8 April 2014
: A group of academicians, artists and concerned citizens today issued an appeal to the electorate to vote against the BJP-led NDA in upcoming Lok Sabha elections in order to what they termed as 'corporate-communal alliance's bid for power'. Prominent among those who made this appeal include Jayati Ghosh, Prabhat Patnaik, Amit Sen Gupta, Maya Rao, Irfan Habib, M.K. Raina, Amit Upadhyay, Saeed Mirza, C.P. Chandrasekhar, Ali N. Rizavi, Asad Zaidi, Ashish Dasgupta, Badri Raina, Girish Mishra, Indira Arjun Dev, K.M. Shrimali, Kanti Mohan Soz, Moloyashree Hashmi, Pamela Philipose, Prabhat Shukla, Reena Ginwala, Shabnam Hashmi, S.Z.H. Jafri, Saba Hasan, Sohail Hashmi, Zoya Hasan, Utsa Patnaik, Ramnik Mohan, Mallika Taneja, Neha Chaturvedi, K.P. Jayashankar, Jaideep Chatterjee, Kamala Menon, Sumangala Damodaran, Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Jaishankar Monteiro, Madhu Sahni, Shashi Bhushan Upadhyay, Mukul Mangalik, Shubhra Chakrabarti and Kunal Chakrabarti. In a statement civil society members have said that never before in post-independence India have political forces, which are a front for an organization committed to creating a Hindu Rashtra, made as strong a bid for power as in the coming elections. 'These forces are led by a person who presided over a pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 and has never expressed any contrition over his role in that ghastly incident. And they enjoy the backing of the most powerful corporate houses in the country,' the statement reads. They have further observed that the prospect of this alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power constitutes a palpable threat to the future of our secular democracy. 'We urge all responsible individuals and political formations to ponder over the situation and urgently take whatever steps are necessary for defending our secular democracy. We appeal to the electorate to foil this corporate-communal alliance's bid for power by voting against the BJP-led NDA,' the luminaries of their respective fields have added.