Armed Forces Veterans condemn attacks on Muslims, Dalits and Media



New Delhi, July 30: Growing attacks on Muslims and Dalits and crackdown on media are worrying the veterans  of armed forces. They are sad at the current state of affairs prevailing in the country.They have expressed their distress and registered their protest through an open letter to Prime Minister and Chief Ministers. Armed Forces Veterans have strongly condemned ‘attacks by vigilantes on Muslims and Dalits and also crackdown on media, 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.’


Full Text of the Letter:


Veterans of The Indian Armed Forces


The Prime Minister of India

The Chief Ministers of the States of the Union of India

Lieutenant-Governors of the Union Territories of the Union of India

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 make this appeal, but current events in India have compelled us to register our dismay at the divisiveness that is gripping our country. We also support 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)

Lt Col E.N. Ambre

Brig V.K.S. Antony

Maj M.K. Apte

Col C.T. Arasu

Lt Col Israr Asghar

Cdr C.R. Babu

Lt Cdr P.S. Bal

Lt Cdr Rakeh Bali

Maj Gen Dipankar Banerjee

Lt Gen C.A. Barretto

Brig Noel Barretto

Col T.S. Bedi

Surg Cdr P Bellubi

Petty Off Gajanan Bhat I.N.

Cdr P.G. Bhat

Gp Capt A.V. Bhagwat

Col V. Bopiah

Maj Gen P.R. Bose

Vice Adm A. Britto

Col R.T. Chacko

Lt Col M. Chandrasekhar

Cdre R. Clarke

Col K.S. Choudhry

Brig T.P.S. Chowdhury

Brig Dileep Deore

Col Samuel Dhar

Lt Gen F.T. Dias

Lt Col A.P. Durai

Gp Capt M.P. Elangovan

Maj Gen Shyamal Ghosh

Col V. Nanda Gopal

Cdre E.C. Govindan

Col V. Govindarajan

Col R.P. Grover

Cdre P.C. Gulati

Cdr M. Hari

Lt Col Muzaffar Hasan

Brig Prem Hejmadi

AVM Kapil Kak

Col A.T. Kalghatgi

Maj Gen MPS Kandal

Col M.S. Kapoor

Maj Gen T.K. Kaul

Lt Col P.B. Keskar

Lt Col V. Kharkar

Wg Cdr R. Khosla

Brig Anil Malhotra

Col Arun Malhotra

Lt Col R.C. Malhotra

Brig G.K. Malik

Cdre G. Menezes

Wg Cdr S.N. Metrani

Maj G.N. Misra

AVM R.P. Misra

Col Biman Mistry

Col R.B. Mistry

Col A.K. Mitra

Col Pradip Mitra

Maj Gen H. Mukherji

Maj Gen R.P.R.C. Naidu

Col Pavan Nair

Lt Col V.K. Nair

Col R.L.V. Nath

Cdr M. Nirmal

Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi

Rear Adm Alan O’Leary

Air Cdre Tanpat Pannu

Lt Col Niraj Pant

Col R.C. Patial

Cdr Hector Poppen

Capt Subbarao Prabhala IN

Brig Ranjit Prasad

Brig V.H.M. Prasad

Wg Cdr K.V. Raghuram

Brig R.S. Rajan

Col S.S. Rajan

Cdr S.M. Rajeshwar

Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar

Col T.N. Raman

Admiral L. Ramdas

Vice Adm I.C. Rao

Col T.K. Ravindranath

Air Marshal D.S. Sabhikhi

Lt Col Nagaraj Sastry

Lt Gen K.M. Seth

Col P.D. Shah

Brig Baqir Shameem

Lt Gen Y.N. Sharma

Lt Col H.D. Shirmane

Vice Adm M.R. Schunker

Cdr M.A. Somana

Brig Amardeep Singh

Gp Capt D.R. Singh

Brig Joginder Singh

Brig Mastinder Singh

Cdr Rajiv Singh

Col Salam K Singh

Col S. Srikantha

Brig M. Sudandiram

Flt Lt R. Suresh

Sgt M.N. Subramani

Lt Cdr P. Subramanyam

Maj Gen L. Tahliani

Cdr S.P. Taneja

Cdr T.P. Tharian

Lt Col J.K. Thomas

Cdr M. Thomas

Cdr N. Tripathy

Air Marshal N.V. Tyagi

Capt A.K. Varma

Wg Cdr B.J. Vaz

Maj Rajah Velu

Lt Col R. Venugopal

Maj Gen S.G. Vombatkere


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