NEW DELHI – A group of former bureaucrats has demanded action on hate speech made by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pragya Singh Thakur.
“We, in the Constitutional Conduct Group, also strongly believe that stern action should be taken against her as per the rules of the Lok Sabha. By her incendiary hate speech and her repeated acts of propagating hate, she has forfeited the ethical right to be a Member of Parliament,” noted the open letter written by 103 former bureaucrats.
“As a society, we seem to have become inured to hate speech against minorities. A daily dose of venom is spewed, in the print, visual and social media against different non-Hindu communities, primarily against Muslims, and more lately against Christians as well. Often, these verbal attacks are accompanied by physical violence, assaults on their places of worship, anti-conversion legislation, hurdles placed in the way of inter-faith marriages, denial of livelihoods and a myriad other actions to lower their status in society,” they said in the open letter.
The letter referred to media reports that, on December 25, 2022, while addressing a gathering of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike’s South Region annual convention in Shivamogga, Karnataka, Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Pragya Thakur, also known as Sadhvi Pragya, exhorted the crowd to guard their women against men of other communities.
“She urged them to keep their vegetable knives sharp so these could be used as weapons against those who allegedly kill Hindus; these knives could also be used to cut off the heads of those indulging in ‘love jihad’, if such an opportunity presented itself. Such action would be construed to be in self-defence, she said, a right which every individual has,” said the letter.
Though Sadhvi Pragya Thakur appears to have cleverly chosen her words to avoid criminal charges being made against her, the disguise is only a thin one. She is obviously fomenting hate against non-Hindu communities, and advocating violence against them, said the letter.
By her incendiary words, Pragya Thakur has not only committed several offences under the Indian Penal Code, she has also violated the oath taken by her as Member of Parliament to uphold the Constitution of India, which is premised upon the rights to life and liberty, secularism, equality and fraternity, they said.
Signatories in the open letter include Anita Agnihotri, former secretary in the central government’s department of social justice; Salahuddin Ahmad, a former chief secretary, Rajasthan; and S.P. Ambrose, who served as additional secretary in the union ministry of transport and many other former bureaucrats. -IANS