Never Forget the Gujarat Genocide!
Who is Narendra Modi?
- Narendra Modi is a lifelong cadre of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu supremacist paramilitary organisation modeled on the Nazi and Italian Fascist parties. It was founded in the 1920s in opposition to Indian independence. Its revered leader M.S. Golwalkar notoriously viewed Hitler’s treatment of the Jews as a model of ‘race pride’ which India should copy in its treatment of minority groups. The RSS is the core of a family of organisations which includes the BJP, currently India’s ruling party.
- In 2002, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi presided over the genocidal attacks in which over 2,000 people from Gujarat’s Muslim minority community were systematically killed, and 200,000 displaced. Women and children were specifically targeted for horrific violence in the pogrom.
- What happened in Gujarat in 2002 has been amply documented and there is clear evidence that the violence was orchestrated and sponsored by the Modi’s state government (‘India: Justice — the victim in Gujarat’ [Full Report]). The police had been instructed not to intervene while Hindu supremacist mobs linked to the BJP murdered and raped, selectively targeting the addresses occupied by Muslim families. According to a leaked report by the British High Commission in India the violence ‘had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and …reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister [Narendra Modi] remains in power’ and ‘far from being spontaneous’ it was ‘planned, possibly months in advance, carried out by an extremist Hindu organisation with the support of the state government.’
- Court cases implicating Modi are still being heard, including one filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband Ahsan Jafri, a former MP, was brutally murdered in the violence. The family of two British citizens, Saeed and Sakil Dawood, murdered in Gujarat while on holiday (https://dawoodcampaign.wordpress.com/) are also pursuing a civil case against Modi. Judgments in both these court cases are expected in the next few months.
- Since 2002, Modi has never expressed any regret for what happened in Gujarat, stating, when asked about his feelings, that he felt as sad as an occupant of a car that runs over a puppy. The Hindu supremacist groups declared Gujarat ‘the Laboratory of the Hindu State’ and repeated this ‘experiment’ in Odisha, in 2007, in an anti-Christian pogrom, and again against Muslims in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh during Modi’s election campaign. In Muzaffarnagar, and across the country, the Hindu far-right groups created the baseless myth of ‘love jihad’ (Muslim men seducing and converting Hindu women) in the absence of any evidence. This has been used both to control and terrorise Hindu young women who choose their own partners outside their community, as well as to incite violence against Muslims. Amit Shah, Modi’s right-hand man, is among the many Hindu right leaders who directly incited rape of minority women in election speeches. Since Modi became Prime Minister in May 2014, incidents of violence against minorities, incited by the hate-speech of his party members and ministers, has become a daily occurrence.
Putting India up for sale
- Modi may have praised the recent call for reparations for colonialism, but he is eager to welcome more British corporates to plunder India in the 21st century. Under Modi, multinational corporations including many registered in London such as Vedanta and Essar Energy are siphoning money and resources out of the country, grabbing huge swathes of land, displacing the people who live on it, and destroying the environment. Laws protecting workers are being abolished and communities which resist are being terrorised not only by the police and paramilitaries but by state- and corporate- sponsored militias. Under Modi, India has moved closer to the US and Israel – which is providing weapons for intensified state terror in Kashmir – and aligned itself fully with the ‘War on Terror’.
- Those who have dared to highlight Modi’s genocidal politics or his government’s destructive policies have been accused of being ‘anti-national’. The state has sought to silence them through censorship, threats, false cases and imprisonment, and even murder by Modi supporters. High profile cases include Priya Pillai of Greenpeace India who was prevented from travelling to Britain to address MPs about the destruction of forests by coal mining by London based Essar Energy and Teesta Setalvad who has consistently campaigned to bring Modi to justice for his role in the Gujarat massacres of 2002.
Who is welcoming Modi to Britain?
- The Hindu Right has a network of organizations in the UK, including the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS – the British wing of the RSS)the National Hindu Students Federation, Hindu Forum of Britain, and others.
- The HSS UK is currently being investigated by the British Charity Commission after it was exposed in an ITV documentary ‘Charities Behaving Badly’ broadcast in February 2015. The film showed an HSS UK youth camp where young people were systematically indoctrinated in anti- Muslim and anti-Christian ideology.
- After the Gujarat 2002 pogroms the HSS and its charity wing Sewa International were exposed for channeling funds to organizations directly involved in carrying out the violence. In particular funds raised for earthquake relief in Gujarat had been massively diverted for this purpose.
- The Hindu right organizations have consistently tried to block legislation outlawing caste discrimination. During the UK elections they circulated leaflets urging ‘Dharmic’ (sic) people to vote for the Conservative candidate in Harrow who promised to overturn the legislation.
Join the protests against the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’ 11-14 November 2015
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