The debate over rising intolerance in India gained fresh ammunition after 49 celebrities from various walks of life wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The lengthy three page letter claimed that the ‘hate crimes rate’ had risen in the recent path. Categorically mentioning that Lynchings against Muslims, Dalits & other minorities are on a rise.
Here are a few excerts of the letter.
‘DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT NUMBER OF TRAGIC EVENTS’‘LYNCHING OF MINORITIES MUST BE STOPPED IMMEDIATELY’‘PM HAS CRITICIZED LYNCHINGS IN PARLIAMENT’
‘CRITICISING IS NOT ENOUGH’
‘LYNCHING SHOULD BE DECLARED NON-BAILABLE OFFENCE’‘EXEMPLARY PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE METED OUT’‘NO CITIZEN SHOULD HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR’‘JAI SHRI RAM HAS BECOME A PROVOCATIVE WAR CRY’‘STOP RAM’S NAME FROM BEING DEFILED IN THIS MANNER’
‘CAN’T BRAND DISSENT AS ANTI-NATIONAL’
‘DISSENT MAKES COUNTRY STRONGER’
49 signatories of the letter included the following prominent personalities
SHYAM BENEGAL, FILMMAKERREVATHY, ACTORANURAG KASHYAP, FILMMAKER
APARNA SEN, FILMMAKER/ACTORKONKONA SENSHARMA, FILMMAKER/ ACTORMANI RATNAM, FILMMAKERRAMCHANDRA GUHA, HISTORIANSHUBHA MUDGAL, SINGER/ MUSICIAN
In the meanwhile those backing the letter say, this move by the celebrities will only help the government as it backs the government in strengthening laws against hate crimes.
The debate of intolerance has gained pace in the last 5 years, but what remains to be seen is will the government change this perception in the next coming 5 years.