1 Nov, 2015
More than 50 Indian historians have detailed their collective “anguish” at the “highly vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country”, just weeks after dozens of Indian writers returned their literary awards in protest over what they called India’s “climate of intolerance”.
The historians, who include eminent scholars Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib, write in a joint statement published in full on the Indian news website Scroll that, in India today, “differences of opinion are being sought to be settled by using physical violence”, and that “arguments are met not with counter arguments but with bullets”.
In August, the rationalist scholar MM Kalburgi was shot dead. The historians also cite the death of the 50-year-old Muslim labourer Mohammed Akhlaq, who was killed by a mob which believed he had eaten meat from a cow, as well as the protests surrounding the launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book in October, during which the event’s organiser was doused in black ink.