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.
Those 49 #UrbanNaxals who expressed fear about Jai Shri Ram slogans being used as provocative shouts, Can they say same thing about Allah-hu-Akbar raised by terrorists during blasts & attacks?— प्रशान्त पटेल उमराव (@ippatel) 24 July 2019
Hope PM Modi doesn't succumb to the blackmail by #UrbanNaxal thugs like Aparna Sen & other Commie criminals and ends up making a statement in Parliament "condemning" people saying #JaiShriRam. This ranting by #UrbanNaxals must be treated with contempt.https://t.co/68dWkRzizV— Ram Gopal (@ramgopaldass_77) 24 July 2019
For 49 celebs, Jai Shri Ram is Hindu war cry. They don’t have balls to mention number of times those from India’s 2nd largest majority used Allah Hu Akbar to kill, maim, vandalise temples/monuments, attack doctors/cops, lynch Dalits.— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) 24 July 2019
This selective #Intolerance is boon for BJP.
Never seen any of them writing a letter how people are killed saying Jihad, how Sikhs were massacred by 2 congress party people.— Abhimanyu Sharma (@yes_iam_notdone) 24 July 2019
Never seen any of them going out to write how Javan’s are being killed in name of Allah and naxal.
It’s nothing more just urban naxal
Apart from other netizens, the letter, however, received support from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a strong opponent of Narendra Modi, as well.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, on 49 famous personalities writing an open letter to the PM: Everyone in this country knows what is going on. I respect all the intellectuals, I feel that whatever they have written is a genuine grievance by the people. pic.twitter.com/yNChU2Kuxn— ANI (@ANI) 24 July 2019
We are proud of you. Esp anurag and maniratnam sir, best talent and always standing for the right cause.— you can not kill Gandhi... (@AaneDoAane) 24 July 2019
ONLY 2 Muslims signed this open letter to PM @narendramodi on lynchings and rising hate crimes against religious minorities and Dalits.— Nasir Amaan ناصر امان (@mdnasir094) 24 July 2019
Kudos to @anuragkashyap72, Konkna Sen and all 42 people who speak against this tyranny.
Where is Khans?? https://t.co/3HOQKMDC8P
I find nothing wrong, absolutely nothing wrong with the open letter written by 49 celebrities to the PM asking for his intervention to stop mob lynching and killings in the name of religion. If the government fails to perform its duties the onus is on civil society to remind it !— Samir (@samirkapoor1971) 24 July 2019