NEW DELHI (AP) — Dozens of Indian celebrities have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and stop rising incidents of attacks on minorities, misuse of religion by Hindu hard-liners and intolerance against dissent in the country.
In a joint letter of protest to Modi released on Wednesday, the celebrities said critics of his government are being branded anti-national and punished with imprisonment.
The protest comes less than two months after a massive victory by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in national elections, suggesting that his supporters are feeling emboldened by the defeat of opposition parties.
The 49 signatories included Adoor Gopalakrishnan, a filmmaker, Amit Chaudhary, an author, Anuradha Kapoor, a social activist, Ashis Nandy, a socialist, and Jaya Mitra, an environmentalist.
There was no immediate government reaction to the celebrities’ protest.