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India: 2004 Appeal from the progressive intelligentsia to left parties

8 September 2014

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Shabnam Hashmi and Prof Rizwan Qaiser today [16 May 2004] met Prakash Karat and AB Bardhan and submitted the following appeal on behalf of approx 200 prominent artists, intellectuals from across India.

To Comrade Harkishan Surjeet / Comrade AB Bardhan and the Central Committee and Polit Bureau members of the CPM and the CPI


In recovering the secular democratic voice of the nation the force on the left have performed a very positive and constructive role. The left has provided the ideological and organisational direction and leadership to the struggle against the policies and programmes persued by the pro-imperialist government headed by the BJP. That in the verdict of the people the left has been assigned a decisive role has to be read as a reflection of this political reality. How the left should perform their role is likely to generate debate and discussion and naturally there would be different view points as well. Yet there cannot be two opinions that it should shoulder the responsibility provided by the people, in order to defeat the communal and pro-imperialist forces. How best it could be achieved is the question before the left today in the wake of the electoral verdict of the people.

We consider that this is a historical juncture, which calls for creative and constructive initiative from the left. It involves first an entirely new direction to economic development by rejecting the very concept of development advocated by the forces of globalisation and secondly by dismantling the ideological structure created by communalism.

The left can undertake the task only as a part of the government and not by supporting it from outside. The latter, is we may say so, is a negative approach, which the people are likely to interpret as shirking the responsibility. To usher in changes on secular and democratic lines the left has to use the possible access to power, even if there are certain political risks involved in it. The responsibility of providing such leadership rests on the left possibly not likely to be persued by others as sincerely, as effectively that the left would do. After all the quality of the life of the people in West Bengal and Kerela would not have been possible without the left wielding power. Let not the left, therefore, feel shy of sharing power at the centre, instead assume a role the people expect them to fulfil as is evident from the electoral result.

We therefore hope that the members of the Central Committee and the Polit Bureau of the CPM and the CPI would take a decision about participating in the secular democratic alliance in consonance with the trust and the confidence imposed upon them by the people of the country.

