The protest begun by writers has spread to other sections of the intelligentsia, with artists, scientists and film makers speaking out against what they described as a systematic spread of intolerance.
More than 400 members of the artist community, including painters, gallerists and curators, issued a strongly worded statement signed by the likes of the London-based Anish Kapoor, Padma Vibhushan winning modernist K G Subramanyan and contemporary artist Subodh Gupta.
“Although a few years ago, M F Husain had to go in exile from our country; but today, this intolerance…has crossed criminal limits,” said Gupta.
A section of scientists from key academic and research institutions began a web-based petition addressed to the President which said they were joining “protest of litterateurs in awakening people and central and state governments to the dangers of not acting”. It compared the atmosphere to “a nuclear bomb close to criticality” that could “explode any time and drive the nation to chaos”.