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  The campaign Artists Against Communalism (AAC), initiated with a
17-hour performance at Safdar Hashmi Marg

Given the rapidly escalating threat from the communal force in all areas of socio-political life, it was felt that instead of using conventional forms – signature campaign, protest march, hunger strike etc,- for expressing the creative community’s total opposition to communalism there should be an assertion of the plurality and composite nature of India’s cultural tradition by bringing together on the same platform the enormous variety and richness of India’s classical music and dance traditions.

Participating artists were asked to preface their performances with statement based on their own art form to emphasise the plural nature of the Indian art tradition. From the most well-known senior artists to those who had just started making a name for themselves, all forms and schools were represented in a participation so enthusiastic that the planned 12 house stretched to 17 in spite of the bitter cold on new year’s day. A memorable performance, which evoked a tremendously positive public and media response, it clearly demonstrated that the access of the secular platform to artists and art practices was practically unlimited and, as yet, barely tapped. The demonstration of the cultural plurality of their art forms by representatives of India’s finest art traditions from their own platform brought life to the slogans and statements of political speeches and lectures in history.