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ആൾക്കൂട്ട ആക്രമണങ്ങ​ൾക്കെതിരെ തുറന്ന കത്തുമായി 114 വിമുക്​ത ഭടന്മാർ

ന്യൂഡൽഹി: രാജ്യത്ത് വർധിച്ചുവരുന്ന അസഹിഷ്ണുതക്കും പശുസംരക്ഷണത്തി​െൻറ മറവിലുള്ള ആൾക്കൂട്ട ആക്രമണങ്ങൾക്കുമെതിരെ 114 വിമുക്ത ഭടന്മാരുടെ തുറന്ന കത്ത്. പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി നരേന്ദ്ര മോദി, എല്ലാ സംസ്ഥാനങ്ങളിലെയും കേന്ദ്രഭരണ പ്രദേശങ്ങളിലെയും മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിമാർ തുടങ്ങിയവർക്കാണ് സായുധ സേനകളിൽനിന്ന് വിരമിച്ചവർ കത്തയച്ചത്. ''ഇന്ത്യയുടെ അടിസ്ഥാനം ബഹുസ്വരതയാണ്. സായുധ സേന ബഹുസ്വരതയെയാണ് പ്രതിനിധാനം ചെയ്യുന്നത്. മതത്തി​െൻറയും ജാതിയുടെയും ഭാഷയുടെയും പേരിലുള്ള വ്യത്യാസങ്ങൾ നമ്മുടെ സേനയിൽ ഒരു വേർതിരിവും ഉണ്ടാക്കാറില്ല. ഞങ്ങൾ ഒറ്റ കുടുംബമാണ്. എല്ലാ വ്യത്യാസങ്ങളും മറന്നാണ് ഞങ്ങൾ രാജ്യത്തി​െൻറ സംരക്ഷണത്തിനുവേണ്ടി പോരാടിയത്.'' ''എന്നാൽ, സമീപകാലത്ത് രാജ്യത്തുണ്ടായ സംഭവങ്ങൾ ഞങ്ങളെ കടുത്ത നിരാശയിലും ആശങ്കയിലുമാക്കുന്നു. ഇത് നമ്മുടെ ഭരണഘടനക്കും ജനാധിപത്യത്തിനും മതേതരത്വത്തിനും എതിരാണ്. അതിനാൽ, ആൾക്കൂട്ട ആക്രമണങ്ങളും പശുസംരക്ഷണത്തി​െൻറ പേരിലുള്ള ആക്രമണങ്ങളും മറ്റും തടയാൻ കേന്ദ്ര, സംസ്ഥാന സർക്കാറുകൾ കർശന നടപടി സ്വീകരിക്കണം'' –കത്തിൽ പറഞ്ഞു. MONDAY, JULY 31, 2017LETTER FROM THE EDITORLEGAL UPDATESCONTROVERSYIMPORTANT MATTERSSATIRERINGSIDE Home Top News of the Day news 114 army veterans' open letter to govt against intolerance, cow vigilantism, lynching CRPF news 114 army veterans' open letter to govt against intolerance, cow vigilantism, lynching July 31, 2017160 Above: The two pictures above, shared on Twitter by the Srinagar unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), tell a story of unity amid diversity in the force that is securing lives and property in troubled Srinagar. The picture, shared on Saturday, shows a Muslim CRPF jawan at his afternoon prayers, while his partner (possibly a Hindu) stands guard. This unity defies the current political rhetoric against tolerance that is inciting violence around the country. (Picture: courtesy CRPF) Emphasising on the plurality that was India's construct, 114 veterans of India's Armed Forces, have written an open letter to the Centre and the states, pointing out, what they call are, “recent developments in the country” Letters have been mailed to the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, and Lieutenant Governors (in all cases where email addresses were publicly available), the veterans claim. They say that the Armed Forces represent pluralism. “Differences in religion or caste or language make no difference to our esprit de corps, and we have always fought shoulder to shoulder for the defence of our nation. We are one family.” And the reason the letter was sent out was that they felt “distressed at recent developments in our country, which go against the secular and democratic values enshrined in our Constitution. “This open letter,” they say, “expresses our anguish at the lynching of citizens by cow vigilantes, the muzzling of media outlets, the silencing of dissent by characterising it as sedition, and the general climate of suspicion and hate in the country.” What they are looking forward to through this letter are “feedback and further dialogue” The following is the text of the letter, verbatim. An Open Letter from Veterans of the Armed Forces To: the Prime Minister of India, Chief Ministers of the States, and LieutenantGovernors of the Union Territories. 30 July, 2017 We are a group of Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces who 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. It saddens us to write this letter, but current events in India have compelled us to register our dismay at the divisiveness that is gripping our country. We stand with the 'Not in My Name' campaign that mobilised thousands of citizens across the country to protest against the current climate of fear, intimidation, hate and suspicion. The Armed Forces stand for “Unity in Diversity”. Differences in religion, language, caste, culture or any other marker of belonging have not mattered to the cohesion of the Armed Forces, and servicemen of different backgrounds have fought shoulder to shoulder in the defence of our nation, as they continue to do today. Throughout our service, a sense of openness, justice and fair play guided our actions. We are one family. Our heritage is like the multicoloured quilt that is India, and we cherish this vibrant diversity. However, 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 selfappointed protectors of Hinduism. 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 antinational and unleashing violence against them while the State looks away. We can no longer look away. We would be doing a disservice to our country if we do not stand up and speak for the liberal and secular values that our Constitution espouses. Our diversity is our greatest strength. Dissent is not treason; in fact, it is the essence of democracy. We urge the powers that be at the Centre and in the States to take note of our concerns and urgently act to uphold our Constitution, both in letter and in spirit.
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