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Modi’s ‘Silence’ on Rising Hatred, Intolerance ‘Disheartens’ IIMs

Several students and faculty members of IIM Bangalore and Ahmedabad write an open letter to PM requesting him to speak up.
Modi’s ‘Silence’ on Rising Hatred, Intolerance ‘Disheartens’ IIMs

Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

Disheartened by Narendra Modi’s “silence on the rising intolerance” in the country, which is “emboldening the hate-filled voices”, several students and faculty members of two Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) have written an open letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to speak up and steer the nation away from divisiveness.

“Your silence on the rising intolerance in our country, Honourable Prime Minister, is disheartening to all of us who value the multicultural fabric of our country. Your silence, Honourable Prime Minister, emboldens the hate-filled voices and threatens the unity and integrity of our country,” the letter, bearing 183 signatures, including that of 13 faculty members of IIM Bangalore and three of IIM Ahmedabad, states.

The letter, mailed to the Prime Minister’s Office, comes in the wake of the highly communalised December 17-19 Haridwar religious congregation, where Hindutva group members and seers had openly called for Muslim genocide.

“Our Constitution gives us the right to practice our religion with dignity—without fear, without shame. 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 read.

Requesting Modi’s “leadership to turn our minds and hearts, as a nation, away from inciting hatred against our people”, the signatories wrote: “We believe that a society can focus on creativity, innovation, and growth or society can create divisions within itself.” The students and teachers “want to build an India that stands as an exemplar of inclusiveness and diversity in the world”.

Hoping that Modi will lead the nation in this hour of crisis, the letter further reads: “We, the undersigned faculty, staff, and students of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), hope and pray that you will lead the country in making the right choices.”

Prateek Raj, an assistant professor of strategy and one of the five IIMB faculty members who drafted the letter, told The Indian Express that the group of students and faculty took the initiative after realising that “silence was not an option anymore”. “For far too long, the mainstream discourse has dismissed the voices of hate as the fringe. That’s how we are here,” he said.

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