A K Hangal- Mumbai-Actor
Abdul Hamid Mir-Kashmir- businessman
Achin Vinaik-Delhi
Aditi Mangaldas-Delhi-dancer
Aditya Mukherjee- Delhi-Professor
Aditya Nigam-Delhi- social activist
Ali Jawed- Delhi-writer
Altaf Badafshi- Kashmir-political activist
Amaresh Mishra- Mumbai-journalist
Ameeta Mulla Wattal-Delhi-Principal Springdales School, educationist
Anand- Delhi-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
Anand Patwardhan- Mumbai- Documentary maker
Anil Chowdhry-Delhi- social activist
Anil Sadgopal- Delhi-professor
Anjali Monterio- Mumbai- filmmaker, professor TISS
Anjum Rajabali- Mumbai-script writer
Anuradha Kapoor- Delhi-theatre
Apoorvanand-Delhi-social activist
Aradhna Vikram Singh
Arjun Dangle- Mumbai- writer
Arjun Dev- Delhi-professor
Aruna Ratnam- Chennai-director education UNICEF
Arvind Adarkar
Arvind Krishnaswami- Mumbai- social activist, economist
Asghar Ali Engineer- Mumbai- social activist
Ashok Vajpayee- Delhi-writer
Atul Tiwari- Mumbai-theatre
Aziz Mirza- Mumbai-Director
Baba Azmi- Mumbai-camera film
Baba Kashmira Singh-Punjab
Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga-Punjab- 98 years
Badri Raina- Delhi-professor
Bashir Ahmad Wani-Kashmir- business
Bhagat Singh Malik- Haryana- Advocate
Bhanu Bharti-Delhi-theatre
Bharat Bhatt- Gujarat
Bhushan Oza-Gujarat- Advocate
Bipan Chandra-Delhi- Professor, Historian
BK Bawa-Hyderabad-Retired IAS
Boman Irani- Mumbai- film actor
Cedric Prakash-Gujarat- Director Prashant
Chandita Mukherjee- Mumbai- documentary filmmaker
Chandrasekhar Rao- Hyderabad-constitutional expert
Colin Gonsalves –Delhi-Human Rights Law Network
Darshan Pundit- Uttranchal- Sarokar-social activist
Deepa Gahlot- Mumbai- journalist/ film critic
Digant Oza-Gujarat- Journalist
DR Chowdharay-Haryana- Professor
Fakhruddin Mohd. Dr-Hyderabad- NESCO
Feroz Chandra- Mumbai- journalist
G Narsingh Rao-Hyderabad-filmmaker
Gagan Sethi-Gujarat- Director Janvikas
Ganesh Devi- Gujarat- write and tribal rights activist
Gauhar Raza-Delhi- documentary filmmaker, poet
Ghyasuddin Babu Khan- Huderabad- United Economic Forum
Girish Mishra- Delhi-professor
GK Arora- Delhi- ex IAS
Gopal Menon- Kerala- documentary filmmaker
Govind Nihalani- Mumbai-theatre/ films
GS Bhalla- Delhi-economist
Gulam Rasool Dar- Kashmir- social activist
Habib Tanveer- Bhopal- Theatre
Hanif Lakdawala-Gujarat-Activist
Harsh Mander- Delhi-writer/ activist
Indu Kumar Jani-Gujarat- Journalist
Irfan Habib-Aligarh-Professor
Jagjit Singh Anand-Punjab- journalist
Javed Akhtar- Mumbai- Poet/ lyricist
Javed Anand - Mumbai-Journalist-Editor Communalism Combat
Javed Naqvi-Delhi- Journalist
Javed Siddiqui- Mumbai-
Jitendra Bhatia- Mumbai- writer
Jitendra Raghuvanshi-Agra-General Secretary IPTA
John Dayal-Delhi- Journalist
Jutice Krishna Iyer
K. N. Pannikar - Kerala- Historian
K. Stalin-Gujarat- documentary filmmaker
Kalyani MJ- Mumbai-
Kamal Lodaiya- Chennai-scientist
Kamleshwar- Delhi-writer
Kavita Srivastava- Rajasthan-PUCL
Keerti Jain-Delhi-Delhi-theatre
KG Kannabiran- Hyderabad- PUCL
KM Shrimali-Delhi-Historian
Kodand Ram Reddy- Hyderabad-trade unionist
KP Jai Shankar— Mumbai- filmmaker. Tiss prof
Krishna Kumar-Delhi-Professor/ educationist
Kultar Singh-Haryana- Advocate
Kunwar Narain- Delhi-poet/ writer
Madhu Prasad- Delhi-
Mahaveer Sharma- Haryana- Advocate
Mahesh Bhatt- Mumbai- Director Cinema
Mahmood Bin Mohd- Hyderabad-Fornmer IPS
Manarjena- Orissa-Dalit Activist
Mandal Dr.-Hyderabad- social activist
Manjul Sinha- Mumbai- theatre
Manjula Sen- Mumbai-senior journalist
Martin Mackwan- Gujarat- Director Navsarjan- Dalit Human Rights activist
Mehtab Bamjee- Hyderabad- Scientist
Milan Luthria- Mumbai- film director
Mimroh- Jaipur- Centre for Dalit Human Rights
Mohan Rao
Mohiuddin Sofi- Kashmir- writer
Monica Habib- Bhopal-Theatre
Mridula Mukherjee-Delhi-Professor
MS Sathyu- Mumbai-Director Cinema
