Writers to India President: Protect Human Rights in Modi Regime

Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB
Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB

The letter sent to Ms Murmu will be junked because no President of India can dare to question the misdeeds of their employer Modi.

By RMN News Service

A group of more than 100 writers from India and abroad has written a letter to the President of India Droupadi Murmu with the appeal to protect the human rights in the country.

The signatories joined a worldwide association of writers PEN America to sign the letter, which raises concerns over the worsening human rights situation under the Modi regime.

The letter dated August 15, 2022, has specifically expressed the writers’ grief over continuous attacks in India on freedom of speech and creative expression. They have cited a number of cases where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government under prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi has suppressed the dissenting voices.

“We write to express our grave concern regarding the myriad threats to free expression and other core rights that have been building steadily in recent years, since the BJP-led government has come to power,” the writers said in the letter.

It adds that in PEN America’s most recent Freedom to Write Index, India is the only nominally democratic country included in the count of the top 10 jailers of writers and public intellectuals worldwide, with 8 writers jailed in 2021. 

The letter states that authorities as well as private actors regularly use legal action and the threat of legal action against people expressing dissenting views, independent thought, and human rights advocacy.

Also, writers and public intellectuals are subject to arrest, prosecution, and travel bans intended to restrain their free speech. Online trolling and harassment is rife, hate speech is expressed loudly, and internet shutdowns centered on Kashmir limit access to news and information for a significant number of people. 

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The writers seek the intervention of Ms Murmu to get wrongfully jailed writers released and state-sanctioned harassment against dissident voices ceased. 

They remind that free expression is the cornerstone of a robust democracy, and by weakening this core right, all other rights are at risk and the promises made at India’s birth as an independent republic are severely compromised.

RMN Editor’s Note: Although different groups of intellectuals and civil society members keep writing such perfunctory letters to Modi and the Presidents of India, the human rights situation in India has been going from bad to worse under Modi’s empire.

Obviously, this letter sent to Ms Murmu will also be junked because no President of India can dare to question the misdeeds of their employer Modi.

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Rakesh Raman