In a hard worded letter signed by 104 former IAS officers, UP’s chief minister Yogi Adityanath and other politicians are urged to  “re-educate” themselves about the essence and provisions of the Indian constitutions which they have “sworn to uphold.” The 104 former IAS officers include former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, former Advisor to the PM TKA Nair, former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, etc. 

In the letter, the officers went on to say that the UP’s anti-conversion law has turned Uttar Pradesh into “the epicentre of politics of hate, division, and bigotry.” The signatories of the letter also said that various high courts of the country have unanimously ruled that choosing one’s life partner is a fundamental right that is guaranteed by the Indian constitution. But “the state of UP is blithely undermining that very Constitution.”

Here are some of the excerpts from the letter that has been signed by the most learned and bright minds of the nation to UP’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath:

“… UP, once known as the cradle of the Ganga-Jamuna civilisation, has become the epicentre of the politics of hate, division and bigotry, and institutions of governance are now steeped in communal poison.”

“… a series of heinous atrocities committed by your administration against young Indians across Uttar Pradesh… Indians who are simply seeking to live their lives as free citizens of a free country.”

The letter also mentioned some of the unfortunate instances that included the targeting of minorities by the state of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier last week, 2 teenagers were taken to the police station and harassed due to a case of ‘love jihad’ filed against them. Even though there were objections from the 16-year-old girl and her mother, it didn’t stop the UP police to harass the teenagers. The boy has been spending his days in jail for over a week now. 

Speaking about these instances, the signatories wrote that:

“These atrocities regardless of indignation of Indians devoted to rule of law, continue unabated. The anti-conversion ordinance… is being used as a stick to victimize especially those Indian men who are Muslim and women who dare to exercise their freedom of choice.”

‘Love Jihad’ is a term given to the theory that Hindu women are seduced by Muslim men and forced eventually for religious conversion. Although it is not a term that is recognized by the central government, several states including UP, and MP have passed “anti-love jihad” laws that aim to marginalize the minorities further.

It should be noted that before the law was brought to the table and implemented Yogi Adityanath had warned against love jihad and had said that the people who will “conceal their identity and play with our sisters’ respect”, their journey of “Ram Nam Satya” will begin. 

Earlier this month, four former judges also spoke to a news agency and criticized Uttar Pradesh’s new anti-conversion ordinance. The judges said that the ordinance is unconstitutional, against fundamental rights, and “”creation of religious extremists for the purpose of dividing people.”