A group of scientists and academicians have petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee urging him to take suitable action against incidents of intolerance and communal hatred, including the killing of rationalists.
“A highly polarised community is like a nuclear bomb close to criticality. It can explode any time and drive the nation to utter chaos. This is a highly unstable atmosphere and we should do everything in our hands to defuse the disparity, and enlighten society in scientific spirit,” the petition sent to the President on Tuesday said.
The letter said the scientists are concerned about the recent incidents of “intolerance, polarisation and spread of communal hatred resulting in the death of innocent people, rationalists.”
Lauding the President for his recent advise to show respect for all thoughts, the scientists urged him to take “serious note” of the incidents and “initiate suitable action.”
The petition was signed by Naresh Dadich, former director of Pune-based The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and G Rajasekaran of The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) besides some from Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad.
The scientists also sent a separate petition to the Centre, state governments and people at large, urging them to “stop the spread of communal hatred and polarisation in society,” and pointing out that India had been a pluralist country where communities allowed space for each other.
“This is an appeal to the government to act swiftly to stop this mayhem which is victimising innocent people for eating beef, sensible people for being against superstition, RTI activists or whistle blowers and many more innocent people with human values,” the letter to the government said.
The petition said that innocent and enlightened people are being victimised and killed.
The scientists noted that they have been “passive” when the writers protested against the killings and returned their Sahitya Akademi awards
“But scientists are also part of society and it is times like this that call upon them to be conscientious citizens and voice their concern. This is to start a campaign for scientists in, India to wake up and and make a statement,” it added.