NEW DELHI (AP) — Dozens of Indian celebrities have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and stop rising incidents of attacks on minorities, misuse of religion by Hindu hard-liners and intolerance against dissent in the country.In a joint letter of protest to Modi released on Wednesday, the celebrities said critics of his government are being branded anti-national and punished with imprisonment.

The protest comes less than two months after a massive victory by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, in national elections, suggesting that his supporters are feeling emboldened by the defeat of opposition parties.

The 49 signatories included Adoor Gopalakrishnan, a filmmaker; Amit Chaudhary, an author; Anuradha Kapoor, a social activist; Ashis Nandy, a socialist; and Jaya Mitra, an environmentalist.

They said criticizing

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