25 January 2021 ~ 0 Comments

Free to air views, ex-babus square up in ‘letters war’ on ‘love jihad’ law

Perhaps service rules stopped them from airing their views but after retirement bureaucrats are not bound anymore and can voice their thoughts freely. This has led to the formation of pro-and anti-government groups among retired babus who jump into the fray at the behest of their conscience (or political leaning).

In the most recent instance, the “love jihad” law legislated by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has triggered a “letter war” between former bureaucrats, those who criticize the law and those who have rallied behind the state government. The ranks of the ex-babus have been joined by retired army officers, members of the judiciary and others.

Earlier, a group of 104 retired bureaucrats wrote to Yogi Adityanath, expressing “deep disapproval” and concern at the use of “love jihad” law. Noted signatories included retired bureaucrats like former NSA Shiv Shankar Menon, former chief of R&AW and A.S. Dulat, former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, former principal secretary in PMO, T.K.A. Nair and former Union health secretary K. Sujatha Rao among other notables.

Now, a Forum of Concerned Citizens, comprising of over 250 retired officers has written to the Chief Minister endorsing the ‘Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020’ and the motive behind it. In their letter, the group of former babus and ex-army officers said that the legislation rightly provides that the marriages done for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion can be declared by Family courts. They termed the letter by anti-love jihad babus a ‘politically motivated pressure-group’ and said that they don’t represent thousands of civil servants who believe in New India emerging as the greatest democracies of the world.

One may be tempted to believe that this is an instance of political battles being fought by proxy!

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