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BJP Responds To 49 Celebrities' Intolerance Letter To PM Modi, Says 'crime Is Crime, Stop Communalising It'

Written By Navashree Nandini | Mumbai | Published:

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  • Around 49 celebrities across all professions in the likes of Bollywood, theatres, historians, and painters have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • BJP has responded on the letter and said that crime is a crime
  • The letter is abut the lynchng and hate crimes in the country against minorities

49 celebrities have penned a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into the hate-crimes that is going on in the country for a few days. In the first response to the letter, BJP has said that crime is a crime and they should not give communal colour to it. 

Speaking to Republic TV said, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said: "Now it's lynching, a lot of them are known to be sympathetic to the BJP. Some of them are even sympathetic to the left parties, and unfortunately, they give a communal colour to it. They will immediately write a letter if someone from one community is at the receiving end. If someone from other community is at the receiving end then they are silent,  no candles, no letters, nothing. Stop communalising crime. Crime is Crime. 

In yet another response, BJP minister and Begusarai MP Giriraj Singh said: "I want to ask that what should we say if not Jai Shri Ram. A few days ago Kairana MLA said that don't buy products from Hindu shopkeepers, then they said nothing. We will say Jai Shri Ram."

What is the letter to the PM about?

Even as the government continues to take a firm stand against those misusing religion or religious teaching, the 49 celebrities have in their letter demanded the stop of incidents of 'lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities, citing NCRB reports. They have also demanded immediate action against those propagating religious identity-based hate crimes. They have asked in their letter as to what action has been taken. "What action has been actually been taken against the perpetrators? We strongly feel that such offences should be declared non-bailable, and that exemplary punishment should be meted out swiftly and surely."

They went on to state that "Jai Shri Ram" has become provocative 'war-cry' that leads to law and order problems. They stated that 'criticising the ruling party does not imply criticising the nation. They end the letter stating that they are "Indians genuinely concerned with, and anxious about, the fate of our nation.' Claiming that there is no democracy without dissent, the celebrities expressed that no certain individual should be branded as 'anti-national' or 'Urban Naxal' because of the dissent against the government. 

READ THE LETTER HERE: 'Intolerance' Lobby Back: Anurag Kashyap, Aparna Sen & 47 Others Write To PM Modi; Claim 'Jai Shri Ram Now A Provocative War-cry'

Speaking on why the letter has been written despite the government saying that they take appropriate action against people spreading violence, the director and screenwriter Shyam Benegal who has also signed the letter said:

"No society is even, incidents of intolerance and violence, these things settle down, we have lived together for several thousand years as different communities. So why are we suddenly becoming? Yes, there will be hate crimes from time to time, first of all, we should not blow it up to such extent. Secondly, you should not take advantage of it. You have to curb it. Saying that we are conspiring is an odd thing.

Signing that letter is a call for sanity. Everybody is concerned about growing crimes. We want to live in peace, happiness and satisfaction because we are a diverse community. I don't believe that we are against the system. We are a secular Constitution. We are growing well on all fronts. The economy is growing well. We are on a growth trajectory, but there are problems that some people take advantage of. The idea is you need to function with certain principles, that we have - Constitution, excellent Constitution."

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW HERE: Shyam Benegal Says 49 Celebrities' Intolerance Letter To PM Modi Is A "call For Sanity"

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