Indian military veterans condemn violence against Muslims, Dalits in letter to Modi

Indian military veterans condemn violence against Muslims, Dalits in letter to Modi
The veterans said they stand with the “Not In My Name” campaign. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 31 July 2017

Indian military veterans condemn violence against Muslims, Dalits in letter to Modi

Indian military veterans condemn violence against Muslims, Dalits in letter to Modi

DUBAI: More than 100 military veterans in India have penned a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemning the targeting of Muslims and Dalits, the lowest caste in Hindu tradition, in the country.
The letter comes a month after protesters took to the streets in cities across India to protest a surge in mob violence against minorities.
“We have spent our careers working for the security of our country. Collectively, our group holds no affiliation with any single political party, our only common commitment being to the Constitution of India,” said the letter which was signed by 114 veterans.
“We can no longer look away... Our diversity is our greatest strength. Dissent is not treason; in fact, it is the essence of democracy.”
The veterans said they stand with the “Not in My Name” campaign, sparked by the recent killing of a 16-year-old Muslim boy near Delhi, apparently over his consumption of beef.
“We stand with the ‘Not in My Name’ campaign that mobilized thousands of citizens across the country to protest against the current climate of fear, intimidation, hate and suspicion... What is happening in our country today strikes at all that the Armed Forces, and indeed our Constitution, stand for... We are witness to unprecedented attacks on society at large by the relentless vigilantism of self-appointed protectors of Hinduism,” the letter said.
“We condemn the targeting of Muslims and Dalits... We condemn the clampdowns on free speech by attacks on media outlets, civil society groups, universities, journalists and scholars, through a campaign of branding them anti-national,” it adds.
Earlier this month, Modi condemned the killings, saying: “Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti (cow devotion) is not acceptable.