Your silence emboldens hateful voices: professors, students from IIM to PM
A group of students and professors from India’s management institutes in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad reported hate speech and attacks on minorities in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, saying his silence “emboldens” them. voice of hatred.
The letter, mailed to the Prime Minister’s office, has 183 signatories, including 13 faculty members from IIM Bangalore and three from IIM Ahmedabad.
“Your silence on the rise of intolerance in our country, Mr. Prime Minister, is discouraging for all of us who value the multicultural fabric of our country. Your silence, Honorable Prime Minister, emboldens hateful voices and threatens the unity and integrity of our country, ”the letter reads. He urges her to keep the country away from “the forces that seek to divide us.”
Five faculty members from IIM Bangalore wrote the letter. They are Prateek Raj (Assistant Professor of Strategy); Deepak Malghan (associate professor, public policy), Dalhia Mani (associate professor, entrepreneurship); Rajluxmi V Murthy (associate professor, decision science); and Hema Swaminathan (associate professor, public policy). Malghan is a distinguished environmental economist.
Raj said a group of students and teachers took the initiative after realizing that “silence was no longer an option.”
“For too long, mainstream discourse has dismissed voices of hate as marginal. That’s how we are here, ”he told The Indian Express.
Other IIM Bangalore faculty members who signed the letter include Ishwar Murthy, professor of decision science; Kanchan Mukherjee (professor, organizational behavior and human resources management); Arpit S (Assistant Professor, Public Policy), Rahul Dé (Professor, Information Systems); Sai Yayavaram (professor of strategy); Rajalaxmi Kamath (associate professor, public policies), Ritwik Banerjee (associate professor, economics and social sciences); and Manaswini Bhalla (associate professor, economics and social sciences).
Dé is the dean of programs at the institute and president of the Office of International Affairs. Bhalla is chairman of the economics and social sciences section.
The signatories who teach at IIM Ahmedabad are Professor Ankur Sarin (Public Systems Group), Professor Navdeep Mathur and Professor Rakesh Basant (Economics).
When contacted, Professor Basant said the letter clarified the position of the signatories and that he did not wish to add anything to it. Professor Basant is also Dean of Alumni and External Relations at the institute, as well as Professor of the JSW Chair of Innovation and Public Policy.
Raj said the goal of the signatories was to emphasize that “if the voices of hate are loud, the voices of reason should be louder.”
While for him the controversial speech by South Bangalore MP Tejasvi Surya urging Hindus to convert Muslims and Christians was the tipping point, for other signatories the recent attacks on churches in many parts of the country and the Haridwar Dharam Sansad served as triggers. This was mentioned in the letter.
“Our Constitution gives us the right to practice our religion with dignity – without fear, without shame. There is now a sense of fear in our country – places of worship, including churches in recent days, are being vandalized, and there have been calls to take up arms against our Muslim brothers and sisters. All of this is done with impunity and without any fear of due process, ”the letter read.
He then asks the Prime Minister to stand firm against the forces which seek to divide the citizens.
“We call on your leaders to turn our minds and hearts, as a nation, away from incitement to hatred against our people. We believe that a company can focus on creativity, innovation and growth, or it can create divisions within itself. We want to build an India that is an example of inclusiveness and diversity in the world. We, the undersigned faculty, staff and students of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) hope and pray that you lead the country to make the good choices, ”he says.