I am a citizen of India and the wife of a veteran. Sharing some thoughts that came to my mind after reading your letter. You are ‘not affiliated with any single political party‘ but I am not affiliated with ANY political party. Your commitment is only to the Constitution of India but my commitment is to my family, my nation, my religion and also to my conscience.
As you support the ‘Not in My Name‘ campaign, you must be aware that the people who designed this campaign are the same who supported ‘Bharat tere tukde honge’ and raised doubts on the surgical strike of the Indian army. These are the same people who wrote mercy petitions for terrorists like Yakub Memon and Afzal Guru. Since you are worried about the constitution of India, let me remind you that Afzal Guru was responsible for the attack on India’s Parliament – the temple of democracy. Now, these same people are supporting the Kashmiri terrorists who pelt stones on the army men you led once. You remained quiet.
What you call ‘a climate of fear, intimidation, hate, and suspicion’, I call a climate of cultural awakening. A climate of political and economic development. A climate of national and international re-emergence. Any fair person would be upset by one human being attacking another. You say, ‘throughout our service, a sense of openness, justice, and fair play guided our actions’ and you are upset at the ‘unprecedented attacks on society by self-appointed protectors of Hinduism‘. Don’t you think that these two statements are contradictory? Your criticism of Hinduism can only be called fair if you also raise the issue of killings of Hindus in West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka and many other places. Your talking of justice can only be just if you fight against the Fatwas issued on frivolous matters. Your openness is useless if the tag ‘Sadak ka Gunda’ given to the serving army chief, for supporting and standing firmly behind his men, does not disturb you.
You condemn the attack on ‘Muslims and Dalits‘. Any right thinking man would condemn killings in the name of religion or caste. But you seem to have acquired these worries recently. There were 668, 823 and 644 incidents of communal violence in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. A very sad incident happened in 2016 in Hyderabad university. Rohith Vemula a Dalit student committed suicide in his hostel. The incident became international news and many fair citizens like you showed concern. Nine suicide before that took place at the same university and no one ever heard of that. Why were you silent at that time Sirs?
You condemn ‘the clampdown on free speech by attacks on media outlets, civil society groups, universities, journalists, and scholars‘. Do you mean that government should not act on a media house like NDTV for financial irregularities? Should not deal strictly with NGOs and activists engaged in instigating Naxals, terrorists and colliding with anti national forces? Should not keep an eye on urban Naxals in places like JNU which celebrate the killing of security personnel, mourn the death of terrorists and dream of breaking India into pieces?
You feel that you ‘would be doing a disservice to our country if we do not stand up and speak for the liberal and secular values….‘. Do you ever feel that the onus of maintaining liberal and secular values lies only on Hindus? Do you oppose when secularism means minority appeasement? Do you raise your concern when innocent Amarnath pilgrims are killed only because they dared to visit their holy place?
History has been unkind to Jaichand. He was only a traitor. The fault lied with Prithviraj Chauhan who true to his cultural beliefs, Indian traditions and ethics didn’t kill Muhammad Ghori when he could and allowed him to escape. A blunder which India had to repent for many centuries. Do you want us to commit the same blunder again?
Sirs, most of you must have played important role in many battles- small and big. Last few meters in the war always come down to one to one hand-battle. When the enemy was raising the war cry of ‘Allah-O-Akbar’ and the men behind you were charging ahead with the battle cry of ‘Har har Mahadev’ and ‘Jai Maa Kali’, did you turn back and ordered them to follow the secular path and ‘Not in my name’?