Conflict

Anti-govt doesn’t mean being anti-national: Ex-babus tell PM Modi, ask him to stop religious divide

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Srinagar: In an open letter, former bureaucrats of India have told the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not see all those as anti-nationals who oppose BJP led NDA government.

The former babus have dwelt up on many issues including targeting of minorities and growing hyper nationalism.

The letter has been signed by at least sixty five former bureaucrats over what they termed as ‘growing hyper-nationalism that reduces any critique to a binary that if you are not with the government, you are anti-national’.

“In Uttar Pradesh, in the run-up to the elections, an odious and frankly communal comparison was made between the relative number of burial grounds and cremation grounds. The question was also asked as to whether electricity was being supplied equally to different communities during their religious festivals. All this without any basis in fact or evidence,” the letter reads.

The signatories include former Union culture secretary Jawahar Sircar, former information and broadcasting secretary Bhaskar Ghose, former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, former Mumbai police chief Julio Rebeiro, former bureaucrat-turned-activists Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander, former Indian Foreign service officer Deb Mukharji, and former Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rahul Sharma, among others.

The letter said the banning of slaughterhouses targets the minorities and affects their livelihoods as well.

Since the incoming of BJP government in 2014, the issues of cow slaughter, beef ban and other communal issues have seen upsurge.

As BJP registered a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, RSS man Yogi Adityanath was elevated to the position of Chief Minister. Soon, he ordered closure of slaughter house thus affecting the livelihood of hundreds of people most of whom are Muslims.

They appealed to public authorities and constitutional bodies to take heed of these disturbing trends and take corrective action to reclaim and defend the spirit of the Constitution, as envisaged by the founding fathers.

“The behaviour of vigilantes, who act as prosecutor, judge and executioner rolled into one, flies in the face of law and jurisprudence,” the letter adds.

“I am not affiliated with any political party. We have just shown a ‘yellow card’ to the government telling it what is happening in the country at the moment is not done,” Sircar, former Prasar Bharti CEO, said.

“A draft was circulated a few days back and everyone felt there was a need to write such a letter. As far as the future course is concerned, each of us would decide upon it individually,” he said.

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