Asking for Hate-free India is Not Sedition
To: Thiru Narendra Damodar Modi
Honourable Prime Minister of India
Dear Prime Minister:
July 24, 2019, 49 prominent Indians wrote to the Prime Minister
condemning mob violence and lynching. In October, acting on a private
complaint, a Chief Judicial Magistrate in Muzzafarpur, Bihar,
directed the police to register a case of sedition against the
signatories to the letter. The complaint and the direction of the CJM
are in violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Below
is the text of the original letter signed by the 49 persons now
charged with sedition. We wish to add our endorsement and bring the
letter to your notice once again. We hope you agree and will declare
that asking for a hate-free India is not sedition.
original letter, which we endorse as citizens of India is as below:
We, as peace-loving and proud Indians, are deeply concerned about a number of tragic events that have been happening in recent times in our beloved country.
Constitution declares India as a secular, socialist democratic
republic where citizens of all religions, ethnicities, gender and
castes are equal. Hence, to ensure that every citizen enjoys the
rights given to her/him by the constitution, our submission is:
The lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped
immediately. We were shocked to learn from the NCRB (National Crime
Records Bureau) reports that there had been no less than 840
instances of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2016, and a
definite decline in the percentage of convictions.
254 religious identity-based hate crimes were reported between
January 1, 2009 and October 29, 2018 where at least 91 persons were
killed and 579 were injured. (FactChecker.in database October 30,
2018). The Citizens’ Religious Hate-Crime Watch recorded that
muslims (14% of India’s population) were the victims in 62% of the
cases, and christians (2% of the population) in 14% of cases. About
90% of these attacks were reported after May 2014, when your
government assumed power nationally.
have criticised such lynchings in parliament Mr. Prime Minister, but
that is not enough! What action has actually been taken against the
perpetrators? We strongly feel that such offences should be declared
non-bailable and that exemplary punishment should be meted strictly
and surely. If life imprisonment without parole can be the sentence
in cases of murder, why not for lynchings, which are even more
citizen should have to live in fear in his/her own country!
“Jai Shri Ram” has become a provocative ‘war-cry.’ Today,
that leads to law and order problems and many lynchings take place in
its name. It is shocking that so much violence should be perpetrated
in the name of religion. These are not the Middle Ages! The name of
Ram is sacred to many in the majority community of India. As the
highest Executive of this country, you must put a stop to the name of
Ram being defiled in this manner.
There is no democracy without dissent. People should not be branded
‘anti-national’ or ‘urban Naxal’ and incarcerated because of
dissent against the government. Article 19 of the Constitution of
India protects freedom of speech and expression, of which dissent is
an integral part.
the ruling party does not imply criticising the nation. No ruling
party is synonymous with the country where it is in power. It is only
one of the political parties of that country. Hence, anti-government
stands cannot be equated with anti-national sentiment. An open
environment where dissent is not crushed, only makes for a stronger
hope our suggestions will be taken in the spirit that they are meant
– as Indians genuinely concerned with, and anxious about, the fate
of our nation.