Open Letter to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi

Image courtesy: The Wire

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We speak to you as women of this country, and the women of Delhi – Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Adivasi and Dalit – who are horrified at the atmosphere of violence against women that members of your party have created merely to try and win an election.

·        When Mr. Anurag Thakur, a sitting Minister in the central government exhorts a crowd to yell ‘Goli maaron saalon ko’, please remember that in this case the ‘saalon’ is lakhs of peacefully protesting women, sitting in parks and maidans across the city, with young children on their laps.

·        Another campaigner for your party, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh,  Ajay Singh Bisht aka ‘Yogi Adityanath’ kicked off his campaign in Delhi by saying ‘Boli se nahi to goli’ se maanenge!

·        When the esteemed Home Minister, Mr Amit Shah asks people to push the EVM button on 8 February with such force “that protesters feel the current”. Is he wishing to electrocute the women?

Is the BJP now openly endangering the lives of India’s women and children? This is what history will record and India will not forgive, Mr. Prime Minister. For the nation saw the direct result of this violent atmosphere created by members of your party, which inspired ‘Ram Bhakt’ Gopal to open fire at innocent students in Jamia on January 30th, and another terrorist weaponised by the hate being spread by your party, fired at the women of Shaheen Bagh on 1st February.

·       Mr. Parvesh Verma, your party MP said, “Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh). People of Delhi will have to think and take a decision. They’ll enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them.”

What is this kind of communal hate and fear mongering that you, as head of government are encouraging, that seeks to make women of all communities feel more insecure and threatened? Vote for BJP or you will get raped! Is this your election message to Delhi’s women? Is this how low your party has sunk?

Women understand the meaning of rape, Mr. Prime Minister. We have long suffered violence on our bodies, with little access to justice, despite your government’s slogan of Beti Bachao!  We condemn this attempt to demean our histories of pain and fear by using it for cheap, divisive electioneering.

We do not fear the Shaheen Baghs of Delhi, Mr. Prime Minister. What we fear is a government that directs its security forces to attack peacefully protesting students, women and men. Elected members who openly threaten ordinary citizens. And a police force that stands by and watches as people inspired by this hate-filled rhetoric indulge in acts of violence.

Your government may disagree with the reasons for this nation-wide uprising against the NPR-NRC-CAA. But peaceful protest is our constitutional right. That is all we are doing. Lakhs of Delhi’s women are not just part of this movement, they are leading it. Empowered women are on the frontlines. We will not be silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors, when all they are doing it fighting to protect and preserve the Constitution of our country.

Mr Prime Minister, you may belong to BJP, but you are the Prime Minister of the country and have a Constitutional obligation to protect the rights of all citizens. When members of your party exhort mobs to use violence and bullets and you remain silent or support them, remember it is you who are responsible.

·       You need to speak out against such targeted violence and hate speech
·       You need to take immediate action,including under all relevant criminal provisions of the penal code, against these violence mongering members of your party.
·       You need to fight the Delhi election in a manner that upholds the dignity of our Constitution and ensures the security of India’s women.

Issued by:


1.              Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
2.              Ajita, Nisha, Rinchin & Shalini, Convenors, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)
3.              All India Democratic Women’s Association
4.              National Federation of Indian Women
5.              All India Progressive Women’s Association
6.              Muslim Women’s Forum
7.              Pinjra Tod
8.              Centre for Struggling Women
9.              All India Queer Association
10.          Jamia Queer Collective
11.          Makaam- Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, Delhi
12.          Aman Biradari
13.          Karwan-e- Mohabbat


