Hundreds of prominent Indians led by former military leaders and including journalists, peace activists, academics, interfaith and community leaders have written to the President and Prime Minister of India to condemn calls for the genocide of the large Muslim minority in India and take action against the Islamophobic hate mongers.

 

Open statement on national security and incitement to violence

 

31 December, 2021

To

Shri Ramnath Kovind President of India

Shri Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India

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.

Copy to:

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

Signatories to the Statement:

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 & 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 & Translator

Venkatesh Nayak, Transparency Advocator

Mohammed Sardar Bhatti, Researcher, Executive Member, Kaavish-e-Ilm

Himanshoo Atri, Advocate Distt & 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.