“We appeal to those wielding constitutional power to fulfill their obligation of upholding the constitutional values,” reads the resolution passed by the prominent personalities.
NEW DELHI – Intellectuals from different backgrounds condemned the rising culture of hate being sanctified by the top echelons of power in the country. At a meeting held at the Press Club in India on Saturday they adopted a resolution to voice their concern over the deteriorating social fabric of the nation.
Noted journalist and celebrated author, Prem Shank Jha, founding editor of The Wire Siddharth Vardarajan, former Delhi University professor Shamsul Islam, filmmaker and author Sanjay Kak and well-known journalist Hartosh Singh Bal among others attended the meeting.
“This gathering condemns the hate crimes and the culture of hate being promoted from the topmost echelons of power. We appeal to those wielding constitutional power to fulfill their obligation of upholding the constitutional values,” reads the resolution.
The resolution underlines several incidents which are the result of hate culture. Economic boycott of Muslims, defamation of common Muslims through the movie, The Kashmir Files, atrocities being routinely perpetrated on the Dalits, incarceration of human rights defenders and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia are some of the examples cited by the resolution that reflects the culture of hate.
The resolution expressed deep anguish over the observations made by the Delhi High Court about hate speech. In the context of hate speeches made by Union Minister Anurag Thakur, the court had said that if said with a smile during election times, it won’t be deemed as a crime.
“The institutions which ought to be safeguarding standards of civility and probity in public life are either turning into mute testaments or even active participants in the attempts to deface the ‘being’ and ‘consciousness’ of Indian society. ‘Hate Speech’ targeting the Muslims and those opposing the perpetrators of hate, seems to have been established as the new ‘etiquette’ of public discourse in different walks of life,” noted the resolution.
Criticising the role of the judiciary in the culture of hate, the resolution asserted, “Rather than act as guarantors of constitutional values, the spasms of ‘conscientious interjections’ of the higher judiciary reek of its prevarication, are self-serving and attuned to suit their political convenience”.
The resolution pointed out that the Sangh Parivar has always weaponised communal hatred to polarise the people on sectarian lines. But now, this has been adopted as a political strategy to win elections.
The resolution also criticised secular parties for failing to put up any opposition against this hate culture and for caving in to hate politics. Hence, it has posed its faith in the struggle of the working class and awakening of masses for a bright future.
“a realistic assessment of the situation asserts that any hope for our collective brighter future can emanate only from building concerted struggles of the working masses of the country, as indeed was shown by the recent farmers’ movement. Appealing for reason with those who possess none only deviates us from the primary duty of awakening the masses. This meeting invokes all sections of Indian intelligentsia to oppose the prevalent ‘Culture of Hate’ in the country and boldly advocate the cause of the suffering masses to challenge this reign of impunity. Silence is an option we can exercise only at our own cost,” pledged the resolution.
Speaking at the meeting, Prem Shankar Jha said that the movie “The Kashmir Files” has shown one side of the Kashmiri Pandits’ exodus while ignoring the killing of Muslims at that time. The movie, he said was being promoted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to spread hate against Muslims. Through this hate culture, the ruling party wants to divert public attention from its economic failures, he pointed out.
Speaking on the occasion, Sidharth Vardarajan observed that the entire Hindutva eco-system is trying to sow the seeds of hatred in the society in a strategic manner by raising different issues. After the 2002 massacre in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is bringing changes in the system to adopt policies of spreading hate and violence, he said.
He pointed out that violence is being promoted in a decentralised manner. Small incidents of violence and rioting have replaced the bigger incidents. The impact of such small incidents on the society in terms of spreading hate and violence is similar to bigger incidents.