PM Modi, “hate will endanger hate”, write 100 plus ex bureaucrats

On Tuesday, 108 ex-bureaucrats across the Indian Union have put up a joint statement asking the Prime Minister to break his silence amidst growing ‘communal violences’ across the nation.

The letter comes days after many states including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajastan, Delhi and West Bengal witnessed Hindutva violence against Muslims during Hindu festivals. Two people dead and many were injured during the violence unleashed by Hindutva groups.

Through a collective named ‘Constitutional Conduct Group’ the former bureaucrats came together in drafting the joint statement, which they write, “as former civil servants, it is not normally our want to express ourselves in such extreme terms, but the relentless pace at which the constitutional edifice created by our founding fathers is being destroyed compelled us to speak out and express our anger and anguish”.

Many former state and union cabinet chief secretaries remain as signatories to this statement. From G. Balachandran IAS, (retd) former additional chief secretary to west bengal to Vappala Balachandran IPS (retd), Shivshankar menon IFS (retd), T.K.A, Nair IAS (retd) and many such prominent ex-beaurocartes name were to be found in the statement.

“…all of us are former civil servants…believe that the threat we are facing is unprecedented and at stake is not just the constitutional morality and conduct, it is… our greatest civilizational inheritance which our constitution is so meticulously designed to conserve, is likely to be torn apart”, read the statement.

Taking the popular slogan of Modi’s ‘Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas’, the signatories of the statement have urged the PM to end the hate politics, as “hate will endanger hate”.

The statement repeatedly pointed out the foundational values behind our constitution and the legacy behind the founding fathers of the nation and said the PM should no longer be idle to what’s going on in the country.

The Constitutional Conduct Group is an umbrella of eminent former bureaucrats, who are outspoken and have been expressing their views in a consistent manner.

Read the full text of the statement:

Dear Prime Minister,

We are witnessing a frenzy of hate filled destruction in the country where at the sacrificial altar are not just Muslims and members of the other minority communities but the Constitution itself. As former civil servants, it is not normally our wont to express ourselves in such extreme terms, but the relentless pace at which the constitutional edifice created by our founding fathers is being destroyed compels us to speak out and express our anger and anguish.

The escalation of hate violence against the minority communities, particularly Muslims, in the last few years and months across several States – Assam, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, all states in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power, barring Delhi (where the union government controls the police) – has acquired a frightening new dimension. It is no longer just the politics of an assertive Hindutva identity, nor the attempt to keep the communal cauldron on the boil – all that has been going for decades and in the last few years had become a part of the new normal. What is alarming now is the subordination of the fundamental principles of our Constitution and of the rule of law to the forces of majoritarianism, in which the state appears to be fully complicit.

The hate and malevolence directed against Muslims seems to have embedded itself deep in the recesses of the structures, institutions and processes of governance in the States in which the BJP is in power. The administration of law, instead of being an instrument for maintaining peace and harmony, has become the means by which the minorities can be kept in a state of perpetual fear. Their constitutional right to practice their own faith, follow their own customs, dress code and personal laws and exercise their own food choices, is threatened not merely by letting vigilante mobs inflict violence on them with impunity but, by twisting the law itself, to circumscribe their freedom of choice and make it convenient for a prejudiced, communal executive to make colourable use of state power. State power is thus used not only to facilitate vigilante violence targeted against a community but to make ostensibly legal means available to the administration (e.g., anti-conversion laws, laws proscribing consumption of beef, encroachment removal, prescription of uniform codes in educational institutions) to strike fear in the community, deprive them of their livelihoods and make it evident to them that they have to accept their status as inferior citizens who have to subordinate themselves to majoritarian political power and majoritarian social and cultural norms. The likelihood of our becoming a country that systematically makes sections of its own citizens – minorities, Dalits, the poor and the marginalized – targets of hate and knowingly deprives them of their fundamental rights is now, more than ever, frighteningly real.

