STOP THE VILIFICATION OF HARSH MANDER

11 June, 2020

Dear friends in the media,

On March 22, 2020, 95 retired civil servants belonging to the Constitutional Conduct Group wrote an Open Letter “In defence of Harsh Mander” regarding the mischaracterization of his speech at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 16, 2019. In the letter (attached), we had said: “ …Harsh Mander, as a public-spirited citizen of India, had filed a petition before the Honourable Supreme Court in connection with the registering of F.I.R.s against certain political leaders for using hate speech and inciting violence that resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people in Delhi.” Instead of responding to those specific allegations, the Solicitor General of India alleged that Harsh had both incited violence and been contemptuous of the Supreme Court (SC) in that speech.

In our letter, we had pointed out how a selectively edited video was used in the affidavit of the Deputy Commissioner of Police filed before the SC. We argued that if the full video had been presented, it would have proved that neither had he incited violence nor had he been contemptuous of the SC. Citing excerpts from the speech, we said that it had to be read in context, in sequence and in full to appreciate its true exhortations. The following extract makes clear his philosophy: “ We have learnt from Gandhi ji how to respond to violence and injustice. We will fight with non-violence. Anyone who instigates you toward violence or hatred, they are not your friends.” Regarding the allegation that he was contemptuous of the SC, it is clear that it is baseless because all he did was to say:” Which is the place in which this fight will eventually be decided? That is in our hearts, in my heart, in your heart, we have to give a response – if they want to fill our hearts with hate, if we respond with hate, hatred will become deeper”. (Unedited video record of speech at https://youtu.be/yXS2MvqXNsM  and transcripts in English and Hindi attached.)

We have learnt that the Delhi Police has filed a charge sheet (also attached) in the Dayalbagh Ankit Sharma murder case. The early paras indicate the continued position of the Delhi police, claiming that his Jamia speech on December 16 was a hate speech instigating people to violence and against the SC. They write that he used a facade of peace but it was a hate speech! The other two charged with hate speech here are Sharjeel and Azad. This indicates the story that they are trying to build up for the larger conspiracy. It is likely that they will become co-accused in this way in many or all the riot cases, in addition to the conspiracy case.

We are writing to you to please consider whether you can bring to the notice of the general public the continued misrepresentation and mischaracterization of his speech at Jamia Millia on December 16, 2019, and the possible misuse of law against a champion of non-violence and believer in the rule of law. In the meanwhile, those political leaders who publicly used hate speech and incited violence roam free with impunity.

SATYAMEVA JAYATE

Yours sincerely,

Constitutional Conduct Group (with 94 signatures as below)

 

  Name                         Service Last post/designation before retirement
1.       Anita Agnihotri IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Social Justice Empowerment, GoI
2.       Salahuddin Ahmad IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
3.       S.P. Ambrose

 

IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI
4.       G. Balachandhran

 

IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
5.       Vappala Balachandran IPS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
6.       Gopalan Balagopal IAS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
7.       Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Coal, GoI
8.       Sharad Behar IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
9.       Aurobindo Behera IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Odisha
10.    Madhu Bhaduri IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Portugal
11.    Meeran C Borwankar IPS (Retd.) Former DGP, Bureau of Police Research and Development, GoI
12.    Ravi Budhiraja IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, GoI
13.    Sundar Burra IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
14.    R. Chandramohan IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi

 

15.    Rachel Chatterjee IAS (Retd.) Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
16.    Kalyani Chaudhuri IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
17.    Anna Dani IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
18.    Surjit K. Das IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Uttarakhand
19.    Vibha Puri Das IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI
20.    P.R. Dasgupta IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI
21.    Pradeep K. Deb IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Deptt. Of Sports, GoI
22.    Nitin Desai IES (Retd.) Former Secretary and Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI
23.    Keshav Desiraju IAS (Retd.) Former Health Secretary, GoI
24.    M.G. Devasahayam IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana
25.    Sushil Dubey IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Sweden
26.    K.P. Fabian IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Italy
27.    Prabhu Ghate IAS (Retd.) Former Addl. Director General, Department of Tourism, GoI
28.    Gourisankar Ghosh IAS (Retd.) Former Mission Director, National Drinking Water Mission, GoI
29.    Suresh K. Goel IFS (Retd.) Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI
30.    S. Gopal IPS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, GoI
31.    Meena Gupta IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI
32.    Ravi Vira Gupta IAS (Retd.) Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
33.    Wajahat Habibullah IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, GoI and Chief Information Commissioner
34.    Sajjad Hassan IAS (Retd.) Former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur
35.    Siraj Hussain IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Agriculture, GoI
36.    Kamal Jaswal IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
37.    Najeeb Jung IAS (Retd.) Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi
38.    Vinod C. Khanna IFS (Retd.) Former Additional Secretary, MEA, GoI
39.    Rahul Khullar IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
40.    K. John Koshy IAS (Retd.) Former State Chief Information Commissioner, West Bengal
41.    Ajai Kumar Indian Forest Service (Retd.) Former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI
42.    Arun Kumar IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, GoI
43.    P.K. Lahiri IAS (Retd.) Former Executive Director, Asian Development Bank
44.    Subodh Lal IPoS (Resigned) Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI
45.    Amitabh Mathur IPS (Retd.) Former Director, Aviation Research Centre and Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
46.    Lalit Mathur IAS (Retd.) Former Director General, National Institute of Rural Development, GoI
47.    Aditi Mehta IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
48.    Dalip Mehta IFS (Retd.) Former Secretary to GoI & Dean, Foreign Service Institute
49.    Shivshankar Menon IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary and Former National Security Adviser
50.    Sonalini Mirchandani IFS (Resigned) GoI
51.    Sunil Mitra IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
52.    Avinash Mohananey IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim
53.    Deb Mukharji IFS (Retd.) Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal
54.    Shiv Shankar Mukherjee IFS (Retd.) Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
55.    Pranab S. Mukhopadhyay IAS (Retd.) Former Director, Institute of Port Management, GoI
56.    P.G.J. Nampoothiri IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Gujarat
57.    Surendra Nath IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Finance Commission, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
58.    Amitabha Pande IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI
59.    Niranjan Pant IA&AS (Retd.) Former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, GoI
60.    Alok Perti IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI
61.    R. Poornalingam IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, GoI
62.    R.M. Premkumar IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
63.    N.K. Raghupathy IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI
64.    V.P. Raja IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission
65.    C. Babu Rajeev IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, GoI
66.    K. Sujatha Rao IAS (Retd.) Former Health Secretary, GoI
67.    Nirupama Menon Rao IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
68.    Satwant Reddy IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI
69.    Vijaya Latha Reddy IFS (Retd.) Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI
70.    Julio Ribeiro IPS (Retd.) Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania
71.    Aruna Roy IAS (Resigned)  
72.    Manabendra N. Roy IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
73.    Deepak Sanan IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
74.    G. Sankaran IC&CES (Retd.) Former President, Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal
75.    Shyam Saran IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary and Former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board
76.    S. Satyabhama IAS (Retd.) Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI
77.    N.C. Saxena IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI
78.    A. Selvaraj IRS (Retd.) Former Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Chennai, GoI
79.    Ardhendu Sen IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
80.    Abhijit Sengupta IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI
81.    Aftab Seth IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Japan
82.    Ashok Kumar Sharma IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia
83.    Navrekha Sharma IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Indonesia
84.    Raju Sharma IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
85.    K.S. Sidhu IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
86.    Sujatha Singh IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
87.    Tirlochan Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI
88.    Jawhar Sircar

 

 

 

IAS (Retd.)

 

Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI, & former CEO, Prasar Bharati
89.    Narendra Sisodia IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
90.    Sudershan K. Sudhakar IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Punjab
91.    Thanksy Thekkekera IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Minorities Development, Govt. of Maharashtra
92.    Geetha Thoopal IRAS (Retd.) Former General Manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata

 

93.    Hindal Tyabji IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
94.    Ramani Venkatesan

 

IAS (Retd.) Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra

 

Attachments

https://constitutionalconduct.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/transcript-of-harsh-mander-jmi-speech.pdf

https://constitutionalconduct.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/ccg-letter_harsh-mander_march-2020.pdf

https://constitutionalconduct.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/charge-sheet-65.20-dayalpur-corrected.pdf

 

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