26 civil society members write to President and Prime Minister on Haridwar hate assembly
More than 26 rights activists and civil society members have written to the President of India and Prime Minister of India over two recent religious events in Delhi and Haridwar
More than 26 civil society members have written to the President of India and the Prime Minister of India regarding religious events held in Haridwar and Delhi.
"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," read the letter.
"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," the letter said.
Following outrage and condemnation on social media over the open calls for genocide and use of weapons against Muslims, a police case was filed four days after the Haridwar event, in which only one person was named. Two more names were later added - Dharm Das and one Sadhvi Annapurna.
In one of the videos, 'Sadhvi Annapurna' – formerly called Pooja Shakun Pandey -- is heard saying, "If you want to finish them off, then kill them... We need 100 soldiers who can kill 20 lakh of them to win this".
Here is the complete text of the letter:
Shri Ramnath Kovind President of India
Shri Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India
Chief Justice of India
Speaker of the Rajya Sabha
Speaker of the Lok Sabha
Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs
Presidents Bhartiya Janta Party, Congress Party, AITC, BSP, Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), CPI, AAP,
DMK, AIDMK, Akali Dal, YSR Congress, Telgu Desam Party and others with representation in
Parliament and State Assemblies.
NSA – National Security Advisor
CDS – Chief of the Defence Staff
Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Airforce
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 and Delhi, openly calling for a genocide of Indian Muslims, and additionally, targeting other minorities – Christians, Dalits and Sikhs.
We are deeply 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.
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.
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, and it is critical that these forces remain committed to the security of all citizens.
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, peace. amity and security within 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.
1. Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas (Retd), PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM.
2. Anuradha Bhasin Executive Editor, Kashmir Times
3. Ali Ahmed, Strategic affairs commentator
4. Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Secretary, Global Media Education Council, Former Pro VC, Adamas University and former Dean of Symbiosis and Amity universities.
5. Rimmi Vaghela
Research Scholar, Ahmedabad
6. Amit Kumar
Delhi Solidarity Group
7. Swarna Rajagopalan
Researcher and Peace Educator, Chennai
8. Subhash Gatade
Writer and Activist
New Socialist Initiative
9. Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury
Secretary, Global Media Education Council
Former Pro VC, Adamas & former Dean, Symbiosis & Amity
10. Geeta Seshu
Co-editor, Free Speech Collective
11. Sanjay Barbora, Guwahati
12. C. Rammanohar Reddy
Editor, ‘The India Forum’
13. Ram Puniyani
National Solidarity Forum
14. Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, founder Anhad
15. D. N. Rath
Secretary, Movement for Secular Democracy, Ahmedabad
16. Sachin Godambe, Advocate
17. Ajaz Ashraf, Freelance Journalist
18. Asha Achy Joseph
Academic and Film maker
19. Navaid Hamid
President, All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat
20. Anand K Sahay, Columnist
21. Atul Gurtu
(Retd) Professor, TIFR, Mumbai
22. C. Rammanohar Reddy
'The India Forum'
23. Anand Vardhan
24. Apar Gupta, Advocate
Executive Director, Internet Freedom Foundation
25. Javed Anand, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy
26. Teesta Setalvad, Citizens for Justice and Peace
27. Ghazala Wahab
Executive Editor, FORCE magazine and author of Born A Muslim: Some Truths About Islam in India
28. Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker
29. Ravi Hemadri
30. Namita Bhandare, Journalist and writer
31. Sheba George, Gujarat
32. Badri Raina, Teacher, Columnist, Writer
33. Meenakshi Joshi,
Convenor, Gujarat State, All India Mahila Sanskrit Sangathan