Now, historians overseas join their counterparts in India in criticising govt for intolerance

After historians, writers, filmmakers, scientists, artists and other intellectuals in the country speaking out against the Narendra Modi government over the alleged rise of intolerance in India, historians overseas have now raised their voices over the issue in support of their counterparts in the country.

 Now, historians overseas join their counterparts in India in criticising govt for intolerance

PM Narendra Modi. AFP

"What the present regime seems to be promoting, as our colleagues in India note, is a legislated account of the past, glorifying a homogenised and inflexible 'Hindu' tradition," the historians wrote in an open letter, published among other websites, on South Asia Citizens Web.

The historians also made observations on both the Dadri killing and the brutal murder of two Dalit children in Faridabad, saying that both the incidents showed how farcical India's proclaimed traditions of democracy and tolerance really were.

The letter also said that the murder of established scholars (like MM Kalburgi) just for expressing their intellectual opinions, their research and writings was the example of intolerance.

"What makes the situation worse is that the Prime Minister and leaders of government have not felt it necessary to speak out promptly and strongly against these acts of criminal violence," the hisorians overseas said in their open letter.

This is not the first open letter that has criticised the government or the BJP for intolerance in the country. Journalist Barkha Dutt on Saturday wrote an open letter to Shah Rukh Khan, condemning the clearly intolerant remarks made against him by members of the right-wing.

Shah Rukh Khan had been called an 'anti-national', 'Pakistani agent' and had even been compared to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

In late October, former chief of the Indian Navy and former internal Lokpal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Admiral (retd) Laxminarayan Ramdas had written an open letter to PM Narendra Modi, asking him to direct his government to take action to prevent the spread of religious intolerance in the country.

Many artists and intellectuals had returned the National Awards given to them as a sign of protest against the government over the rising intolerance. Instead of ensuring action, many people from the government had criticised the intellectuals and accused them of selective outrage and political bias.

"Sadly, time and time again, the response of the government seems to indicate an almost studied, but certainly not benign, indifference . The co-ordinated response of those in government seems to be to downplay the serious and vicious nature of these allegations and attacks," Ramdas had written in his letter.

Updated Date: Nov 10, 2015 11:21:56 IST