Five former chiefs of the armed forces and a number of other prominent citizens including bureaucrats have written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the recent incidents of hate speeches and urged them to take appropriate measures. In a letter, the group of over 100 people also referred to the communal comments made at an event in Haridwar recently and condemned "in no uncertain terms" such "incitement" to violence.
"We cannot allow such incitement to violence together with public expressions of hate - which not only constitute serious breaches of internal security but which could also tear apart the social fabric of our nation," they said in the letter. â€śOne speaker made a call to the army and police to pick up weapons and participate in the cleanliness drive (safai abhiyan). This amounts to asking the army to participate in genocide of our own citizens, and is condemnable and unacceptable,â€ť the letter added.
They further said, "In view of the current situation on our borders, any breach of peace and harmony within the Nation will embolden inimical external forces." The letter added that the unity of the armed forces would be â€śseriously affectedâ€ť by â€śsuch blatant calls for violence against one or the other community in our diverse and plural society.â€ť
The letter also urges leaders of political parties to condemn these calls â€śfor what is tantamount to genocide of Muslims.â€ť â€śIt is in the National Interest that all parties should refrain from using religion in politics and pledge to uphold our Constitution and the wellbeing of our people - thus ensuring both National and Human Security for all,â€ť it said.
The signatories included former Navy chiefs Admiral (Retd) L Ramdas, Admiral (retd) Vishnu Bhagwat, Admiral (retd) Arun Prakash and Admiral (retd) RK Dhowan.