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New Delhi: A group of former service chiefs, several veterans and a large number of public minded concerned citizens have written to India’s prime minister and president calling for an immediate condemnation of recent calls for genocide against Muslims, and action against those making such threats.
In an open letter signed by more than 200 people, they have called on leaders to “take urgent action”. “We cannot allow such incitement to violence together with public expressions of hate – which not only constitute serious breaches of internal security, but which could also tear apart the social fabric of our nation. One speaker made a call to the army and police to pick up weapons and participate in the cleanliness drive (safai abhiyan). This amounts to asking the army to participate in genocide of our own citizens, and is condemnable and unacceptable,” the letter continues.
“We therefore call upon the Government, Parliament and the Supreme Court, to act with urgency to protect the integrity and security of our country. The Constitution provides for the free practice of religion across faiths. We strongly deplore such polarisation in the name of religion. We urge you, Mr President and Mr Prime Minister, to take immediate steps to curb such attempts, and urge you to condemn such incitement to violence in no uncertain terms.”
Read the full text and list of signatories below.
31 December, 2021
Shri Ramnath Kovind President of India
Shri Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India
OPEN STATEMENT ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE
Dear Mr President, and Mr Prime Minister,
We, the undersigned, are writing to you about recent events in Haridwar, Delhi and elsewhere, openly calling for a genocide of Indian Muslims. In addition, other minorities – Christians, Dalits and Sikhs are also being targeted.
India’s Armed Forces, the Army, Navy & Air Force, together with CAPFs and Police, are responsible for National Security – external and internal, respectively. All of the above have sworn to uphold India’s Constitution and our secular values.
We are seriously perturbed by the content of speeches made during a 3 day religious conclave called a Dharma Sansad, of Hindu Sadhus and other leaders, held at Haridwar between 17-19 December 2021. There were repeated calls for establishing a Hindu Rashtra and, if required, picking up weapons and killing of India’s Muslims in the name of protecting Hinduism.
At about the same time, a large number of persons gathered in Delhi and publicly took an oath resolving to make India a Hindu nation, by fighting and killing if necessary, and more such seditious meetings are being organised in other places.
Regardless of which persons or parties initiated calls for such genocide, Government of India and the Judiciary, at the highest level, need to take urgent action. We cannot allow such incitement to violence together with public expressions of hate – which not only constitute serious breaches of internal security, but which could also tear apart the social fabric of our nation. One speaker made a call to the army and police to pick up weapons and participate in the cleanliness drive (safai abhiyan). This amounts to asking the army to participate in genocide of our own citizens, and is condemnable and unacceptable.
In view of the current situation on our borders, any breach of peace and harmony within the Nation will embolden inimical external forces. The unity and cohesiveness of our men and women in uniform, including the CAPFs and Police Forces, will be seriously affected by allowing such blatant calls for violence against one or the other community in our diverse and plural society.
We therefore call upon the Government, Parliament and the Supreme Court, to act with urgency to protect the integrity and security of our country. The Constitution provides for the free practice of religion across faiths. We strongly deplore such polarisation in the name of religion. We urge you, Mr President and Mr Prime Minister, to take immediate steps to curb such attempts, and urge you to condemn such incitement to violence in no uncertain terms.
We also take this opportunity to urge leaders of all political parties to condemn these calls for what is tantamount to genocide of Muslims. They must restrain their own cadres and thereby set examples of their commitment to Secularism, Fraternity and Justice for all.
It is in the National Interest that all parties should refrain from using religion in politics and pledge to uphold our Constitution and the wellbeing of our people – thus ensuring both National and Human Security for all.
Justice N. V. Ramana, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Shri Om Birla, Speaker of the Lok Sabha
Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs
Shri Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence
Presidents Bhartiya Janta Party, Congress Party, AITC, BSP, Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), CPI, AAP, DMK, AIDMK, Akali Dal, NCP, YSR Congress, Shiv Sena, TRS, TDP and others with representation in Parliament and State Assemblies.
Gen MM Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff.
Admiral R. Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff.
Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Chief of the Air Staff. Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor
Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM (Retd), Former Chief of Naval Staff.
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat (Retd), Former Chief of Naval Staff.
Admiral Arun Prakash, PVSM AVSM,VrC, VSM (Retd), Former Chief of Naval Staff.
Admiral RK Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, (Retd), Former Chief of Naval Staff.
Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, (Retd), Former Chief of Air Staff.
Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Former Vice Chief of the Army Staff.
Vice Admiral Madanjit Singh (Retd), Former FOC in C, Western Naval Command.
Vice Admiral Raman Prem Suthan, (Retd), Former Vice Chief of Naval Staff
Vice Admiral D B Kapila, PVSM,AVSM, VSM
Lt Gen RK Nanavatty, (Retd).
Lt Gen KS Rao, PVSM, SC, SM, (Retd).
Air Marshal TRJ Osman (Retd).
Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar (Retd).
Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani (Retd).
Air Marshal SK Bhan (Retd).
Maj Gen SG Vombatkere, VSM (Retd).
Maj Gen Rajendra Prakash, VSM, (Retd).
Maj Gen TK Kaul, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, (Retd).
Maj Gen MS Kandal, (Retd).
Rear Admiral Alan O’Leary, (Retd).
AVM Kapil Kak (Retd).
Brig VHM Prasad (Retd)
Brig Amardeep Singh
Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd), Transparency Campaigner.
Commodore Ranjit B Rai, Writer and Researcher.
Capt S Prabhala, VSM (Retd), IN
Col Pavan Nair, VSM (Retd).
Col K Ramachandran, (Retd).
Col Shashi Thomas (Retd)
Col Manmohan Singh (Retd)
Lt Col Johnson M Thomas (Retd).
Commander Suryajit Singh Kandal, IN (Retd).
MG Devasahayam (Ex Maj). IAS.
Maj Priyadarshi Chowdhury, SC (Retd).
Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) Village.
Rajmohan Gandhi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Najeeb Jung, Former Lt Governor, Delhi.
Julio Ribeiro, IPS (Retd)
Lalita Ramdas, Educator and Activist.
Tara Murali, Concerned Citizen.
Bharti Sinha, Founder, Citizen’s Forum India.
Binu George, Citizen’s Forum India.
Asha Hans, Academic.
GN Devy, President Rashtra Seva Dal.
Meena Gupta, IAS.
Binu Mathew, Journalist.
Sundar Burra, IAS (Retd).
Gita Hariharan, Writer.
Deb Mukharji, IFS (Retd).
Madhu Bhaduri, Former Ambassador.
Niloufer Bhagwat, VP Indian Association of Lawyers.
Aruna Rodrigues, Lead petitioner SC PIL, GMO Moratorium.
Navrekha Sharma, IFS (Retd).
Gopal Pillai, CCG.
Sharad Chandra Behar, CCG
F Colaso – IAS retd CCG
Ashok Chowdury – All India Union of Forest Working People
Suresh K Goel, Former DG ICCR and Secretary MEA.
Trilochan Singh, IAS retd CCG
Narendra Singh Sisodia, IAS (retd)
Prabhu Gate, IAS (retd)
PT Krishnan, CCG.
Subodh Lal, CCG.
Anna Dani, CCG.
AK Srivastav, CCG.
KP Fabian, IFS, CCG
Dr Meeran Chadha Borwankar, DGP (Retd), IPS.
Indira Jaisingh, Senior Advocate.
Prakash N Shah, Convenor, Movement for Secular Democracy, Editor, Nrikshak
Dr SS Soodan, President Indian Doctors for Peace and Development.
Dr Arun Mitra, Senior VP Indian Doctors for Peace and Development.
Dr Shakeel Ur Rehman, General Secretary Indian Doctors for Peace and Development.
Anand Grover, Senior Advocate.
Ram Punyani, CSSS, Mumbai.
Teesta Setalvad, Citizens for Justice and Peace.
Jayati Ghosh, New Delhi.
Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker.
SP Ambrose, IAS (Retd). CCG.
Mazher Hussain, Social Activist, Hyderabad.
Sabina Basha, Retired IT professional.
Sudipta Sengupta, Retired Professor, Jadavpur University.
Sushant Singh, Actor.
T M Krishna, Musician and Author
Nagarjuna G., Retired Professor, HBCSE, TIFR.
Rev J. Bavani Rajan, Research Scholar
Rajni Bakshi, Journalist, Founder Ahimsa Conversations.
Ramesh Chand, Concerned Citizen.
Indeera Chand, Concerned Citizen.
Rebecca Kurian, Concerned Citizen.
Kamal Kant Jaswal IAS, former secy, CCG.
Raju Rajgopal, Hindus for Human Rights.
Ramani Venkatesan, IAS (Retd).
Dr Zafrul-Islam Khan, Former Chairman Delhi Minorities Commission.
Pradeep K Deb, IAS (Retd), Former Secretary to GOI.
Wajahat Habibullah, Former CIC.
Deepak Sanan, CCG.
Hindal Tyabji, IAS (Retd).
Aditi Mehta, IAS, (Retd).
TR Raghunandan, IAS, (Retd).
Masroor Hasan Siddiqui, Advocate, Delhi High Court, SEHAR Foundation
NC Saxena, Former Secretary Planning Commission.
Dr Rukmani B Nair, Professor Emerita, Linguistics and English.
Bina Agarwal, Economist.
Zia Us Salam, Associate Editor, The Hindu.
Nasreen Fazalbhoy, Academic.
TK Banerji, Former Defence Secretary.
Najid Husain, concerned citizen
V.P. Raja (IAS retd)
Nareshwar Dayal, IFS (Retd).
Gourisankar Ghosh, CCG.
Sujatha Singh, IFS, (Retd).
