Former civil servants endorse letter to ECI for action against PM Modi’s “outrageously communal speech”

Chhokar’s letter is among thousands of letters concerned citizens have forwarded to the ECI in the last two days.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 24, 2024 | 1:33 PMUpdatedApr 24, 2024 | 1:34 PM

PM Modi speeks at an election rally in Rajasthan on Sunday, 21 April, 2024.

In a letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI), a large group of former top civil servants endorse a letter by former IIM-Ahmedabad professor Jagdeep Chhokar seeking immediate action for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “outrageously communal speech” at Rajasthan’s Banswara on April 21.

Chhokar wants the ECI not to waste time in taking action because the general elections are already underway.

Nine-three signatories, the Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG) members, tell the Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners: “We hope the Election Commission of India will at least now take suitable action as suggested in the letter under reference.”

They include retired IFS, IAS, IPS, and IRS officers, among others, who have held top administrative posts in the Union government and the states or have been Indian ambassadors to important countries worldwide.

Attaching Chhokar’s letter for the ECI’s personnel, the officers clarify: “We have no affiliation with any political party but are strongly committed to the ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India.”

Chhokar’s letter is among thousands of letters concerned citizens have forwarded to the ECI in the last two days.

His letter specifies how the speech violated the Model Code of Conduct, the Representation of People Act and the Indian Penal Code.

He lists excerpts of Modi’s speech in Hindi, where he talks about Muslims in what can be perceived as hate speech.

Also read: Over 17,000 citizens write to ECI

Portions from Modi’s speech

There is also the portion where Modi accuses Congress of giving away the property of Indians to the Muslims.

(Here is the link to Chhokar’s letter endorsed by CCG:

A literal English translation of Modi’s speech shared by Chhokar goes like this:
“…This means this property will be gathered…and will be distributed to those who give birth to many children….distribute among infiltrators…are you okay with your hard-earned money being given to them?…this is what the Congress manifesto says….

“…(that they will) keep a list of the gold of our mothers and sisters and then will distribute that property to those whom the Manmohan Singh government had said the first right over property is with the Muslims…this is the Urban Naxal mindset…my mothers and sisters, they won’t spare your ‘mangal sutra’ also…this is what I came to tell you…”

Chhokar says the speech violates several laws, including sections like “Promoting enmity between classes in connection with election” and “Promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.

He tells the ECI: “Given the election is already underway, it is absolutely necessary that the action be taken without any loss of time.”

(Edited by VVP Sharma)