Five former chiefs of staff of the armed forces, as well as veterans, bureaucrats, and prominent citizens, have written to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Chief Justice of India Justice N. V. Ramana, expressing their displeasure with Hindu monks and Hindutva leaders' "open call of the genocide of Indian Muslims" at various events, most recently in Uttarakhand's Haridwar and Delhi.
Previous Chiefs of Naval Staff Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, Admiral Arun Prakash, Admiral RK Dhowan, and former Chiefs of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal SP Tyag-all signed the letter.
"The nature of speeches delivered during a three-day religious conclave called a Dharma Sansad, comprising Hindu Sadhus and other dignitaries, held in Haridwar between 17 and 19 December 2021, has deeply disturbed us."
"There have been recurrent calls for the establishment of a Hindu Rashtra and, if necessary, the arming and slaughter of India's Muslims for the sake of Hinduism."
"Around the same time, a significant number of people assembled in Delhi and openly swore an oath pledging to make India a Hindu nation by fighting and murdering if necessary," said the letter.
"More such seditious meetings are being organized in various places."
"We are seriously perturbed by the content of speeches made during a three-day religious conclave called a Dharma Sansad, of Hindu Sadhus and other leaders, held at Haridwar between 17-19 December 2021. There were repeated calls for establishing a Hindu Rashtra and, if required, picking up weapons and killing of India's Muslims in the name of protecting Hinduism. At about the same time, many persons gathered in Delhi and publicly took an oath resolving to make India a Hindu nation, by fighting and killing if necessary, and more such seditious meetings are being organized in other places," read the letter.
Regardless of which persons or parties initiated calls for such genocide, the Government of India and the Judiciary, at the highest level, need to take urgent action, the signatories demanded.
"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. For example, one 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 the genocide of our citizens and is condemnable and unacceptable," read the letter.
They went on to say, "In light of the current circumstances on our borders, any disruption of peace and harmony within the Nation will empower hostile exterior forces," continued. Allowing such blatant demands for violence against one or more communities in our diverse and plural society would have a significant impact on the unity and cohesiveness of our men and women in uniform, particularly the CAPFs and Police Forces."
The signatories called on the President and Prime Minister to take urgent action "to thwart such attempts" and "to denounce such incitement to violence in the strongest terms possible."
"We also take this opportunity to call on political leaders from all parties to reject these calls for what amounts to Muslim genocide." The letter concludes, "They must restrict their cadres and thereby set an example of their devotion to Secularism, Fraternity, and Justice for all." the letter concludes
M. Venkaiah Naidu, Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Om Birla, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs, and Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence, were all addressed in the letter. In addition, chief of the Army Staff Gen MM Naravane, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval all received copies of the letter.
The letter was also addressed to the presidents of the Bhartiya Janta Party, Congress Party, AITC, BSP, Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), CPI, AAP, DMK, AIDMK, Akali Dal, NCP, YSR Congress, Shiv Sena, TRS, TDP, and other political parties with representation in Parliament and state legislatures.
This month, anti-Muslim rallies were held in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, and Pune, Maharashtra. Hindu priests and Hindutva leaders called for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims during these events. Despite widespread anger and condemnation, no action has been taken against them.