Over 100 former bureaucrats write to Narendra Modi to end politics of hate

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 More than 100 Indian former civil servants have written an open letter to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, calling for an end to politics of hate practiced assiduously by governments under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The former bureaucrats said in this year of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”, Modi will hopefully rise above “partisan considerations” and call an end to the aforementioned practice. “Your silence, in the face of this enormous societal threat, is deafening,” the letter said.

Former Indian national security advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon, ex-foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, former home secretary GK Pillai, former lieutenant governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s principal secretary TKA Nair are among the 108 signatories to the letter, the Indian media reported.

In the open letter, the ex-bureaucrats said the “relentless pace” at which the “constitutional edifice created by our founding fathers” is being ruined, it compels them to “speak out and express” their anger and anguish.

Referring to hate violence against minority communities, particularly Muslims, in the last few years and months across BJP-ruled states of Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Delhi – where the New Delhi controls the police – the letter stated that the situation has attained a “frightening new dimension”.

The former civil servants also said they believe the threat is unprecedented owing to which not only is the constitutional morality and conduct at risk, the unique syncretic social fabric, “which is our greatest civilizational inheritance and which our Constitution is so meticulously designed to conserve, is likely to be torn apart”.

The letter comes in the aftermath of several clashes that occurred between the Hindu and Muslim communities during the recent Hindu festival, Ram Navami. Three incidents were reported in Gujarat, causing the death of one person while one was reported in Madhya Pradesh too. Ram Navami clashes broke out in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri locality as well which caused police to cordon off the area.

Besides Ram Navami violence that emerged when processions during the festival were taken out, hate speeches against Muslims – including the Dharma Sansad in Uttarakhand, and the Karnataka head-scarp/hijab row, have triggered communal clashes lately.

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