Group of 65 retired civil service officers sign petition against 'growing hyper-nationalism'

A group of 65 retired civil service officers in a petition have asked public authorities and institutions to take action against "rising authoritarianism and majoritarianism".

The Indian Express reported that the oldest among the 65 signatories is 91-year-old Har Mander Singh, a 1953 batch IAS officer. Some of the other officials who have signed the petition include Vivek Agnihotri, VS Ailawadi, SP Ambrose, Ishrat Aziz, G Balachandran, N Balachandran, Julio Rebeiro, NC Saxena, Jawhar Sircar, Ardhendu Sen and Amitabha Pande.

Group of 65 retired civil service officers sign petition against growing hyper-nationalism

The group of retired civil service officers has written against majoritarianism. AFP

"A sense of deep disquiet at what has been happening in India has prompted us to write this open letter to chronicle our reservations and misgivings about recent developments in the body politic," the officials said in the petition, a copy of which was published in Mumbai Mirror.

The officials also said that this "growing climate" of intolerance was primarily aimed at Muslims. "There is a growing hyper-nationalism that reduces any critique to a binary," they said.

They cited the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh election as an example of this intolerance and said that the comparison between the number of burial grounds and cremation grounds was communal. "The question was also asked as to whether electricity was being supplied equally to different communities during their religious festivals," they said in the petition.

During a poll rally in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed that there should be no discrimination on the basis of caste and religion. "If there is electricity in graveyard and during Ramzan, it must also be available in a crematorium and during Diwali," Modi had said.

The officials also stressed on the lynching in Dadri and Alwar on the issue of cow slaughter.

"Gau rakshaks function with impunity and seem to be doing so with the tacit complicity or active encouragement of State machinery," the officials said.

The officials also described vigilantism was being carried out in the name of 'anti-Romeo squads' in Uttar Pradesh, which were harassing young couples who go out.

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Updated Date: Jun 13, 2017 15:48:15 IST

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