Mumbai: Urmila Matondkar, who recently wondered why people were wondering about her religion, said that Hinduism had become the ‘most violent (religion) of them all’.
Speaking during a news interview, Urmila Matondkar said that under the Modi government the ‘religion which has been known for its religious tolerance has turned out to be most violent of them all’.
She said: “The religion which has been known for its religion tolerance has turned out to be the most violent religion of them all. What is sad is that this sort of terribly heinous actos have been applauded and are constantly going viral. People are made to believe this is how the society always was.”
The actor who joined Congress said that nation was ruled by a ‘kind of dictatorship’, heading in a ‘state of anarchy’ with no freedom of any sort.
Matondkar’s statement comes at a time when 600 theatre personalities signed a letter asking people to vote out BJP and allies out of power.
1. Why am I being asked about my religion?
Matondkar who recently joined the Congress party, had earlier questioned why she is being asked about her religion. She said she wants to do “politics above this”.
“Why am I being asked about my religion? I don’t think I have given this right to anyone because that right only belongs to me. I know it, my family knows it and my in-laws know it. I think this is just the beginning. I want to do politics above all this,” Urmila told ANI here.
2. Fighting from Mumbai North
The Congress has fielded her from Mumbai North Parliamentary constituency of Maharashtra in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. In the 2014 General elections, BJP’s Gopal Chinayya Shetty won the seat.
Matondkar was inducted into Congress on Wednesday in the presence of Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and newly-appointed Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora.
The seven-phased Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held from April 11 and will go on till May 19.
Maharashtra will go to polls in the first four phases, beginning April 11. Results of the polls will be declared on May 23.
3. 600 personalities ask people not to vote for BJP
More than 600 theatre personalities, including Amol Palekar, Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad and Usha Ganguli, have signed a letter asking people to “vote BJP and its allies” out of power, arguing that the idea of India and its constitution are under threat.
The letter, which was issued Thursday evening in 12 languages on the Artist Unite India website, said the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are the “most critical in the history” of the country.
Among those who have signed the letter are Shanta Gokhale, Mahesh Elkunchwar, Mahesh Dattani, Arundhati Nag, Kirti Jain, Abhishek Majumdar, Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Lillete Dubey, Mita Vashisth, M K Raina, Makarand Deshpande and Anurag Kashyap.
“Today, the very idea of India is under threat. Today, song, dance, laughter is under threat. Today, our beloved Constitution is under threat,” they said.
The government has “suffocated” the institutions where argument, debate and dissent were nurtured, the letter stated.
“A democracy must empower its weakest, its most marginalised. A democracy cannot function without questioning, debate, and a vibrant opposition. All this is being concertedly eroded by the current government.
“The BJP, which came to power five years ago with the promise of development, has given free rein to Hindutva goons to indulge in the politics of hate and violence,” it added.
In an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the letter stated that he has destroyed the lives of many people through his government’s policies and has failed on the promises he made.
The letter does not refer to the prime minister by name.
“He promised to bring back black money; instead, rogues have looted the country and run away. The wealth of the rich has grown astronomically, while the poor have become even poorer.” The letter asked people to protect the “Constitution and our syncretic, secular ethos” and vote “bigotry, hatred, and apathy out of power”.
“We appeal to our fellow citizens to vote for love and compassion, for equality and social justice, and to defeat the forces of darkness and barbarism,” the letter read.
“Vote to empower the weakest, protect liberty, protect the environment, and foster scientific thinking. Vote for secular democratic, inclusive India. Vote for the freedom to dream. Vote wisely,” it added.
Last week, a similar appeal was issued by celebrated indie filmmakers such as Anand Patwardhan, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan and Devashish Makhija, asking voters to “defeat fascism”