1.              Devaki Jain, Feminist Economist
2.              Laila Tyabji, Craft activist and Chairperson, DASTKAR
3.              Madhu Bhaduri,former Ambassador of India
4.              Navrekha Sharma, former Ambassador of India
5.              Zoya Hasan, Former Professor & Member, National Commission for Minorities
6.              Uma Chakravarti, Feminist Historian and filmmaker
7.              Syeda Hameed, Former Member, Planning Commission of India
8.              Kamla Bhasin, Gender Rights Activist
9.              Farah Naqvi, Author and Activist
10.          Natasha Badhwar, Author and Film-maker
11.          Reena Mohan, film maker
12.          Nivedita Menon, Professor, JNU
13.          Nupur Basu, Journalist
14.          Geeta Seshu, Free Speech Collective, Mumbai
15.          Geeta Kapur, art critic
16.          Enakshi Ganguly, Child Rights activist
17.          Anjali Bhardwaj, Satark Nagrik Sangathan
18.          Maya Krishna Rao, Theatre artist
19.          V. Geetha, Independent feminist scholar
20.          Susie Tharu, Independent Scholar and Writer
21.          Urvashi Butalia, Publisher
22.          Vivan Sundaram, artist
23.          Madhusree Dutta, artist
24.          Sanjana Sarkar. Head, Institut Francais, Rajasthan Annex
25.          Sadhna Arya, Delhi University
26.          Brinda Singh, Human Resource Development
27.          Deepa Pathak, self employed
28.          Lalitha Krishna, Filmmaker
29.          Indira C, Delhi
30.          Priya Pillai, Delhi
31.          Lekha Bhagat, Potter
32.          Namita Nayak, Filmmaker
33.          Ashima Roy Chowdhry, Feminist Activist
34.          Sania Farooqui, Journalist
35.          Subasri Krishnan, Filmmaker
36.          Suresh Rajamani, Filmmaker
37.          Adsa Fatima, Feminist activist
38.          Deepa Venkatachalam,  Health Activist
39.          Shreshtha Das, Independent Consultant
40.          Dr. Ponni Arasu, Chennai
41.          Nandini Manjrekar
42.          Rituparna, Queer Feminist
43.          Vani Subramanian, Film maker
44.          Nandini Rao, feminist activist
45.          Ritambhara, Feminist
46.          Ananya Iyer, Student, M.A. Women’s Studies
47.          Seema Baquer, Cross Disability consultant
48.          Suneeta Dhar, activist
49.          Rafiul Alom Rahman, Queer Activist
50.          Shipra Nigam, research scholar
51.          Dipta Bhog, feminist activist
52.          Malini Ghose. New Delhi
53.          Archana Dwivedi, Feminist Activist
54.          Purnima Gupta, Feminist Activist
55.          Rakhi Sehgal, Researcher & Trade Unionist
56.          Savita Sharma, Feminist Activist
57.          Shirin, entrepreneur
58.          Amrita Johri, Activist
59.          Abha Choudhuri, Concerned citizen
60.          Geeta Sahai, Writer, Filmmaker, Social entrepreneur
61.          Freny Khodaiji, Film Producer, Animal Rights Activist
62.          Minnie Vaid, Filmmaker and Author
63.          Padmaja Shaw, Retired Professor, Journalism, Osmania University
64.          Sharmin Khodaiji, Senior Research Associate, O. P. Jindal Global University
65.          Shernaz Italia, Film Producer, Animal Rights Activist
66.          Usha Rao, Anthropologist/independent media maker
67.          Hansa Thapliyal, Filmmaker
68.          Rahul Roy, Filmmaker
69.          Janaki Abraham, Academic
70.          Kavita Bahl, Filmmaker
71.          Nandan Saxena, Filmmaker
72.          Nishtha Jain, Filmmaker
73.          Radha Misra, Academic
74.          Ranjan Palit, Filmmaker
75.          Saba Dewan, Filmmaker, Author
