past few days, the Prime Minister's office received over one lakh letters that began the same way, sent by SFI and DYFI activists from all around the country. "We have come to know that an FIR has been filed against 50 people including the eminent personalities like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mani Ratnam, Ramachandra Guha, Revathy etc, who had written an open letter to you raising concerns over the growing incidents of mob lynching, attack on dissent and democratic spaces in the country," reads the first sentence of the letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The letter-writing campaign was kickstarted on October 5, after an FIR was lodged against 49 artists and activists under various sections related to sedition and hurting religious sentiments. These activists had written an open letter on July 23, condemning lynching, attack on dissent and about how 'Jai Shri Ram' had been reduced to a war cry.
To protest against the FIR filed against them, the SFI and the DYFI began this letter-writing spree. "We have sent around one lakh letters to the Prime Minister until now. More letters are expected to reach him tomorrow, now that the holidays are over," says V P Sanu, SFI National President. He's yet to get an exact number of the total letters sent. "We had sent him a copy of the same letter that the activists had sent, but added a paragraph in the beginning," he says. DYFI, according to a report in The Telegraph, has sent an additional 50,000 letters. The members of both organisations have printed out hard copies of the letter, signed them and have sent them to the PMO.
When asked if he and his organisation are scared of being tagged as seditious, Sanu says, "Let them call us seditious. We are alive at a time where the right-wing has gone to the extent of calling Mahatma Gandhi seditious. His ashes had disappeared, his photographs are vandalised and he's been tagged a 'deshdrohi' (treacherous)."