We, as citizens, affirm the constitutional values of the Indian Republic. This most diverse country, belongs equally to all persons who make it its own, regardless of their religious faith (or for that matter, their denial of faith), their gender, caste, class, language, physical abilities and sexual orientation. This is the promise we had made to ourselves during the independence movement. This is the meaning of Part IV–A of the Constitution of India that prescribes the fundamental duties of all Indian citizens: to respect ‘the composite culture of India, to ’develop the scientific temper’, ’spirit of reform’ and ‘critical enquiry’ and to ‘cherish the ideas that inspired the struggle for Indian Independence.
As citizens, we are deeply concerned with the assault on the nation. All critical voices are being dubbed as anti-national. Instead of this belief in the Republic, exclusions and intolerance is being propagated. This would lead to the unmaking of the Indian Republic. This is what we are witnessing: riots, polarisation; in the name of development, the theft of natural resources; attack on livelihoods and workers rights; attack on minorities and Dalits. And worst of all, curbing of freedom, where people are told what to write, speak, love and eat.
It is this climate of intolerance that led to the lynching in Dadri of Mohammad Akhlaq and the assassination of the rationalists, Prof. Kalburgi, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar and Shri Govind Pansare. It is this same climate of intolerance that had led to Nathuram Godse’s assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
We, as Citizens, must stand together in Defense of the Republic.