Ravi Nitesh, Social Activist, New Delhi.
Primila Lewis, Writer and Educator.
Gurjit Singh Cheema, IAS (Retd).
Mohd Zubair Saifi, Concerned Citizen
Ziya Salam, Associate Editor, The Hindu
Sukla Sen, Peace Activist.
Vickram Crishna, Researcher
Anita Dighe, Concerned Citizen, NOIDA.
Sami Uddin. Concerned Citizen
Pamela Philipose, Journalist
Achin Vanaik, Author and Academic.
Poile Sengupta, Author.
Abhijit Sengupta, IAS (Retd).
Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor, Kashmir Times
Ali Ahmed, Strategic affairs commentator
Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Secretary, Global Media Education Council, Former Pro VC, Adamas University and former Dean of Symbiosis and Amity universities
Rimmi Vaghela, Research Scholar, Ahmedabad
Amit Kumar, Independent Researcher, Delhi Solidarity Group
Swarna Rajagopalan, Researcher and Peace Educator, Chennai
Subhash Gatade, Writer and Activist, New Socialist Initiative
Geeta Seshu, Co-editor, Free Speech Collective
Sanjay Barbora, Concerned Citizen
C. Rammanohar Reddy, Editor, ‘The India Forum’
Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, founder Anhad
D. N. Rath, Secretary, Movement for Secular Democracy, Ahmedabad
Sachin Godambe, Advocate
Ajaz Ashraf, Freelance Journalist
Asha Achy Joseph, Academic and Film maker
Navaid Hamid, President, All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat
Anand K Sahay, Columnist
Atul Gurtu, (Retd) Professor, TIFR, Mumbai
Anand Vardhan, Managing Editor, ThePublic.india
Apar Gupta, Advocate, Executive Director, Internet Freedom Foundation
Radha Gopalan, Environmental Scientist, Educator
Javed Anand, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy.
Ghazala Wahab, Executive Editor, FORCE magazine & author
Ravi Hemadri, Activist
Namita Bhandare, Journalist and writer
Sheba George, Concerned Citizen
Badri Raina, Teacher, Columnist, Writer
Meenakshi Joshi, Convenor, Gujarat State, All India Mahila Sanskrit Sangathan
Meenakshi Shedde, Journalist
Namita Waikar, Writer
Rituparna Chatterjee, Journalist and gender rights activist
Ritwika Mitra, journalist
Abha Bhaiya, Jagori
Kalpana Kannabiran, Distinguished Professor, Council for Social Development
Radha Kumar, Academic and Author
Jyoti Punwani, Journalist
Aijaz Zaka Syed, journalist and columnist
Zafar Agha, Editor National Herald
B.L. Saraf, Former Principal District and Sessions Judge
Samvartha ‘Sahil’, Freelance writer, Manipal, Karnataka
Sushobha Barve, Social and Peace activist working in J&K
Rohin Verma, Independent journalist and author
Pravin Sawhney, Editor, Force newsmagazine
Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
Aakar Patel, Chair Amnesty International India
A.C. Michael, Former Member of Delhi Minorities Commission and National Coordinator of United Christian Forum
Ranjona Banerji, Independent Journalist
Kanwaljeet Dhillon, Concerned Citizen
Srishti Jaswal, Independent Journalist
Kavita Krishnan, Concerned Citizen
Minnie Vaid, author and filmmaker
Neeta Kolhatkar, Concerned Citizen
Prof. (Dr.) Mukesh Kumar, Sr. Journalist, TV anchor, Writer, Poet and Translator
Venkatesh Nayak, Transparency Advocator
Mohammed Sardar Bhatti, Researcher, Executive Member, Kaavish-e-Ilm
Himanshoo Atri, Advocate Distt and Session Court, Kathua
Jaspreet Singh, Researcher
Kajal Dalpatia, Professional Social Worker
Ankush Sharma (Rajouri), Member, Kavish-e-ilm
Bharti Jasrotia, Research Scholar, member Kavish-e-ilm
Ankush Sharma, Advocate
Showkat Jan, Researcher, Member Kavish-e-ilm
Gulshan Udham, Journalist
Shikhar, Student, Member, Kavish-e-ilm
Padmaja Shaw, Retired Professor
Tanya Thomas, independent journalist
Anando Bhakto, Journalist
Sabita Lahkar, Independent journalist
Aakanksha Khajuria, Journalist
Latha Jishnu, Journalist
Ritu Dewan, Vice President, Indian Society of Labour Economics
Mansi Walia, Advocate, Member Kaavish-e-ilm
Gulshan Sharma, student
Manik Sahrma, Kaavish-e-ilm
Cathleen Kaur, Consultant
Avantika Mehta, Journalist
Revathi Siva Kumar, Journalist
Aunohita Mojumdar, Journalist
M. Raja-ullah Quraishi, Chicago Area.
Imtiaz Uddin, USA.