PUCL Bulletin, June 2002

Save Mallika, Expose the Villains
-- By K. Satchidanandan and others, May 12, 2002

We are extremely pained and disturbed to know that Mallika Sarabhai, one of the finest creative performance artists of contemporary India, and a committed humanist with a wide range of emancipatory concerns, has been forced to go into hiding to save her life from the murderous Hindu fundamentalists of Gujarat who have threatened to kill her and to burn down her famous Darpana Academy along with her aged mother, the great dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai.
The threat has come in the wake of Mallika Sarabhai's interventions in the recent tragic happenings in Gujarat, her attempts to bring peace to the terror-torn State, and to expose the perpetrators of the genocide in Gujarat including photographing of the mopping up operations just prior to the Prime Minister's visit to the State intended to save their patronizing Chief Minister.

This threat is the latest in a series of similar incidents aimed at disrupting peace and legitimizing violence against the minorities and terrorizing the liberal public, and committed artists and intellectuals.

We take this threat to Mallika Sarabhai as a threat to our own lives, to the creative and pluralistic cultural traditions of our people, to the secular fabric of the country and to the fundamental freedom of speech and statement.
We appeal to all peace-loving people and all artists, writers and intellectuals to intervene immediately to defend the basic freedom and to join the struggle for religious amity, cultural plurality, secular polity, and democratic and just governance.

We appeal to the Government of India and the President of the Republic to take immediate steps to book the criminals, to reestablish the rule of law in Gujarat, and to forestall a communal conflagration across the country that is the evident agenda of the communal terrorists.


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