Screenwriters Association (formerly FWA)
by Suman Gupta
Mumbai,Feb 2017: Donald Trump’s immigration ban evoked a strong response from all quarters of life. Ms Preeti Mamgain, President of The Screenwriters’ Association (SWA) of Mumbai India, expressed their concern, “It is a shock and outrage at the recent executive policy announcement by the new president of America, imposing barriers to the entry of people from other countries, which is clearly a thinly disguised ‘Anti-Muslim’ ban. Discriminating against people on the basis of the country, religion or region that they were born into amounts to a violation of their natural freedom of movement and hence of their human rights, such xenophobic policies create and reinforce suspicion and hate among people, thereby legitimating prejudice and even inciting violence by demonizing certain communities and nationalities. SWA stands in solidarity with their brother unions – the Writers Guilds of America (West and East) and their screenwriting members – which have publicly taken an unequivocal position protesting and opposing the ban policies”.
The following is a joint statement from Michael Winship, President, Writers Guild of America East, (WGAE), and Howard A. Rodman, President, Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) from New York and Los Angeles.
"It is both unconstitutional and deeply wrong to say that you cannot enter our country because of where you were born or what religion you were born into. The Writers Guilds of America, East, and West condemn Donald Trump’s profoundly un-American “Muslim ban,” and applaud the Federal Court’s decision to grant a stay that will keep those being held at American airports from being forcibly returned to their countries. Human rights – including the freedoms of speech and religion – are essential to all Americans and to all who come here to build better lives.
We are especially troubled by reports that Asghar Farhadi, director of THE SALESMAN, which won Best Screenplay at Cannes and is now nominated for an Oscar, may together with his cast and crew be prevented from entering our country. From its early days, the entertainment industry has been built by the imagination of immigrants. Our guilds are unions of storytellers who have always welcomed those from other nations, and of varying beliefs, who wish to share their creativity with America. We are grateful to them, we stand with them, and we will fight for them."
Well known Lyricist-Writer and Two time National Film Award winner, Swanand Kirkire, who is a member of the Executive Committee of SWA slammed the politics of it saying, "It's time that those who don't believe in hate politics come together and speak now. Until we do that, the politicians will keep playing with the fate of the humanity.”
Anjum Rajabali, writer of films such as Raajneeti and The Legend of Bhagat Singh, also joined in the protest & expressed his views by saying “The divisive positions and hate propaganda that Donald trump resorted to during his election campaign are now delivering on those shocking promises. While it is shocking, it isn’t surprising, frankly. And, unless voices of protest are heard loudly and repeatedly, each time such moves are made, our freedoms will shrink until they disappear.”