Retired civil servants in India expose intolerance in open letter
Main Saifur Rehman
As many as 65 senior retired officials from different Central Services of India have exposed the true face of Indian extremism through an open letter written to the Government of India in which they have raised alarm over the growing intolerance, extremism and state high-handedness. The officials include retired chief secretaries and ambassadors.
In this letter, these officials have pointed towards the sense of deep disquiet that has prompted them to write this open letter as to what has been happening in India. They have urged all public authorities and constitutional bodies to take stock of the situation.
Continuing with their concern, the officials say: “It appears as if there is a growing climate of religious intolerance that is aimed primarily at Muslims. It is indeed quite an alarming situation that vigilantism has become widespread. To quote an example, one named Akhlaq was lynched merely on the basis of a suspicion that the meat he had in his possession was beef whereas Pehlu Khan was lynched while transporting two cows to his place that he had bought lawfully and for which he had the necessary papers”.
Dwelling upon the same shade of extremism, the open letter says that Gau-rakshaks (protectors of cows) function with impunity and seem to be doing so with the tacit complicity or active encouragement of state machinery. And to aggravate the things, punitive action is not taken promptly against perpetrators of the violence “but cruelly, the victims have FIRs registered against them”.
In the end, the open letter appeals to all public authorities, public institutions and constitutional bodies to take heed of these disturbing trends and take corrective action.