Serious action needs to be taken against all attacks on cultural expression.
Prithviraj Chavan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra
We, the undersigned, express our concern at the increasing manifestations of intolerance in our country. An immediate example is the brutal attack on students of the FTII in Pune on the evening of 21st August, after a film screening held in tribute to Dr Narendra Dabholkar, assassinated the previous morning.
Intimidating tactics such as beatings and murders not only strike at the roots of our democracy but get encoded as threats in the minds of all. Fear places constraints on what might be said, written, read, shared, created, shown or even funded. Creativity can only thrive if there is no fear in the minds of those who work in the arts, sciences, social studies and all other spheres of human endeavour.
Such acts of violence should be condemned by all who value India's cultural diversity and see the diminishing freedom of expression as a sign of worse things to come. We assert that we will not be intimidated by such tactics. Those guilty of such acts should be brought to justice and the charges made against the FTII students be dropped immediately.