Over 600 teachers and scholars worldwide have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing anguish at the Kathua and Unnao gang rapes and holding his government responsible for the “terrible state of affairs”, reports said.
The academics have voiced concern at the Prime Minister’s “prolonged silence” and the “non-specific assurance of justice” to the victims.
“We wish to express our deep anger and anguish over the events in Kathua and Unnao and the aftermath of these events; over the efforts of those administering the relevant states to protect the alleged perpetrators of these monstrous crimes; over the subsequent (and) profoundly distasteful efforts of rationalisation and the deflection and diversion that have been so much in evidence in the reactions of your party’s spokespersons in the media,” the letter says.
“We have observed that there has been a prolonged silence on your part over the terrible state of affairs in the country and an undeniable association of violence with the ruling dispensation.”
Among the signatories are academics from New York University, Brown University, Harvard, Columbia University, and the IITs.
The letter says that when Modi broke his “prolonged (and by now familiar) silence”, he did so with “wholly inadequate, platitudinous and non-specific assurances of justice for the victims”. It adds that the Unnao and Kathua atrocities were not isolated incidents but part of a sequence of “repeated targets”.
“We send you this letter because it is our duty to do so; so that we are not guilty of silence; and so that callousness and cowardice might finally draw the line at the broken body of a little girl and the rape of a young woman.”