New Delhi: Congress veteran Margaret Alva on Monday wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concern over the hate speech against minorities.
In the letter Alva who was the governor of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand wrote, “You travel around the world, calling on world leaders, including His Holiness the Pope in Rome, proclaiming that India is a free democratic secular state. Your speeches and statements have been praised and extensively reported on, by the global media. Unfortunately, the reality on the ground here presents a stark contrast to the image you project of India to the global community, especially in the context of minorities rights and secularism”.
Condemning the hate speech which was delivered recently, Alva wrote, “I am appalled at the recent statements made by some religious leaders calling for genocide of non-Hindus, to create a Hindu rashtra. What is more shocking, is that there is no response or action either by your central government, or the state government that’s controlled by the BJP, of which you are the undisputed leader, or the local administration, to crack down firmly on this virulent, toxic, hate speech, designed to create insecurity and fear amongst millions of minorities, who live here in the country”.
Reacting to the silence of PM Modi over the hate speeches, Alva wrote, “Your silence is misread as tacit approval and encouragement to the ever-increasing violence and intimidation India’s minorities are being subjected to”.
On Karnataka’s anti-conversion bill, Alva said that it has provisions that have been struck down by courts and are clearly violative of the Indian Constitution. “It makes all minorities, our institutions, practices, services and charities suspect” she added.
She ended her letter by writing, “May Jesus Christ bless you my Prime Minister and guide you in your ways. May the love, joy and peace of Christmas remain with us all through the New Year”.
At the Haridwar event, several speakers made inflammatory and provocative speeches, calling for the killing of people from the minority community. Police have registered an FIR in the case.
Held at Ved Niketan Dham in Haridwar from December 17-20, the Dharma Sansad was organized by Yati Narasimhanand Giri of the Juna Akhada, who has been accused in the past of making hate speeches and inciting violence against Muslims.
Karnataka’s anti-conversion bill
Recently, the Karnataka Assembly passed the Anti-conversion Bill during the ongoing Winter Session.
The Bill says, “No person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by use or practice of force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by any other means or promise of marriage, nor shall any person abet or conspire such conversion”.
According to the new law, any converted person, his parents, brother, sister or any other person who is related to him by blood, marriage or adoption or in any form associated or colleague may lodge a complaint of such conversion which contravenes the provisions, the offence is made to be non-bailable and cognizable.