While we are not aware if the current spurt in communal frenzy is coordinated and directed by the political leadership, it is evident that the administration at the state and local levels provides a facilitating environment for mischievous lumpen groups to operate without fear. Such facilitation and support is not limited to that offered by the local police and other administrative officials; it appears to have the tacit approval of the highest political levels in the state and central governments, which provide the enabling policy and institutional environment for local level tyranny. While the actual commission of violence may be outsourced to fringe groups, there is little doubt as to how the ground for their operations is made fertile, how each of them follows a master script and shares a common ‘tool kit’ and how the propaganda machinery of a party as well as the state is made available to them to defend their actions.

What distinguishes the incidents that are taking place now from earlier communal conflagrations is not merely that a master design is being unveiled to prepare the grounds for a Hindu Rashtra, but that the constitutional and legal framework designed to prevent such a development from taking place is itself being twisted and perverted to make it an instrument of majoritarian tyranny. No wonder then that the bulldozer has now become the new metaphor for the exercise of political and administrative power, literally and figuratively. The edifice built around the ideas of ‘due process’ and ‘rule of law’ stands demolished. As the Jahangirpuri incident shows, even the orders of the highest court of the land appear to be treated with scant respect by the executive.

Prime Minister, we, the members of the Constitutional Conduct Group – all of us are former civil servants who have spent decades in the service of the Constitution – believe that the threat we are facing is unprecedented and at stake is not just constitutional morality and conduct; it is that the unique syncretic social fabric, which is our greatest civilizational inheritance and which our Constitution is so meticulously designed to conserve, is likely to be torn apart. Your silence, in the face of this enormous societal threat, is deafening.

We appeal to your conscience, taking heart from your promise of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas. It is our fond hope that in this year of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, rising above partisan considerations, you will call for an end to the politics of hate that governments under your party’s control are so assiduously practising. The idea of India that our founding fathers had envisioned and fought for needs a climate of fraternity and communal harmony to thrive. Hate will engender hate, rendering the environment too noxious for the idea to survive.


Yours sincerely,

 Constitutional Conduct Group (108 signatories, at pages 3-6 below)