Mujib Ahmad Kant-Kashmir-writer
Mukul Dube- Delhi- writer
Nadira Zaheer Babbar- Mumbai-Theatre Director/ actress
Nafisa Ali-Delhi- Activist
Namwar Singh- Delhi- writer
Nand Kishore Acharya- Rajasthan- writer/ theatre
Nandita Das-Delhi- Actress
Nasser-Chennai- Filmactor
Neelam Jajodia-Mumbai
Neerja Gopal Jayal-Delhi-professor
Nirmal Jajodia-Mumbai
Nirmala Deshpande- Delhi-writer/ social activist
Nirmalangshu Mukherjee-Delhi-professor
Nishtha Jain-Mumbai- filmmaker
Nivedita Menon-Delhi- academician, social activist
Pankaj Singh-Delhi-poet
Papa Pritam Singh- Punjab-publisher, journalist
Parthiv Shah-Delhi- Designer
Paul Divakar-Hyderabad- National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
Pawan Rana-Uttranchal- Sarokar-on behalf of 10,000 members across Uttranchal
PC Joshi-Delhi-
Pir Khalid- Kashmir-political activist
PK Das- Mumbai-social activist
Pm Bhargava-Hyderabad-scientist
Pooh Sayani- Mumbai- model/ ad filmmaker
Prabhash Joshi-Delhi-Journalist, Editor
Praful Bidwai-Delhi-Journalist
Prakash- Kerala-Dalit movement
Prakash Louis-Delhi-Director Indian Social Institute
Pralaya Kanungo-Delhi-professor
Prasoon Pandey- Mumbai- ad filmmaker
Preeti Bhat- Mumbai- activist
Pritham K chakravarty-Chennai-theatre
Purshottam Agarwal-Delhi- writer, political commentator
Purshottam Badoni-Uttranchal- Sarokar-social activist
Rahul Jalali-Delhi- Journalist
Rajat Datta-Delhi-academician
Rajendra Yadav-Delhi-journalist, writer
Rajit Kapur- Mumbai- actor- national award winner actor
Rajni Bakshi- Mumbai- Journalist
Rakesh Sharma- Mumbai- Documentary filmmaker
Ram Puniyani- Mumbai- Professor/ activist
Rizwan Qaiser- Delhi- Professor
Rooprekha Verma- Lucknow- Ex Vice Chancellor Lucknow University
S.Irfan Habib- Delhi- scientist
Saeed Mirza- Mumbai-Director Cinema
Salim Khan-Kashmir-actor
Sana Ullah- Kashmir- writer
SanaUlla Bhat-Kashmir- political activist
Sandeep Pandey-Delhi-social activist
Santok Singh Dhir-Punjab-poet, writer
Saumya Joshi and the whole team of Fade in Theatre- Gujarat- Theatre Director
Shabana Azmi- Mumbai- Actress
Shabnam Hashmi-Delhi-Political Activist
Shama Zaidi- Mumbai-writer
Shaukat Kaifi- Mumbai-Theatre/ film actress
Sheba George- Gujarat-Activist
Sheela Bhalla-Delhi-
Shireen Moosvi-Aligarh-Professor
Shyam Benegal-Mumbai-film director
SK Thorat- Delhi-Director, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies
Smriti Navatia- Mumbai-
Sudha Arora- Mumbai- Journalist/ writer
Sudhir Sharma- Haryana-Advocate
Suhasini Mulay- Mumbai- cinema
Sukumar Ozhikode
Sumbul- physician
Sumit Chakravarty-Delhi-editor
Sumit Sarkar Professor
Sunanda Sen- Delhi-economist
Surendra Kumar- Haryana- Professor
Surjit Pattar-Punjab-poet
Syeda Hamid-Delhi- Ex Chairperson Women’s Commission
Tanika Sarkar
Tanika Sarkar Professor
Tanuja Chandra- Mumbai-film director
Tanvi Azmi- Mumbai-actress
Tariq Meer- Kashmir- businessman
Tarun Tejpal-Delhi- Journalist
Teesta Seetalwad- Mumbai-Journalist-Editor Communalism Combat
Uma Gurbux Singh-Punjab-social activist
UR Anantamurthy- Bangalore-writer
Urvashi Butalia- Delhi-writer/ publisher
Venkatesh Chakravarty-Chennai-film critic
Vidya Rao-Delhi- singer
Vidya Shah-Delhi- Singer
Vijay Pratap- Delhi-social activist
Vimal Thorat- Delhi- National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
Vinay Kumar- Dalit Bahujan Front
Vinay Shukla- Mumbai- writer/ director
Vincent- Hyderabad-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
Vipin Sharma- Mumbai- television
Vivan Sundaram-Delhi- artist
VP Dutt-Delhi-professor
Waryam Sandhu-Punjab-writer
Yashpal Prof-Delhi-Scientist
Zahir Ali khan- Hyderabad- Editor , journalist
Zahoor Siddiqui-Delhi- professor
Zoya Hasan-Delhi-professor

For any queries contact
Shabnam Hashmi
4, Windsor Place, New Delhi-110001 [India]

[ carried earlier in South Asia Citizen’s Wire, 16-17 May 2014: see]