A group of actors, academics, filmmakers and authors have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concerns over a “false narrative” and “selective outrage”, days after another group of public intellectuals had urged Modi to stop mob lynchings in the country, ANI reported on Friday. The 62 signatories include actor Kangana Ranaut, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, dancer and MP Sonal Mansingh, and filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar and Vivek Agnihotri.

The letter said 49 “self-styled guardians and conscience keepers” of democratic values had expressed “selective concern” and demonstrated political bias. The 49 personalities had told Modi that the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan had become a “provocative war cry” and the reason for a number of lynchings in the country.

“This document of selective outrage comes across as attempt to foist a false narrative with the intention of denigrating the democratic ethos and norms of our collective functioning as a nation and people,” the letter read. “It is aimed at tarnishing India’s international standing and to negatively portray Prime Minister Modi’s untiring efforts to effectuate governance on the foundations of positive nationalism and humanism which is the core of Indianness.”

The group said those who signed the “open letter” had been silent when Adivasis became victims of Maoist terror, and when demands for “dismembering India” were made.

The group said lynching was a social malady and the prime minister has condemned such acts. “The open letter comes across to us as an attempt to mock the mandate of the marginalised, to create a sense of fear and siege and to try and derail India’s march towards collective empowerment of all sections of the society. It is clearly an attempt to defame the nation. We do condemn the conspiracy.”

Kangana Ranaut, one of the signatories, said some people were misusing their position to generate a false narrative that everything seemed to be going wrong under the current government. “Whereas for first time things are going in right direction,” ANI quoted her as saying. “We are a part of a major shift, things are changing for betterment of the nation and few people are rattled by this.”

Lyricist Prasoon Joshi said the 49 public intellectuals who wrote the previous letter seemed “hell bent” on portraying a deliberate wrongdoing, thus dishonestly creating a false narrative, ANI reported.

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