Denial Of Visa To Callum Macrae A Repressive Act
By Khurshid Anwar, Dr Apoorvanand & Satya Sivaraman
06 November, 2013
Statement on denial of Indian visa to ‘No Fire Zone’ director Callum Macrae
The Indian government’s dithering over grant of visa to British film director Callum Macrae is a needlessly repressive measure not befitting a large and established democracy like India.
Mr Macrae was scheduled to attend the premiere of his documentary ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ in New Delhi on 7th November and had applied for his visa almost eight months ago.
While the visa has not been outright denied as yet it has been inexcusably kept ‘pending’ without any explanation in a clear signal that the Indian government wants to appease the Sri Lankan regime of Mahinda Rajapakse, whose involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity have been exposed by Mr Macrae. It is ironic indeed that the Sri Lankan government itself has announced in public its willingness to grant Mr Macrae a visa to attend the upcoming CHOGM in Colombo.
The harassment of Mr Macrae falls into a pattern that has emerged in the last several years of a paranoid External Affairs Ministry blocking various artists, intellectuals and activists from traveling to India for innocuous purposes. By blocking the free flow of ideas, information and artistic works across national borders the government is impinging upon the democratic rights of Indian citizens also.
We are still hopeful that better sense will prevail within the Indian government at the last minute and Mr Macrae will be granted to visa to enable him to come to India for the event.
Khurshid Anwar, Executive Director, Institute of Social Democracy (Ph: 9811408192)
Dr Apoorvanand, University of Delhi
Satya Sivaraman, Journalist (Ph: 9818514952)
Comments are moderated