1.Anita AgnihotriIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Department of Social Justice Empowerment, GoI
2.Salahuddin AhmadIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
3.S.P. AmbroseIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI
4.Anand ArniRAS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
5.Aruna BagcheeIAS (Retd.)Former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines, GoI
6.Sandeep BagcheeIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
7.G. BalachandhranIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
8.Vappala BalachandranIPS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
9.Gopalan BalagopalIAS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
10.Chandrashekar BalakrishnanIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Coal, GoI
11.Rana BanerjiRAS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
12.T.K. BanerjiIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Union Public Service Commission
13.Sharad BeharIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
14.Madhu BhaduriIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Portugal
15.Meeran C BorwankarIPS (Retd.)Former DGP, Bureau of Police Research and Development, GoI
16.Ravi BudhirajaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, GoI
17.Sundar BurraIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
18.Maneshwar Singh ChahalIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Secretary, Home, Govt. of Punjab
19.R. ChandramohanIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
20.Kalyani ChaudhuriIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
21.Gurjit Singh CheemaIAS (Retd.)Former Financial Commissioner (Revenue), Govt. of Punjab
22.F.T.R. ColasoIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Karnataka & former Director General of Police, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
23.Anna DaniIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
24.Surjit K. DasIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Uttarakhand
25.Vibha Puri DasIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI
26.P.R. DasguptaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI
27.Pradeep K. DebIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Deptt. Of Sports, GoI
28.M.G. DevasahayamIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana
29.Sushil DubeyIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Sweden
30.A.S. DulatIPS (Retd.)Former OSD on Kashmir, Prime Minister’s Office, GoI
31.K.P. FabianIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Italy
32.Prabhu GhateIAS (Retd.)Former Addl. Director General, Department of Tourism, GoI
33.Suresh K. GoelIFS (Retd.)Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI
34.S.K. GuhaIAS (Retd.)Former Joint Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, GoI
35.H.S. GujralIFoS (Retd.)Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Punjab
36.Meena GuptaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI
37.Ravi Vira GuptaIAS (Retd.)Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
38.Deepa HariIRS (Resigned) 
39.Sajjad HassanIAS (Retd.)Former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur
40.Siraj HussainIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Department of Agriculture, GoI
41.Kamal JaswalIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
42.Najeeb JungIAS (Retd.)Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi
43.Brijesh KumarIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
44.Ish KumarIPS (Retd.)Former DGP (Vigilance & Enforcement), Govt. of Telangana and former Special Rapporteur, National Human Rights Commission
45.Sudhir KumarIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Central Administrative Tribunal
46.Subodh LalIPoS (Resigned)Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI
47.B.B. MahajanIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Deptt. of Food, GoI
48.Harsh ManderIAS (Retd.)Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
49.Amitabh MathurIPS (Retd.)Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
50.Lalit MathurIAS (Retd.)Former Director General, National Institute of Rural Development, GoI
51.L.L. MehrotraIFS (Retd.)Former Special Envoy to the Prime Minister and former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, GoI
52.Aditi MehtaIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
53.Shivshankar MenonIFS (Retd.)Former Foreign Secretary and Former National Security Adviser
54.Sonalini MirchandaniIFS (Resigned)GoI
55.Sunil MitraIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
56.Noor MohammadIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India
57.Avinash MohananeyIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim
58.Satya Narayan MohantyIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
59.Deb MukharjiIFS (Retd.)Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal
60.Shiv Shankar MukherjeeIFS (Retd.)Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
61.Gautam MukhopadhayaIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Myanmar
62.Pranab S. MukhopadhyaIAS (Retd.)Former Director, Institute of Port Management, GoI
63.T.K.A. NairIAS (Retd.)Former Adviser to Prime Minister of India
64.P.A. NazarethIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Egypt and Mexico
65.P. Joy OommenIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Chhattisgarh
66.Amitabha PandeIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI
67.Maxwell PereiraIPS (Retd.)Former Joint Commissioner of Police, Delhi
68.G.K. PillaiIAS (Retd.)Former Home Secretary, GoI
69.R. PoornalingamIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, GoI
70.Rajesh PrasadIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to the Netherlands
71.Sharda PrasadIAS (Retd.)Former Director General (Employment and Training), Ministry of Labour and Employment, GoI
72.R.M. PremkumarIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
73.Rajdeep PuriIRS (Resigned)Former Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, GoI
74.T.R. RaghunandanIAS (Retd.)Former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, GoI
75.N.K. RaghupathyIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI
76.V.P. RajaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission
77.Satwant ReddyIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI
78.Vijaya Latha ReddyIFS (Retd.)Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI
79.Julio RibeiroIPS (Retd.)Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania
80.Aruna RoyIAS (Resigned) 
81.A.K. SamantaIPS (Retd.)Former Director General of Police (Intelligence), Govt. of West Bengal
82.Deepak SananIAS (Retd.)Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
83.Shyam SaranIFS (Retd.)Former Foreign Secretary and Former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board
84.S. SatyabhamaIAS (Retd.)Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI
85.N.C. SaxenaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI
86.A. SelvarajIRS (Retd.)Former Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Chennai, GoI
87.Ardhendu SenIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
88.Abhijit SenguptaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI
89.Aftab SethIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Japan
90.Ashok Kumar SharmaIFoS (Retd.)Former MD, State Forest Development Corporation, Govt. of Gujarat
91.Ashok Kumar SharmaIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia
92.Navrekha SharmaIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Indonesia
93.Pravesh SharmaIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
94.Raju SharmaIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
95.Rashmi Shukla SharmaIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
96.Mukteshwar SinghIAS (Retd.)Former Member, Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission
97.Sujatha SinghIFS (Retd.)Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
98.Tara Ajai SinghIAS (Retd.)Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka
99.Tirlochan SinghIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI
100.Narendra SisodiaIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
101.Parveen TalhaIRS (Retd.)Former Member, Union Public Service Commission
102.Anup ThakurIAS (Retd.)Former Member, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
103.P.S.S. ThomasIAS (Retd.)Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
104.Hindal TyabjiIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
105.Jawed UsmaniIAS (Retd.)Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh & former Chief Information Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh
106.Ashok VajpeyiIAS (Retd.)Former Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi
107.Ramani VenkatesanIAS (Retd.)Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra
108.Rudi WarjriIFS (Retd.)Former Ambassador to Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica