1 September 2020

Honourable Home Minister of India

Honourable Minister for Information & Broadcasting, India

Chairman, National Human Rights Commission

Chairman, Minorities Commission

Chairman, Union Public Service Commission

Chairman, News Broadcasting Standards Authority

Honourable Lt Governor, Delhi

Honourable Chief Minister, Delhi

Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India

Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India

The Commissioner of Police, Delhi

We are a group of former civil servants belonging to the All India and Central Services who have worked with the Central Government as well as different State Governments of India. As a group, we have no affiliation with any political party but believe in being neutral, impartial and committed to the Constitution of India.

We are raising, through this letter, an urgent issue regarding the proposed telecast of a communally charged, divisive and sensational series by Sudarshan News TV channel. This series claims to be an expose of a conspiracy in the recruitment process that has resulted in a sudden increase in the number of Muslim officers selected for the two most prestigious services in the country, the IAS and the IPS. Jamia Millia Islamia has been singled out in this context. We understand that the Delhi High Court has granted an interim stay on the telecast. However, we feel stronger legal and administrative action is warranted.

It is completely perverse to allege that there is a conspiracy to infiltrate Muslim officers into the services, or to use terms like UPSC Jihad or Civil Services Jihad in this connection. These communal and irresponsible statements amount to hate speech and are defamatory of an entire community.

The telecast of the programme, if allowed, will have the following effects:

  • It will generate hatred towards the largest minority community in the country, viz. Muslims, without having any basis in fact. The country is already smouldering with hate speech against Muslims, including allegations of Corona Jihad and Love Jihad, which various courts have found to be false. This telecast will add further fuel to that fire.
  • It will tar the impeccable reputation of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the premier organisation for civil service recruitment, by claiming that it is biased in its recruitment processes. UPSC’s recruitment processes are widely recognised as being entirely fair, above board and without any bias towards any language, region, religious or other community. The UPSC is one of the few institutions in the country which still enjoys an unblemished reputation for integrity and has enormous credibility both with the government and with the people of India. The telecast will destroy people’s faith in this highly regarded institution.
  • It will spread a false belief about a disproportionate increase in the number of Muslims being selected for government services, especially for the IAS and IPS. A recent report in the Indian Express said that “Muslims make up 3.46 per cent of the country’s 8,417 IAS and IPS officers. Of 292 Muslim officers, 160 are among the 5,862 who had been selected through the Civil Services examinations conducted by the UPSC, while the remaining 132 are among 2,555 who were promoted to the IAS or IPS from the state civil services on the basis of seniority and performance, which is also assessed by the UPSC. (https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/muslims-add-up-to-3-in-ias-ips-list/) It should be noted that this 3.46% is far short of the percentage of Muslims in the population, which is 14.2%.  Over the last forty years, the number of Muslim candidates has been going up and down. In fact, there have been years when not a single Muslim candidate was selected in the IAS, and, therefore, allegations such as these are totally unfounded.  Such a telecast may also persuade other caste, linguistic and regional groups to look at their rate of success in the civil services examination, an examination which should be, and is, based on merit. In the process, the credibility of UPSC will be compromised.
  • It will malign the reputation of Jamia Millia Islamia, which has recently been rated as the top central university in India. Jamia Millia Islamia has, in fact, been fulfilling a major social obligation to the country by offering free coaching services to disadvantaged candidates (Muslims, SCs, STs and women) to help them succeed in the UPSC examinations. The telecast will discourage Jamia Millia Islamia and others like them from offering services to socially disadvantaged groups.
  • The use of terms like “UPSC jihad” and “Civil Services jihad” are an attempt to divide the civil administration of the country along religious lines and undermines the excellent contributions made by administrators across the board to the development of India.

In a case filed before the High Court of Delhi a few days ago, the petitioners have urged that offences have been committed under “Sections 153A(1) Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony,153B(1) Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration, 295A Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs and Section 499 Defamation, of the Indian Penal Code”. These alleged offences need to be investigated thoroughly.

In a recent judgement on the same matter, the Supreme Court, while not granting a stay on the telecast of the programme, has stated “We note that under statutory provisions, competent authorities are vested with powers to ensure compliance with law, including provisions of the criminal law intended to ensure social harmony and the peaceful co-existence of all communities.”

We, therefore, urge the Union Home Ministry, the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, the Chief Minister, Delhi and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to order the lodging of FIRs under the relevant legal provisions. We also request the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority of India to investigate whether or not the show would run afoul of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, read with the Cable Television Networks Rules 1994, and the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and take suitable action. The National Human Rights Commission, the Minorities Commission, and the Union Public Service Commission are also requested to take notice of this vicious hate campaign to malign a particular religion and community through the propagation of slanted news that will not stand scrutiny by any objective criterion.

