Over 900 artistes and people from the field of literature on Wednesday appealed to fellow voters to vote without pressure and prejudice, and elect a "mazboot sarkar" (strong government), not a "majboor sarkar" (helpess government), in the wake of challenges like terrorism.
The long list contains some prominent names like actor Vivek Oberoi, classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj, music composer Shankar Mahadevan, Kuchipudi dancing duo Raja-Radha Reddy, theatre artiste Waman Kendre, Dhrupad vocalist Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar and Statue of Unity sculptor Ram Sutar.
As per what 93-year-old's son Anil Sutar told IANS, a recent meeting of Indian artistes was held by BJP MP and Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, when they were asked of their opinion on the ruling government.
The group, which came out openly in support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has also said that they need the present government to continue.
“It is our firm conviction that the continuance of Govt. led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the need of the hour.— BJP (@BJP4India) April 10, 2019
We need a “Majboot Sarkar” and not a ‘Mazboor Sarkar’.”
Statement by 907 artistes and persons in the field of Literature. #ModiOnceMore pic.twitter.com/0aYe5OK5N4
In the statement, they said: "We, creative artistes and persons belonging to the field of literature appeal to all our fellow citizens to cast their vote and exercise their right to elect the new government without any pressure and prejudice."
"We believe that during the last five years, India has seen a government that has delivered corruption-free good governance and development oriented administration. During this period, globally India has acquired greater respect. It is our firm conviction that the continuance of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the need of the hour."
Film actor Deepak Karanjikar, asked for his reason to sign on the statement, told IANS that the ruling government has made some "fundamental changes". He cited a "cultural mapping project of all Indian artists" which was approved a year ago and is still in the pipeline.
BIG BRK: India’s top artistes back PM Modi, sayin India has seen a corruption-free governance & globally it acquired greater respect lst 5 yrs.— Rohan Dua (@rohanduaTOI) April 10, 2019
Hence present govt must continue
Artistes inlcude Pt Jasraj, Koena Mitra, Hansraj Hans, Anuradha Paudwal, Sudesh Berry, Pankaj Dheer pic.twitter.com/qnIEEX9ULs
Citing similar reasons, vocalist Wasifuddin Dagar said that "what good has been started must continue".
Previously, recent statements from filmmakers, scientists, writers and artists have appealed to voters to vote out hatred and divisive politics.