IIM Bangalore, faculty letter, India Inc, hate speech
The letter also said that a “glaring level of complacency" on the part of the government was exacerbating the issue.

De-fund hate speech: IIM Bangalore faculty urge India Inc in open letter

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A section of the current and retired faculty at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, has urged corporate India “to de-fund hate speech” and warned that a “risk of genocide in India was no longer close to zero”.

In an open letter written in their “personal capacity”, the 17 signatories said the leaders of corporate India had an important and substantial role to play in curbing the spread of hate and misinformation.

They urged corporates to stop funding hate, support responsible stakeholders, and develop a welcoming work culture.

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Deepak Malghan, associate professor of public policy at the institute, said in the letter posted on Tuesday (August 8) that the “risk of genocide in India was no longer close to zero”.

The academics, six of them retired professors, pressed India Inc to use its voice to “rise up against hate”.

Genocide warning

“We would like to believe that the risk of large-scale violent conflicts or genocide in India is still small. However, this risk is no longer close to zero, as the rapidly-increasing levels of radicalisation of citizens are fermenting an atmosphere conducive to large-scale violence being triggered due to unexpected disturbances,” said the letter.

“…it is certain that the deteriorating social fabric in the country, due to increasing hate and dehumanizing speech and radicalization, shall inevitably lead to escalating violence and socioeconomic uncertainty, permanently paralyzing the future of the country,” the letter said.

The letter went on to say that over the past few years, an open and public exhibit of hatred towards minorities in public discourse has become common practice in India: in political discourse, television news, as well as on social media.

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“The usage of othering, dehumanizing and demonizing language while referring to minorities has reached alarming levels, and acts of violent hate crimes, often by organized and radicalized groups, against minorities have seen a rise,” they wrote.

The letter also said that a “glaring level of complacency” on the part of the government was exacerbating the issue.

The letter highlighted “the inaction of police and security forces during recent communal riots as well as the acquittal or pardoning of culprits involved in rape and mass murder during previous instances of riots.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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