Monday, January 29, 2018

India's anti-minority incidents: Legal solution not enough, one must stand up publicly, say 67 top ex-officers

Harsh Mander protests vigilantism off Alwar
By Our Representative
Sixty-seven retired IAS, IFS (foreign) and IPS officers, in an open letter have sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "clear" and "immediate" response to sharp rise in "violence and discrimination" against minorities in India, seeking his "firm action against the perpetrators of such hate crimes against minorities in this country by the respective law enforcement authorities."
Giving details of attacks on minorities, the civil servants have said, "These recent incidents undermine our Constitutional values and weaken the rule of law to create a new normal in society", adding, while the existing laws provide adequate protection if they are implemented with the necessary will and determination", things have reached so far that legal protection alone is "not a solution when the communal virus ha spread far and wide in the society."
The letter, signed among others by several of the ex-IAS officers who have turned into social activists such as Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander, says, there is a need to "reflect on the repercussions of a situation where the present trends could threaten the peace and cohesion that is a fundamental prerequisite for our growth and development", and "stand up, oppose and publicly condemn the communalization of our society and our country."
Significantly, none of the Gujarat cadre ex-IAS officers -- who are witness to the ghastly 2002 anti-minority riots under Modi -- have signed the letter. This is in sharp contrast to at least two Gujarat cadre retired bureaucrats -- CK Koshy and VV Rama Subba Rao -- joining https://www.counterview.net/2017/11/gujarats-two-top-ex-ias-babus-join-four.html four others in sending a letter to Modi government's on what they called "laizzes faire approach" to making aadhaar compulsory for all services.
Register their "deep concern" at the continuing incidents of "mindless violence" in the country, especially those targeting the minorities, and "lackadaisical response of the law enforcement machinery to these attacks", the 67 ex-babus recall how "the killing of Mohammed Afrazul, a migrant worker from West Bengal in Rajsamand, Rajasthan, on the 25th Anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid (December 6) has deeply shaken each of us."
"The recording of the brutal act on video and the circulation of the justification for the killing over the internet cuts at the roots of an inclusive and pluralistic society drawing its inspiration from the teachings of Buddha, Mahavira, Ashoka, Akbar, the Sikh Gurus, Hindu Sages and Gandhi. The violent incidents in Udaipur in support of the alleged killer are a pointer to how deep the sectarian poison has spread among the population of this country", they add.
Among the signatories of the letter range from those already outrightly stood out against the Modi government such as Julio Ribeiro (ex-IPS), EAS Sarma (ex-IAS), Wajahat Habibullah (ex-IAS); to top foreign service officers Ishrat Aziz (ex-ambassador to Brazil and Saudi Arabia), Sushil Dubey (ex-ambassador to Sweden), KP Fabian (ex-ambassador to Italy), and Aftab Seth (ex-ambassador to Japan).
The incidents enumerated include the killings of Pehlu Khan by near Behror, Alwar; of Zafar Khan in the name of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Pratapgarh, Rajasthan; of 16-year-old Junaid Khan on a train returning after Eid shopping in Delhi following a dispute over seats; of Anwar Hussain and Hafizul Sheikh, both 19, as they were transporting cattle purchased from Dhupguri in West Bengal; and of Umair Khan who was transporting cows from Alwar district.
The letter says, following an outcry, the Prime Minister made a statement that “killing people in the name of ‘Gau bhakti’ is unacceptable”, repeating it a day before the Parliamentary session started on July 15, 2017, yet, "the killings continue without any check", adding, things have gone so far that on December 25 quotes a BJP MLA from Rajasthan -- Gyan Dev Ahuja of Ramgarh -- who said that “if one engages in cow smuggling or slaughters a cow, he will be killed.”
The letter insists, "Such language is an open incitement to violence, acts of which are slowly poisoning the body politic and examples of which are listed above. Such words and actions have no place in a civilized society and fly in the face of established jurisprudence. Vigilantism is let loose upon a hapless group with all its tragic consequences."

2 comments:

Seshubabu Kilambi said...

It is heartening to note that some retired persons from prestigious government services have come forward to denounce anti - minority incidents and call for resentment publicly. They should also mobilise people to protest such incidents and appeal to the rulers to punish the miscreants who are responsible for henious atrocities

K SHESHU BABU said...

It is heartening to note that some retired persons from prestigious government services have come forward to denounce anti - minority incidents and call for resentment publicly. They should also mobilise people to protest such incidents and appeal to the rulers to punish the miscreants who are responsible for heinous atroecities

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