The threats of abuse and death to Dr. John Dayal are one more disturbing events in recent times. John Dayal is a member of National Integration Council, is the Secretary General of All India Catholic Union and a foremost human rights defender. He has been seriously committed to the values of pluralism, secularism, communal harmony and for defense of weaker sections of society. An activist of long standing and repute; he has been part of human rights endeavors upholding the rights of minorities, Dalits and Adivasis.
He received phone calls, which are abusive and threatening. The twitters trend was ShameOnJohnDayal and worst type of abuses have been trending. The abuses were also for the Catholic-Christian minority and are aimed to disturb the communal harmony. The threats are part of the rising trend of intolerance for dissenting opinions. The country has witnessed the murders of Narendra Dabholar, Pansare and Kalburgi. The rationalist thinker Bhagawan is also under the death threat. The growing assertion of the sectarian and divisive thinking in current times needs to be curtailed and opposed to preserve our democratic society. In neighboring countries dominated by fundamentalist trends we have witnessed the murders of bloggers for holding opinions which are not in conformity with assertions of fundamentalist elements. We need to uphold the ‘right to dissent’ and ensure that such abusive tweets are registered as a crime.
We call for providing adequate protection to John Dayal. Those indulging in such threat and hate mongering should be identified and punished as per the law of the land. The spread of hatred through such actions needs to be condemned and punished.
All India Secular Forum