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An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of India from Veterans of the Armed Forces

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 31 July 2017, 11:38 IST

To

The Prime Minister of India, Chief Ministers of the States, and Lieutenant-Governors of the Union Territories.

30 July, 2017

We are a group of Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces who have spent our careers working for the security of our country. Collectively, our group holds no affiliation with any single political party, our only common commitment being to the Constitution of India.

It saddens us to write this letter, but current events in India have compelled us to register our dismay at the divisiveness that is gripping our country. We stand with the ‘Not in My Name’ campaign that mobilised thousands of citizens across the country to protest against the current climate of fear, intimidation, hate and suspicion.

The Armed Forces stand for "Unity in Diversity". Differences in religion, language, caste, culture or
any other marker of belonging have not mattered to the cohesion of the Armed Forces, and servicemen of different backgrounds have fought shoulder to shoulder in the defence of our nation, as they continue to do today. Throughout our service, a sense of openness, justice and fair play guided our actions. We are one family. Our heritage is like the multi-coloured quilt that is India, and we cherish this vibrant diversity.

However, what is happening in our country today strikes at all that the Armed Forces, and indeed our Constitution, stand for. We are witness to unprecedented attacks on society at large by the relentless vigilantism of self-appointed protectors of Hinduism. We condemn the targeting of Muslims and Dalits. We condemn the clampdowns on free speech by attacks on media outlets, civil society groups, universities, journalists and scholars, through a campaign of branding them anti-national and unleashing violence against them while the State looks away.

We can no longer look away. We would be doing a disservice to our country if we do not stand up and speak for the liberal and secular values that our Constitution espouses. Our diversity is our greatest strength. Dissent is not treason; in fact, it is the essence of democracy.

We urge the powers that be at the Centre and in the States to take note of our concerns and urgently act to uphold our Constitution, both in letter and in spirit.


Signatories (in alphabetical order of last name)

1. Lt Col EN Ambre
2. Brig VKS Antony
3. Maj MK Apte
4. Col CT Arasu
5. Lt Col Israr Asghar
6. Cdr CR Babu
7. Lt Cdr PS Bal
8. Lt Cdr Rakeh Bali
9. Maj Gen Dipankar Banerjee
10. Lt Gen CA Barretto
11. Brig Noel Barretto
12. Col TS Bedi
13. Surg Cdr P Bellubi
14. Petty Off Gajanan Bhat IN
15. Cdr PG Bhat
16. Gp Capt AV Bhagwat
17. Col V Bopiah
18. Maj Gen PR Bose
19. Vice Adm A Britto
20. Col RT Chacko
21. Lt Col M Chandrasekhar
22. Cdre R Clarke
23. Col KS Choudhry
24. Brig TPS Chowdhury
25. Brig Dileep Deore
26. Col Samuel Dhar
27. Lt Gen FT Dias
28. Lt Col AP Durai
29. Gp Capt MP Elangovan
30. Maj Gen Shyamal Ghosh
31. Col V Nanda Gopal
32. Cdre EC Govindan
33. Col V Govindarajan
34. Col RP Grover
35. Cdre PC Gulati
36. Cdr M Hari
37. Lt Col Muzaffar Hasan
38. Brig Prem Hejmadi
39. AVM Kapil Kak
40. Col AT Kalghatgi
41. Maj Gen MPS Kandal
42. Col MS Kapoor
43. Maj Gen TK Kaul
44. Lt Col PB Keskar
45. Lt Col V Kharkar
46. Wg Cdr R Khosla
47. Brig Anil Malhotra
48. Col Arun Malhotra
49. Lt Col RC Malhotra
50. Brig GK Malik
51. Cdre G Menezes
52. Wg Cdr SN Metrani
53. Maj GN Misra
54. AVM RP Misra
55. Col Biman Mistry
56. Col RB Mistry
57. Col AK Mitra
58. Col Pradip Mitra
59. Maj Gen H Mukherji
60. Maj Gen RPRC Naidu
61. Col Pavan Nair
62. Lt Col VK Nair
63. Col RLV Nath
64. Cdr M Nirmal
65. Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi
66. Rear Adm Alan O’Leary
67. Air Cdre Tanpat Pannu
68. Lt Col Niraj Pant
69. Col RC Patial
70. Cdr Hector Poppen
71. Capt Subbarao Prabhala IN
72. Brig Ranjit Prasad
73. Brig VHM Prasad
74. Wg Cdr KV Raghuram
75. Brig RS Rajan
76. Col SS Rajan
77. Cdr SM Rajeshwar
78. Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar
79. Col TN Raman
80. Admiral L Ramdas
81. Vice Adm IC Rao
82. Col TK Ravindranath
83. Air Marshal DS Sabhikhi
84. Lt Col Nagaraj Sastry
85. Lt Gen KM Seth
86. Col PD Shah
87. Brig Baqir Shameem
88. Lt Gen YN Sharma
89. Lt Col HD Shirmane
90. Vice Adm MR Schunker
91. Cdr MA Somana
92. Brig Amardeep Singh
93. Gp Capt DR Singh
94. Brig Joginder Singh
95. Brig Mastinder Singh
96. Cdr Rajiv Singh
97. Col Salam K Singh
98. Col S Srikantha
99. Brig M Sudandiram
100. Flt Lt R Suresh
101. Sgt MN Subramani
102. Lt Cdr P Subramanyam
103. Maj Gen L Tahliani
104. Cdr SP Taneja
105. Cdr TP Tharian
106. Lt Col JK Thomas
107. Cdr M Thomas
108. Cdr N Tripathy
109. Air Marshal NV Tyagi
110. Capt AK Varma
111. Wg Cdr BJ Vaz
112. Maj Rajah Velu
113. Lt Col R Venugopal
114. Maj Gen SG Vombatkere

First published: 31 July 2017, 11:38 IST
 
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