(91 signatories, as below)


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.         Shafi Alam IPS (Retd.) Former Director General, National Crime Records Bureau, GoI
4.         K. Saleem Ali IPS (Retd.) Former Special Director, CBI, GoI
5.         S.P. Ambrose IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI
6.         Anand Arni R&AW (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
7.         Mohinderpal Aulakh IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police (Jails), Govt. of Punjab
8.         G. Balachandhran IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
9.         Vappala Balachandran IPS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI


10.     Gopalan Balagopal IAS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
11.     Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Coal, GoI
12.     Rana Banerji IAS (Retd.) Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), GoI
13.     Sharad Behar IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
14.     Meeran C Borwankar IPS (Retd.) Former DGP, Bureau of Police Research and Development, GoI
15.     Sundar Burra IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
16.     R. Chandramohan IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi
17.     Rachel Chatterjee IAS (Retd.) Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
18.     Javid Chowdhury IAS (Retd.) Former Health Secretary, GoI
19.     Anna Dani IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
20.     Vibha Puri Das IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI
21.     P.R. Dasgupta IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI
22.     Nareshwar Dayal IFS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
23.     Pradeep K. Deb IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Deptt. Of Sports, GoI
24.     Nitin Desai IES (Retd.) Former Secretary and Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI
25.     Keshav Desiraju IAS (Retd.) Former Health Secretary, GoI
26.     M.G. Devasahayam IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana
27.     Sushil Dubey IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Sweden
28.     K.P. Fabian IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Italy
29.     Prabhu Ghate IAS (Retd.) Former Addl. Director General, Department of Tourism, GoI
30.     Suresh K. Goel IFS (Retd.) Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI
31.     H.S. Gujral IFoS (Retd.) Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Punjab
32.     Meena Gupta IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI
33.     Sajjad Hassan IAS (Retd.) Former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur
34.     Siraj Hussain IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Agriculture, GoI
35.     Najeeb Jung IAS (Retd.) Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi
36.     Rahul Khullar IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
37.     Ajai Kumar IFoS(Retd.) Former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI


38.     Brijesh Kumar IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI
39.     Sudhir Kumar IAS (Retd.) Former Member, Central Administrative Tribunal
40.     P.K. Lahiri IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary (Revenue), GoI and former Executive Director, Asian Development Bank
41.     Aloke B. Lal IPS (Retd.) Former Director General (Prosecution), Govt. of Uttarakhand
42.     Subodh Lal IPoS (Resigned) Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI
43.     P.M.S. Malik IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Myanmar & Special Secretary, MEA, GoI
44.     Harsh Mander IAS (Retd.) Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
45.     Amitabh Mathur IPS (Retd.) Former Director, Aviation Research Centre and Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI
46.     Aditi Mehta IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
47.     Shivshankar Menon IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary and Former National Security Adviser
48.     Sonalini Mirchandani IFS (Resigned) GoI
49.     Noor Mohammad IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India
50.     Avinash Mohananey IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim
51.     Deb Mukharji IFS (Retd.) Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal
52.     Nagalsamy IA&AS (Retd.) Former Principal Accountant General, Tamil Nadu & Kerala
53.     P.G.J. Nampoothiri IPS (Retd.) Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Gujarat
54.     Amitabha Pande IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI
55.     Niranjan Pant IA&AS (Retd.) Former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, GoI
56.     Alok Perti IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI
57.     R.M. Premkumar IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra
58.     S.Y. Quraishi IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Election Commissioner
59.     V.P. Raja IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission
60.     K. Sujatha Rao IAS (Retd.) Former Health Secretary, GoI
61.     M.Y. Rao IAS (Retd.)  
62.     Satwant Reddy IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI
63.     Vijaya Latha Reddy IFS (Retd.) Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI



64.     Julio Ribeiro IPS (Retd.) Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania
65.     Aruna Roy IAS (Resigned)  
66.     Deepak Sanan IAS (Retd.) Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh
67.     G. Sankaran IC&CES (Retd.) Former President, Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal
68.     Shyam Saran IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary and Former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board
69.     S. Satyabhama IAS (Retd.) Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI
70.     N.C. Saxena IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI
71.     A. Selvaraj IRS (Retd.) Former Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Chennai, GoI
72.     Ardhendu Sen IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal
73.     Abhijit Sengupta IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI
74.     Aftab Seth IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Japan
75.     Ashok Kumar Sharma IFoS (Retd.) Former MD, State Forest Development Corporation, Govt. of Gujarat
76.     Ashok Kumar Sharma IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia
77.     Navrekha Sharma IFS (Retd.) Former Ambassador to Indonesia
78.     Pravesh Sharma IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
79.     Rashmi Shukla Sharma IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
80.     Padamvir Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Director, LBSNAA, Mussoorie, GoI
81.     Sujatha Singh IFS (Retd.) Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
82.     Tirlochan Singh IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI
83.     Jawhar Sircar


IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI, & former CEO, Prasar Bharati
84.     Narendra Sisodia IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI
85.     Parveen Talha IRS (Retd.) Former Member, Union Public Service Commission
86.     Thanksy Thekkekera IAS (Retd.) Former Additional Chief Secretary, Minorities Development, Govt. of Maharashtra
87.     P.S.S. Thomas IAS (Retd.) Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission
88.     Geetha Thoopal IRAS (Retd.) Former General Manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata


89.     Hindal Tyabji IAS (Retd.) Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir
90.     Ashok Vajpeyi IAS (Retd.) Former Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi
91.     Ramani Venkatesan


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



  1. Nisha Sahai Achuthan

    Hi, I read with interest your letter below; since I am now an activist on many issues, please let me know how I could join Constitutional Conduct and sign up for its letters 2. Also, what is the procedure for identifying issues on which letters are written? Since it is a collective effort, how are inputs made by its members? And finally, how are signatures collected? Thanks Nisha Sahai Achuthan, [IAS retd. Former Member Secretary National Commission for Women]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Former Civil Servants Move SC to Seek a Stay on Sudarshan TV's 'UPSC Jihad' Show

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