Around 40 spiritual leaders and intellectuals in the national capital on July 16 urged Indians to check an environment of hate, violence and disregard for the rule of law spreading across the country.
They met under the aegis of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and called upon the government to end impunity, which they noted, was at the root of the atmosphere of fear that stalks the land today. They also said these developments threatened not just secularism, but the country’s Constitution as well as the democratic fabric.
They want people to draw from India’s deep spiritual reservoirs to check increasing cases of lying that have claimed “many innocents of religious and marginalized communities.”
The meeting welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurances to leaders of Opposition parties on the eve of the Monsoon session of Parliament.
However, the leaders noted that lynching in various states on the pretext of protecting cows have shocked majority of Indians from all communities. The Prime Minister must now see that state governments and their police forces acted against the guilty in an impartial manner, they assert-ed. The meeting agreed two of five of urgent program of action:
• The ideology of hate is a reality and needs to be challenged by governments, political parties, civil society activists, the criminal justice system and religious communities in a concerted manner.
• Religious leadership must act at the grassroots to assert the inherent unity of the people. This will help restore public confidence and remove the mutual suspicion that had started growing.