New Delhi: Over 150 academics and researchers have appealed to Indians to vote “wisely” and against those who lynch people, and discriminate on the basis of religion, caste, gender, language or region.
The group, in a letter issued Tuesday, appealed to the citizens “to vote against inequality, intimidation, discrimination, and unreason”.
The academics include those from Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Ambedkar University, among others. The letter has been signed by DU professors Abha Dev Habib, Nandita Narain, IIT-Bombay professor Abhijit Majumder and Central Drug Research Institute researcher Saman Habib, among others.
“The upcoming election is a crucial one. It asks for a re-affirmation of the most fundamental guarantees our Constitution gives us — equal rights to faith or lack thereof, culture, language, association, personal liberty and freedom of expression. These rights, even as they accrue to each of us individually, can only exist if they accrue to all Indian citizens — without partiality or discrimination,” the letter stated.
“To defend these rights, we must reject those who lynch or assault people, those who discriminate against people because of religion, caste, gender, language or region,” the letter added.
“Again, we must reject those who encourage such practices. We cannot endorse a politics that divides us, creates fears, and marginalises a large fraction of our society — women, Dalits, adivasis, religious minorities, persons with disabilities or the poor. Diversity is our democracy’s greatest strength; discrimination and non-inclusivity strike at its very foundation.”
The academics further wrote they do not want to give the youth a future where scientists, activists and rationalists are hounded, harassed, intimidated, censored, jailed, or worse, murdered.
“We appeal to all citizens to vote wisely, weighing arguments and evidence critically. We appeal to all citizens to remember our constitutional commitment to scientific temper. We appeal to you to vote against inequality, intimidation, discrimination, and unreason,” the letter stated.
Last week, over 100 filmmakers, most of who work either independently or on documentary movies, had released a statement appealing people to not vote for the BJP.