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Retired bureaucrats express alarm over Bulandshahr

Agenda of 'bigotry and majoritarian supremacy' is taking precedence, they note
The police vehicle in which inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was seated when the crowd attacked it with stones, forcing him to flee. The crowd later set the vehicle on fire at Syana in Bulandshahr on December 3.

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 18.12.18, 10:34 PM

A group of over 80 retired bureaucrats on Tuesday said the death of a policeman in the Bulandshahr violence was a “murder with intent” and a “murder most foul” that amplifies the “rule of lawlessness” in Uttar Pradesh, urging fellow citizens to join hands in a “crusade against the politics of hate and division”.

In an open letter on the murder of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh in the December 3 violence, the retired civil servants and diplomats said the incident “marks the most dangerous turn yet in the direction taken by the politics of hate in recent times”.

It is also evidence, they said, “that for the Sangh parivar, constitutional morality is of no value and is necessarily subordinate to the ideals of majoritarian supremacy”.

Concerned that the “agenda of bigotry and majoritarian supremacy” is taking precedence over everything else, the signatories to the statement said citizens should unite to demand Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s resignation.

They also urged the citizenry to remind the chief secretary, the director-general of police and the higher civil services in the state that their primary allegiance is to the Constitution, not the “perverse dictates of their political masters”, and request Allahabad High Court to order a judicial inquiry into the Bulandshahr violence.

The retired bureaucrats were also critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Our Prime Minister, who is so voluble in his election campaigns and who never tires of telling us how the Constitution of India is the only holy book he worships, maintains stony silence even as he sees a chief minister handpicked by him treat the Constitution with sheer contempt,” the letter said.

Mentioning that the December 3 incident is not the “first instance of a situation intentionally created to foment communal tension”, the retired officials said what was different under Adityanath was that “hooliganism and thuggery have been mainstreamed into governance not just to intimidate minorities but to teach a lesson to anyone, including police personnel…, who dare to be evenhanded in their approach to minority communities”.

They also highlighted the fact that the world over, in any civilised society, the killing of a policeman is a more serious offence than any other crime because it represents an assault on the very basis of that civilisation.

“In UP on the other hand we are witness to the entire administration, presided over by a chief minister…, preparing the ground not for bringing the perpetrators to book but for protecting them as defenders of faith and culture,” the letter said.

This is the ninth time that the group of retired bureaucrats — named Constitutional Conduct — has sought to make an intervention in the mainstream narrative since June 2017. They pointed out that their need to speak out so many times in 18 months was in itself a “measure of the rapid erosion of constitutional values”.

The signatories include former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon, former chief economic adviser Nitin Desai, Nareshwar Dayal, K.P. Fabian, Dev Mukherjee, Tuktuk Ghosh, Sujatha Singh, Shyam Saran and Julio Ribeiro.


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