Noted historians on Thursday joined writers, filmmakers and scientists in growing protests against “climate of intolerance”, while censuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “not making any reassuring statement” following concerns over “highly vitiated atmosphere” prevailing in the country.
As many as 53 historians, including Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, K.N. Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee, in a statement said, “Arguments are met not with counter arguments, but with bullets.”
“This was particularly worrying for historians, who have already experienced attempts to ban their books and expunge statements of history despite the fact that they were supported by sources and the interpretation is transparent,” they stated.
The statement urged the state to ensure an atmosphere that is “conducive to free and fearless expression, security for all sections of society and the safe-guarding of the values and traditions of plurality that India had always cherished in the past.”
Referring to the Dadri lynching and the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni during a book launch function in Mumbai, the statement said, “Differences of opinion are being sought to be settled by using physical violence.”
Noted scientist P.M. Bhargava had earlier announced that he would return his Padma Bhushan.
In Patna, Jaitley said their stances on various social and political issues show a lot of rabid anti-BJP elements in them.