About 100 members from the Indian film fraternity on Friday appealed to the citizens of the country to not vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The filmmakers posted the appeal on the website www.artistuniteindia.com, with a message stating that the filmmakers had come together to “protect the democracy of the country”.

The document has signatories including renowned names like Anand Patwardhan, Sanalkumar Sasidharan, Sudevan, Q, Deepa Dhanraj, Gurvinder Singh, Pushpendra Singh, Kabir Singh Chowdhry, Anjali Monteiro, Praveen Morchhale, Devashish Makhija, Aashiq Abu, and editor Bina Paul among others.

Mostly known for their contribution in independent cinema they stated in the joint statement: “Our country is going through the most testing times ever. Though culturally vivid and geographically diverse, we have always stayed united. As a nation. It has indeed been a great feeling to be a citizen of this wonderful country… But all that is at stake now.

“Fascism threatens to strike us hard with all its might if we don’t choose wisely in the coming Lok Sabha election. Period.”

Reasons that they stated behind their decision to take a stand against the political party that formed a majority in the centre in 2014 included, “unleashing of polarisation and hate politics; cow vigilantism; marginalisation of Dalits, Muslims and farmers and increasing censorship”.

The filmmakers said that patriotism is the BJP’s “trump card.”

“Any individual or institution that raises the slightest dissent is labelled ‘anti-national’. Patriotism is how they grow their vote bank.”

The statement concluded with an appeal.

“We urge all of you to do everything in your capacity to keep this harmful regime from coming back to power. Let your mandate be to choose a government that respects the Constitution of India, protects our freedom of speech and expression, and refrains from all kinds of censorship.”

” Yes, This is our last chance!”