His silence emboldens voices of hate: Faculty, students from IIMs to PM

His silence emboldens voices of hate: Faculty, students from IIMs to PM

A group of students and professors from the Indian Institutes of Administration in Bangalore and Ahmedabad pointed to hate speech and attacks on minorities in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, saying that his silence “emboldens” voices of hate.

The letter, mailed to the Prime Minister’s Office, has 183 signatories, including 13 professors from IIM Bangalore and three from IIM Ahmedabad.

“Your silence on the rise of intolerance in our country, Honorable Prime Minister, is disheartening to 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 says. He urges him to distance the country from “forces that seek to divide us.”

Five members of the IIM Bangalore faculty drafted 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 Sciences); and Hema Swaminathan (Associate Professor, Public Policy). Malghan is a leading ecological 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 hateful voices as marginal. This is how we are here, ”he told The Indian Express.

Among the other IIM Bangalore faculty members who signed the letter are Ishwar Murthy, Professor of Decision Sciences; Kanchan Mukherjee (Professor, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management); Rahul Dé (Professor, Information Systems); Sai Yayavaram (Professor of Strategy); Rajalaxmi Kamath (Associate Professor, Public Policy), Ritwik Banerjee (Associate Professor, Economics and Social Sciences); and Manaswini Bhalla (Associate Professor, Economics and Social Sciences).

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Dé is the Institute’s Dean of Programs and President of the Office of International Affairs. Bhalla is president of the Economics and Social Sciences section.

The signatories teaching at IIM Ahmedabad are Professor Ankur Sarin (Public Systems Group), Professor Navdeep Mathur and Professor Rakesh Basant (Economics).

When contacted, Professor Basant said that the letter makes clear the position of the signatories and that he would not like to add anything to it. Prof. Basant is also Dean of Alumni and External Relations of the institute, as well as Professor of Innovation and Public Policy at the JSW Chair.

Raj said the aim of the signatories was to underline the fact that “if the voices of hatred are strong, the voices of reason should be louder.”

While for him, the controversial speech by South Bangalore MP Tejasvi Surya urging Hindus to convert to Muslims and Christians was the turning point, for other signatories, the recent attacks on churches in many parts of the country and the Haridwar Dharam Sansad acted as triggers. This was mentioned in the letter.

“Our Constitution gives us the right to practice our religion with dignity, without fear, without shame. Now there is 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 carried out with impunity and without any fear of due process, ”the letter said.

He then asks the prime minister to stand firm against the forces that seek to divide the citizens.

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“We ask your leadership to turn our minds and hearts, as a nation, away from inciting hatred against our people. We believe that a society can focus on creativity, innovation and growth, or the society can create divisions within itself. We want to build an India that is an example of inclusion and diversity in the world. We, the undersigned faculty, staff and students from the Indian Institute of Administration Bangalore (IIMB) and the Indian Institute of Administration Ahmedabad (IIMA) hope and pray that he will guide the country to make the right decisions, ”he states. .

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