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Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 11

Call to the Creative Community

Wednesday 5 March 2008, by Suhas Borker

Fifteen years ago, in early 1993, following the Ayodhya crisis and Mumbai riots, artists and writers came under a serious threat from communal and divisive forces. In July that year, the Convention on Freedom of Expression was held in New Delhi. Suhas Borker, one of the Conveners of the 1993 Convention, has sent us these lines for publication in this journal. These lines were penned at that time as the Call to the Convention and sent to the creative community all over the country. The Rashtritya Ekta Abhiyan—the movement launched by the secular and democratic political parties (including the CPI and CPM), trade unions, people’s movements and cultural organisations—had convened the Convention. Today, when freedom of expression is under threat in the country once more, it is relevant to recall these words. —Editor

They are out again with their arsenal
- to gag, maim, to kill…

They threaten every sane voice today
—jo insaniyat ke hak main hai
to strike at our roots, our values and our
freedom

Will we keep silent
- or shall we speak up?
- Will each one of us stand alone
- or shall we all come together?

Writers, artists and filmmakers,
- painters, sculptors and photographers,
- poets, dancers and musicians,
- women and men of the stage, screen and media
- —all together bound by our will
- to defend and protect our freedom.

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