76.          Samina Mishra, Filmmaker
77.          Uma Tanuku, Filmmaker
78.          Aamana Singh, Graphic Designer
79.          A.M. Padmanabhan, audiographer
80.          Anjana Mangalagiri, Educationist
81.          Devika Menon, PhD Scholar
82.          Kanupriya Sharma, Sr. Archivist, New Delhi
83.          Neena Verma, Filmmaker
84.          Pooja Singh, Development professional, New Delhi
85.          Preeti Gulati, PhD scholar
86.          Sanjana Manaktala, Development professional, New Delhi
87.          Vasundhara Chauhan, Concerned Citizen
88.          Vanita Nayak Mukherjee, concerned citizen
89.          Bharathy Singaravel, Writer
90.          Dipti Bhalla Verma, Filmmaker
91.          Shakti Kak, concerned citizen
92.          Richa Hushing, Filmmaker
93.          Rrivu Laha, Filmmaker
94.          Brij Tankha, Academic
95.          Bursenla,Media Lab, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru
96.          Gauri D. Chakraborty, Academic
97.          Kamini Tankha, Concerned citizen
98.          Kristine Michael, Artist
99.          Mirza Afzal Beg, Farmer
100.      Ridhima Mehra, Concerned Citizen
101.      Anandita Jumde, Editor
102.      Archana Kapoor, Filmmaker
103.      Ayisha Abraham, Academic, Artist
104.      Mahima, Business
105.      Dimple Oberoi Vahali
106.      Meenakshi Barooah, Filmmaker
107.      Muraleedharan C K, Cinematographer
108.      Nabeela Rizvi, filmmaker and researcher
109.      Namita Unnikrishnan, Therapist
110.      Nilita Vachani, Filmmaker/ Educator
111.      Rohini Devraj, Filmmaker
112.      Samreen Farooqui, Filmmaker
113.      Senjuti Mukherjee, Researcher, Archivist, Writer
114.      Sheena Jain, independent researcher
115.      Sherna Dastur, Graphic Designer
116.      Sumalata K, Creative Director
117.      Svetlana Naudiyal, Film Programmer
118.      Urmi Juvekar, Screenwriter
119.      Anumeha, Journalist
120.      Jayoo Patwardhan, Architect, Filmmaker, Art Director
121.      Jeroo Mulla, Educationist
122.      Maya Palit, Journalist
123.      Renu Gourisaria, retired schoolteacher
124.      Mrinalini Vasudevan, Writer and Editor
125.      Shalini Mukerji, Canine Trainer
126.      Ratna Golaknath, Psychotherapist
127.      Aradhana Anand, Furniture Designer
128.      Rita Singh, retired school teacher
129.      Ritambhara Shastri, journalist
130.      Mala Srikanth, Doctor
131.      Mimansa Sahay – Graphic Designer and Diver
132.      Shabani Hassanwalia, New Delhi
133.      Disha Mullick, Delhi
134.      Pali Singh, student, DU
135.      Arushi Mathur, Dancer
136.      Satnam Kaur
137.      Geeta Thatra, PhD student, JNU
138.      Titas Ghosh, feminist researcher, New Delhi
139.      Abhiti, Lawyer, Delhi
140.      Abhilasha, Law Student, Delhi University
141.      Suroor Mander, Lawyer
142.      Honey Oberoi Vahali
143.      Prabha N
144.      Aamana Singh, New Delhi
145.      Radha Mahendru, Art Worker
146.      Faustina Johnson, Editor
147.      Anne Correa, Lawyer
148.      Drishya Nair, Scientist/researcher
149.      Joyeeta Dey, researcher
150.      Jennifer Areng Datta, Filmmaker, Film editor
151.      Mallika Visvanathan, filmmaker, researcher
152.      Pooja Madhavan, Editor
153.      Pia Hazarika, illustrator
154.      Diamond Oberoi Vahali
155.      Veena, Cncerned citizen
156.      Shagun Talwar, Consultant
157.      Noopur, Ed-tech consultant
158.      Ein Lall, Filmmaker
159.      Sumona Chakravarty, Artist
160.      Sinjita Basu, Educational Specialist, Bangalore
161.      Sreemoyee Singh, PhD Scholar
162.      Farha Khatun, Filmmaker