After eminent writers, artists and several civil rights activists, a group of scientists has now flagged a concern over the incidents of intolerance, including the dastardly murder of rationalist thinker MM Kalburgi. The group of those scientists and academicians has petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee urging him to initiate “suitable actions”. In their copy of petition released to the Press in Chennai on Tuesday, the group has taken a serious note on the extent of “polarisation” within the society.
“We, the scientists, are concerned about the recent developments with reference to intolerance, polarisation and spread of communal hatred resulting in the death of innocent people and the rationalists… We urge you to take serious note of these developments and initiate suitable actions,” the petition addressed to the President read.
“A highly polarised community is like a nuclear bomb close to criticality. It can explode any time and drive the nation to utter chaos. This is a highly unstable atmosphere and we should do everything in our hands to defuse the disparity, and enlighten society in scientific spirit,” is added further.
The petition was signed by scientists and academicians including Naresh Dadich, former Director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, TR Govindarajan, emeritus professor at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), G Rajasekaran, former Joint Director of IMSc, former director of the Harish Chandra Research Institute (Allahabad) HS Mani, Tabish Qureshi of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and scientists and academics from JNU, Institute of Physics (Bhubaneswar), IITs and other leading institutions.
Besides lauding President Pranab Mukherjee for advising people to show respect and compassion for all thoughts, the group of signatories also appealed to the Centre and State governments to act against “anti-human, anti civilisational act”.
“Stop the spread of communal hatred and polarisation in society,” the petition urged pointing out that India had been a plural country where communities allowed space for each other.
“This is an appeal to the government to act swiftly to stop this mayhem which is victimising innocent people for eating beef, sensible people for being against superstition, RTI activists or whistle blowers and many more innocent people with human values,” the group of eminent academicians appealed in their petition.
Referring to many writers returning their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against the incidents like Dadri lynching and MM Kalburgi murder, the statement said the scientific community, however, seemed to remain “passive”.
“But scientists are also part of society and it is times like this that call upon them to be conscientious citizens and voice their concern,” the statement summarised.
(With inputs from the PTI)