Letter Seeking Action Against Sudarshan TV by Group of Former Civil Servants

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LETTER SEEKING ACTION AGAINST SUDARSHAN TV FOR ITS MALICIOUS CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE HATRED AND DIVISIVENESS IN SOCIETY

 

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:

  1. 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.
     
  2.  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.
     
  3. 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. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. 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

  1.  

Salahuddin Ahmad

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan

  1.  

Shafi Alam

IPS (Retd.)

Former Director General, National Crime Records Bureau, GoI

  1.  

K. Saleem Ali

IPS (Retd.)

Former Special Director, CBI, GoI

  1.  

S.P. Ambrose

IAS (Retd.)

Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping & Transport, GoI

  1.  

Anand Arni

R&AW (Retd.)

Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI

  1.  

Mohinderpal Aulakh

IPS (Retd.)

Former Director General of Police (Jails), Govt. of Punjab

  1.  

G. Balachandhran

IAS (Retd.)

Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal

  1.  

Vappala Balachandran

IPS (Retd.)

Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI

 

  1.  

Gopalan Balagopal

IAS (Retd.)

Former Special Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal

  1.  

Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Coal, GoI

  1.  

Rana Banerji

IAS (Retd.)

Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), GoI

  1.  

Sharad Behar

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

  1.  

Meeran C Borwankar

IPS (Retd.)

Former DGP, Bureau of Police Research and Development, GoI

  1.  

Sundar Burra

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra

  1.  

R. Chandramohan

IAS (Retd.)

Former Principal Secretary, Transport and Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi

  1.  

Rachel Chatterjee

IAS (Retd.)

Former Special Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh

  1.  

Javid Chowdhury

IAS (Retd.)

Former Health Secretary, GoI

  1.  

Anna Dani

IAS (Retd.)

Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra

  1.  

Vibha Puri Das

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI

  1.  

P.R. Dasgupta

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chairman, Food Corporation of India, GoI

  1.  

Nareshwar Dayal

IFS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

  1.  

Pradeep K. Deb

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Deptt. Of Sports, GoI

  1.  

Nitin Desai

IES (Retd.)

Former Secretary and Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, GoI

  1.  

Keshav Desiraju

IAS (Retd.)

Former Health Secretary, GoI

  1.  

M.G. Devasahayam

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Govt. of Haryana

  1.  

Sushil Dubey

IFS (Retd.)

Former Ambassador to Sweden

  1.  

K.P. Fabian

IFS (Retd.)

Former Ambassador to Italy

  1.  

Prabhu Ghate

IAS (Retd.)

Former Addl. Director General, Department of Tourism, GoI

  1.  

Suresh K. Goel

IFS (Retd.)

Former Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, GoI

  1.  

H.S. Gujral

IFoS (Retd.)

Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of Punjab

  1.  

Meena Gupta

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GoI

  1.  

Sajjad Hassan

IAS (Retd.)

Former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur

  1.  

Siraj Hussain

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Department of Agriculture, GoI

  1.  

Najeeb Jung

IAS (Retd.)

Former Lieutenant Governor, Delhi

  1.  

Rahul Khullar

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

  1.  

Ajai Kumar

IFoS(Retd.)

Former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI

 

  1.  

Brijesh Kumar

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GoI

  1.  

Sudhir Kumar

IAS (Retd.)

Former Member, Central Administrative Tribunal

  1.  

P.K. Lahiri

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary (Revenue), GoI and former Executive Director, Asian Development Bank

  1.  

Aloke B. Lal

IPS (Retd.)

Former Director General (Prosecution), Govt. of Uttarakhand

  1.  

Subodh Lal

IPoS (Resigned)

Former Deputy Director General, Ministry of Communications, GoI

  1.  

P.M.S. Malik

IFS (Retd.)

Former Ambassador to Myanmar & Special Secretary, MEA, GoI

  1.  

Harsh Mander

IAS (Retd.)

Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

  1.  

Amitabh Mathur

IPS (Retd.)

