IIM students, faculty urge PM Modi to speak up against hate speech

"Your silence, Honourable Prime Minister, emboldens the hate-filled voices and threatens the unity and integrity of our country," they wrote in a letter to Modi.

Delhi: Students and faculty members from the Indian Institute of Management have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to address the issues of hate speech and caste-based crimes in India.

The signatories stated that the PM’s silence over the aforementioned issues is a major factor in stoking hate throughout the nation. “Your silence, Honourable Prime Minister, emboldens the hate-filled voices and threatens the unity and integrity of our country. We request you, Honourable Prime Minister, to stand firm against forces that seek to divide us,” read the letter.

The letter has been penned in light of last year’s Haridwar conclave, where Hindu extremists pledged to kill Muslims in order to establish the Hindu Rashtra. The letter mentioned that despite the Indian Constitution allowing freedom to practice and propagate religion, a sense of fear prevails in the country.

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“There is a sense of fear in our country now – places of worship, including churches in recent days, are being vandalised, and there have been calls to take arms against our Muslim brothers and sisters. All of this is carried out with impunity and without any fear of due process,” the letter said.

It is to be noted that a three-day ‘Dharam Sansad’ was organised in Haridwar on December 17-19, where extremely provocative speeches inciting violence against Muslims were made by participants.

The event held at Ved Niketan Dham in Haridwar, was organised by Yati Narasinghanand, the priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad, who is known for his hate-spewing remarks against Muslims.

During his speech in Haridwar, Narsinghanand targeted Muslims and urged Hindus to take up weapons against them. “Swords look good on stage only. This battle will be won by those with better weapons,” the spiteful Yati had said.

Following the outrage, cases were booked against a few in connection with the hate speeches. Swami Dharamdas and Sadhvi Annapurna, along with Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi (Waseem Rizvi) were booked by the police.

First Information Reports (FIRs) have been lodged under Section 153A of the IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language).

However, none of the speakers has been arrested by the police so far.

Several Opposition leaders have voiced their opinion against the hate conclave, but there has been no official condemnation from the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party.

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