More than 80 retired civil servants have written a strong open letter on the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh at Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh two weeks ago. The letter - signed by former foreign secretaries like Shyam Saran and Sujatha Singh and former National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and other retired IAS, IFS and IPS officers - called for the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who they say, "openly flaunts his bigotry."
"The mob violence in Bulandshahr, which led to the cold blooded murder of a police officer marks the most dangerous turn yet in the direction taken by the politics of hate in recent times," the former bureaucrats said in the letter.
Ripping into the state administration, the former top government officers said, "In UP, fundamental principles of governance, of constitutional ethics and of humane social conduct stand perverted. The Chief Minister acts as a high priest of the agenda of bigotry. Hooliganism and thuggery have been mainstreamed into governance. The murder of Subodh Kumar Singh was a deliberate attempt to display majoritarian muscle and send a message to the Muslim communities living in the region."
Without sparing PM Modi, the letter goes on to say, "Our Prime Minister, who is so voluble in his election campaigns, maintains stony silence...Never before in recent history has the politics of hate, division and exclusion been so dominant and the poisonous ideology which informs it penetrated so deep into the body politic... Never before has hate been directed with such calculated intent against minority communities, hate which is nursed, aided and abetted by those in power...We demand the resignation of the Chief Minister."
The former bureaucrats reminded the "Chief Secretary, the Director General of Police, the Home Secretary and all other members of the higher civil services concerned, of their constitutional duty to fearlessly implement the Rule of Law."
Former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, who is one of the signatories to the letter, told NDTV, "All of us are people who deeply believe in the constitution... what marks this incident as being different from others of the same is the fact that you know a senior police officer has been killed because of these politics of hate and exclusion. Somebody who was really trying to uphold the law has been sacrificed in a very brazen manner in sense to this politics of hate. So all the people who are well meaning who are concerned about the future of this country, should wake up and acknowledge that we are actually at a very dangerous point in the country."
Questioning PM Modi's silence on the Bulandshahr violence, he added, "Yes, I do not expect the PM to speak on each and every incident but is this like every other incident? Isn't this instance somewhat different from your run of the wheel incidents that have happened in the past - which by the way also should be taken notice of."