Open Letter to PM Modi Creates Furore as Netizens Debate Over 'Urban Naxals'

© REUTERS / Yuya ShinoIndia's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he gives a speech in front of students at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he gives a speech in front of students at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik): An open letter written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by 49 Indian celebrities and eminent personalities has caused a twitterstorm on social media.

A big section of netizens are slamming the open letter as an act of "Urban Naxals", a popular term in India used for those city dwellers who, despite being educated, react with a revolutionary bent of mind against every government step.

Filmmakers Aparna Sen, Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, and Actress Konkona Sen Sharma led from the front out of the 49 people who signed the letter, expressing concern over various “tragic” events happening in the country, including lynching, misuse of the religious chant "Jai Shri Ram" and incidents of intolerance by some against people of other faiths in the country.

The letter, dated 23 July, urges Prime Minister Modi to implement harsh laws against such “tragic” incidents and crimes. The letter also highlights that "Jai Shri Ram" has become a provocative “war cry” today and lynchings are meant to target the people’s religion.

“Regrettably ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a provocative ‘war-cry’ today that leads to law and order problems and many lynchings take place in its name. It is shocking that so much violence should be perpetrated in the name of religion!” reads the letter.

It also says that "There is no democracy without dissent. People should not be branded anti-national or urban naxal and incarcerated because of dissent against the government".

A section of netizens condemned the letter, calling it selective intolerance.

Apart from other netizens, the letter, however, received support from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a strong opponent of Narendra Modi, as well.

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