A group of former bureaucrats came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh BJP regime and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Bulandshahr mob violence saying "politics of hate has taken the most dangerous turn" even as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said his government should be "thanked" for defeating a "political conspiracy" to spread anarchy through communal violence in the state.
Questioning Modi's "stony silence" over the December 3 mob violence in which a police officer was killed, the former bureaucrats and diplomats, in an open letter, said the Bulandshahr incident showed the "perverted" fundamental principles of governance and constitutional ethics of the Yogi government under which, "hooliganism and thuggery have been mainstreamed into governance".
The letter signed by 83 former civil servants including former Foreign Secretaries Shiv Shankar Menon, Shayam Saran and Sujata Singh and former Ambassador and DGP Julio Ribeiro, called for the resignation of Adityanath and urged the Allahabad High Court to initiate a judicial enquiry taking suo-motu cognisance of the violence and the "cold-blooded murder" of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh.
"The Bulandshahr mob violence instigated and engineered with malicious intent, marks the most dangerous turn yet in the direction taken by the politics of hate in recent times. It shows that in India's most populous state, fundamental principles of governance, of constitutional ethics and of humane social conduct stand perverted. The Chief Minister of the state acts as high priest of the agenda of bigotry and majoritarian supremacy -- an agenda which now seems to take precedence over everything else," they said.
Under Adityanath, hooliganism and thuggery have been mainstreamed into governance, not just to intimidate minorities but to teach a lesson to anyone, including police personnel and others in the administration, who dared to be even-handed in their approach to minority communities, they said.
"The pace of erosion has been frightening and with each slip, we seem to sink further into a lawless abyss.
"This was a deliberate attempt to display majoritarian muscle and send a message to Muslim communities living in the region that they have to live in fear, accept their subordinate status and conform to the cultural diktats of the majority community," the letter said adding that there was no doubt as to who the political elements were, that aided and abetted the violence.
"The Chief Minister refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the incident and its communal intent, condemn the perpetrators of violence or direct the police to take action against them, instead asks them to focus attention on those responsible for illegal cow slaughter.
"He (Adityanath) may try to mislead by calling it an accident, this was murder with an intent", they said alleging that the slain police officer was an "impediment" to the communal plans of local BJP and Sangh Parivar elements and "had to go".
Turning their attention to Modi, the former civil servants said: "Our Prime Minister, who is so voluble in his election campaigns and who never tires of telling us how the Constitution of India is the only holy book he worships, maintains a stony silence even as he sees a Chief Minister handpicked by him treat the same Constitution with sheer contempt.
"It is evident that for the Sangh Parivar, constitutional morality is of no value, and is necessarily subordinate to the ideals of majoritarian supremacy," they said asserting that never before in recent history had the politics of hate, division and exclusion been so dominant and the poisonous ideology, which had penetrated deep into the body politic.
"This is a crucial moment and we can't take it lying down anymore," they said calling for a crusade against the politics of hate and division -- "a politics which aims to destroy the fundamental principles on which our republic is founded."
Facing heat for focusing more on cow slaughter than the killing of the police officer, an unfazed Adityanath hit out at his detractors claiming the Bulandshahr violence, was a "political conspiracy" hatched by those who have lost political ground.
"The state government has uncovered a big conspiracy. Those who wanted to spread anarchy and lawlessness through cow slaughter, their motive has been defeated. Those who are making these comments are trying to hide their failure. They should thank and praise the government for preventing a big conspiracy to spread communal tension in the state," Adityanath told the media in Lucknow.
(With inputs from agencies.)