Former Director, Aviation Research Centre and Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GoI

  1.  

Aditi Mehta

IAS (Retd.)

Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan

  1.  

Shivshankar Menon

IFS (Retd.)

Former Foreign Secretary and Former National Security Adviser

  1.  

Sonalini Mirchandani

IFS (Resigned)

GoI

  1.  

Noor Mohammad

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India

  1.  

Avinash Mohananey

IPS (Retd.)

Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Sikkim

  1.  

Deb Mukharji

IFS (Retd.)

Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh and former Ambassador to Nepal

  1.  

Nagalsamy

IA&AS (Retd.)

Former Principal Accountant General, Tamil Nadu & Kerala

  1.  

P.G.J. Nampoothiri

IPS (Retd.)

Former Director General of Police, Govt. of Gujarat

  1.  

Amitabha Pande

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Inter-State Council, GoI

  1.  

Niranjan Pant

IA&AS (Retd.)

Former Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, GoI

  1.  

Alok Perti

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI

  1.  

R.M. Premkumar

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra

  1.  

S.Y. Quraishi

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chief Election Commissioner

  1.  

V.P. Raja

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission

  1.  

K. Sujatha Rao

IAS (Retd.)

Former Health Secretary, GoI

  1.  

M.Y. Rao

IAS (Retd.)

 

  1.  

Satwant Reddy

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, GoI

  1.  

Vijaya Latha Reddy

IFS (Retd.)

Former Deputy National Security Adviser, GoI

 

 

  1.  

Julio Ribeiro

IPS (Retd.)

Former Adviser to Governor of Punjab & former Ambassador to Romania

  1.  

Aruna Roy

IAS (Resigned)

 

  1.  

Deepak Sanan

IAS (Retd.)

Former Principal Adviser (AR) to Chief Minister, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh

  1.  

G. Sankaran

IC&CES (Retd.)

Former President, Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal 

  1.  

Shyam Saran

IFS (Retd.)

Former Foreign Secretary and Former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board

  1.  

S. Satyabhama

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chairperson, National Seeds Corporation, GoI

  1.  

N.C. Saxena

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI

  1.  

A. Selvaraj

IRS (Retd.)

Former Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Chennai, GoI

  1.  

Ardhendu Sen

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal

  1.  

Abhijit Sengupta

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI

  1.  

Aftab Seth

IFS (Retd.)

Former Ambassador to Japan

  1.  

Ashok Kumar Sharma

IFoS (Retd.)

Former MD, State Forest Development Corporation, Govt. of Gujarat

  1.  

Ashok Kumar Sharma

IFS (Retd.)

Former Ambassador to Finland and Estonia

  1.  

Navrekha Sharma

IFS (Retd.)

Former Ambassador to Indonesia

  1.  

Pravesh Sharma

IAS (Retd.)

Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

  1.  

Rashmi Shukla Sharma

IAS (Retd.)

Former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

  1.  

Padamvir Singh

IAS (Retd.)

Former Director, LBSNAA, Mussoorie, GoI

  1.  

Sujatha Singh

IFS (Retd.)

Former Foreign Secretary, GoI

  1.  

Tirlochan Singh

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, GoI

  1.  

Jawhar Sircar

 

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI, & former CEO, Prasar Bharati

  1.  

Narendra Sisodia

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI

  1.  

Parveen Talha

IRS (Retd.)

Former Member, Union Public Service Commission

  1.  

Thanksy Thekkekera

IAS (Retd.)

Former Additional Chief Secretary, Minorities Development, Govt. of Maharashtra

  1.  

P.S.S. Thomas

IAS (Retd.)

Former Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission

  1.  

Geetha Thoopal

IRAS (Retd.)

Former General Manager, Metro Railway, Kolkata

 

  1.  

Hindal Tyabji

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chief Secretary rank, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir

  1.  

Ashok Vajpeyi

IAS (Retd.)

Former Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi

  1.  

Ramani Venkatesan

 

IAS (Retd.)

Former Director General, YASHADA, Govt. of Maharashtra