New Delhi: Over 600 academicians and scholars from across the globe have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing their anguish over the Kathua and Unnao rape cases and held his government responsible for the 'terrible state of affairs'. The academicians also raised concerns over the prime minister's "prolonged silence" on the issue and the "non-specific assurance of justice" for the victims of the two rape cases that have shocked the entire nation.
"We wish to express our deep anger and anguish over the events in Kathua and Unnao and the aftermath of these events; over the efforts of those administering the relevant states to protect the alleged perpetrators of these monstrous crimes; over the subsequent profoundly distasteful efforts of rationalization and the deflection and diversion that have been so much in evidence in the reactions of your party's spokespersons in the media," the letter read.
"We have observed that there has been a prolonged silence on your part over the 'terrible state of affairs' in the country and 'an undeniable association of violence with the ruling dispensation'," it added.
The signatories to the letter include academicians and scholars from universities across the globe including the New York university, the Brown University, the Harvard, the Columbia and prominent IITs, among others. The academicians also said the prime minister broke his "prolonged (and by now familiar) silence" with "wholly inadequate, platitudinous, and non-specific assurances of justice for the victims."
They further said the Unnao and Kathua cases are not isolated incidents, but part of a sequence of "repeated targets". "We send you this letter because it is our duty to do so; so that we are not guilty of silence; and so that callousness and cowardice might finally draw the line at the broken body of a little girl and the rape of a young woman," the letter concluded.
The letter comes on the day the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to provide stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of rape of girls below 12 years, amid a nation-wide outrage over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat and the rape of a girl in Unnao.