Historians join protest against 'intolerance'

53 historians, including Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, K N Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Historians yesterday joined writers, filmmakers and scientists in growing protests against ‘climate of intolerance’ over which top scientist P M Bhargava said he will return his Padma Bhushan award. He alleged that the Modi government was trying to make India into a ‘Hindu religious autocracy’.

As a second group of scientists joined the protests by the intelligentsia on Wednesday, 53 historians including Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, K N Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee hit out at PM Narendra Modi for not making any ‘reassuring statement’ following concerns over ‘highly vitiated atmosphere’ prevailing in the country.

“Differences of opinion are being sought to be settled by using physical violence. Arguments are met not with counter arguments but with bullets,” the statement by historians said referring to Dadri lynching incident and the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni in Mumbai. “When writer after writer is returning their award in protest, no comment is made about the conditions that caused the protest; instead the ministers call it a paper revolution and advise the writers to stop writing,” it said.

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