Amidst growing unemployment, India will ill afford the grave danger posed by the genocide calls of a community, the alumni contended.
Citing the apps that put at least 100 Muslim women “on sale” online sharing their photographs among other outrageous acts of religious hatred, they expressed their deep concern at the turn of events that points to an ominous portent for the country. “As we celebrate this legacy in the 75th year of our freedom, we can’t help but notice the dark clouds looming over the country.”
The letter further said, “As the country valiantly battles the challenges from the never ending Covid-19, the sharply rising unemployment and masses of people being pushed into poverty, we are now faced with the grave danger from rising calls for genocide of one community.”
During a meeting in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar city held between December 17 and December 19, paradoxically called “dharam sansad” (religious parliament), Hindutva hate preachers had called for massacre of Muslims.
One of the organisers of the religious assembly, Prabodhanand from the Hindu Raksha Sena, chillingly proposed replication of the Myanmar experience where the police and the army, with the support of the Buddhist majority, carried out a pogrom of Rohingiya Muslims. In the large-scale violence and arson that followed many had lost their lives, while thousands others fled the country to save their lives.
“Just like Myanmar, the police, the army and every Hindu must pick up arms and organise a cleansing [of Muslims],” he said, adding, “We have no other choice.”
His call for ethnic cleansing was the running theme of the event with speaker after speaker suggesting how they could be able to ensure implementation of a large-scale violence against Muslims. Sadhvi Annapurna or Pooja Shakun Pandey said: “If you want to finish off their (Muslims’) population, then we are ready to kill them. Even if 100 of us are ready to kill 20 lakh of them, then we will be victorious.”
The letter drew the attention of the Prime Minister to a New York Times report on the close connections the leaders of the Haridwar event enjoy with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to he belongs.
“Even by the standards of the rising anti-Muslim fury in India, the three-day conference in the city of Haridwar, 150 miles north of New Delhi, produced the most blatant and alarming call for violence in recent years,” the signatories pointed out citing The New York Times report.
The IIT alumni impressed upon Prime Minister Modi on the importance of his condemnation of the conclave at this juncture for a meaningful action against the culprits and as a deterrent on such hate speeches in future.
Earlier, former chiefs of staff of the armed forces, over 70 advocates of the Supreme Court, a group of students and faculty members of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are among those who have criticised Modi for his silence on the matter.
The letter called on the government to condemn the creation of “Bulli Bai” and “Sulli Deals” app “in the loudest possible voice”. In both cases, Muslim women were degraded by sharing their personal images. It read: “The UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, has referred to it as harassment and has called for condemnation and prosecution. The ages of the youngsters who have been apprehended as suspects, suggests how deep communal hatred and misogyny is in our society.”
The government, the IIT alumni said must uphold the Constitution. “Your decisive action is keenly awaited on these alarming trends to divide India,” they added.