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Former Indian ambassador Bhaswati Mukherjee, one of the 22 former diplomats to have expressed solidarity with France in the wake of the recent cold-blooded killings by knife attackers in the country, is of the view that it is important for more voices to come up against such acts of violence.

Talking to IndiaNarrative.com, Mukherjee said that in any democracy, there is bound to be dissent but this must be addressed in a constitutional and democratic manner through the rule of law.

"In a democracy, there can be dissent and disagreement but the rule of law must prevail. There are ways to register a divergent point of view, there could be demonstrations and legal action, or any other form which is democratic. But such violent, undemocratic form of protest, involving killings, is not acceptable and must be condemned unequivocally," said Mukherjee, the former Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands (2010-13).

She was talking about the rise of Islamic terror in France which has about 5 million Muslims living in the country.

It is imperative for the world Â- irrespective of religious leanings and biases Â- to unite against any terror attack and killings, she said.

Mukherjee also pointed out that there have been protests in India too on several occasions but they have been carried out within the legal framework.

Last month, the beheading of Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old French school teacher, by an 18-old Chechen refugee for showing caricatures of Prophet Mohammed to his students shocked the world.

French President Emanuel Macron defended the cartoon. "We will defend the freedom that you taught so well and we will bring secularism," he said, adding that France would "not give up cartoons, drawings, even if others back down."

Macron, who described Islam as a religion "in crisis," faced severe backlash from several Muslim countries for his defence of the cartoon. Few Muslim outfits in India too staged protests against the French President.

Former Indian ambassadors stand with France: The eminent retired Indian ambassadors came out openly to express solidarity with France. In a statement, they said, "The recent brutal terrorist attacks in France by Islamic fundamentalists have implications for all democratic countries based on pluralism and rule of law."

"India has been a victim of state-sponsored terrorism for decades and is especially sensitive to issues of terrorism. Under Prime Minister Modi, India has inscribed the issue of international terrorism as a threat to international peace and security, on the international and multilateral agenda," the statement said.

Mukherjee, Permanent Delegate of India to Unesco between 2004 and 2010, noted that India has also been a victim of multiple terror attacks. She added that the world must underscore the point that violence of any kind will not be tolerated.

Ajay Swarup, Ajit Kumar, Amar Sinha, Anil K. Trigunayat, Ashok Kumar, J.S. Sapra, Kanwal Sibal, Laxmi Puri, Mohan Kumar, O.P. Gupta, Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, Prakash Shah, Ruchi Ghanshyam, Satish Chand Mehta, Shashank, Shyamla B. Cowshik, Suresh Kumar Goel, Veena Sikri, Vidya Sagar Verma, Virender Gupta and Yogesh Gupta are among the 22 retired diplomats who have decided to lend their voice and support France.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

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