Speakers indict Narendra Modi for orchestrating gender violence and serious violations of women’s human rights

PRESS RELEASE 4th March 2014

 Speakers indict Narendra Modi for orchestrating gender violence and serious violations of women’s human rights

A packed meeting at the London School of Economics organised by the LSE Gender Institute in collaboration with the Freedom Without Fear Gulberg Society photosPlatform and South Asia Solidarity Group on 3rd March,  discussed the rise of Hindu fascism and its impact on gender and called for Narendra Modi  to be brought to justice.

Outlining the context of the meeting, Kalpana Wilson of the LSE Gender Institute emphasised that the targeting of minority women for appalling violence is not a side effect but absolutely central to the project of the Hindu right and how it operates. Linked to this, she said  was the intensification of surveillance and control over women, the rise of ‘moral policing’ targeting students and other young people, and the invocation of the “protection” of Hindu women as a justification for violence against religious minorities and Dalits, including rape of women.

She also noted that Hindu right supporters here in Britain have been promoting the completely unfounded myth of ‘love jihad’ in British universities by students and this fits in with the agenda  of the British state and its Islamophobia. While these groups are promoting the image of a so-called ‘Gujarat model’ of development the position of women in Gujarat where  Modi has been Chief Minister since 2001 is abysmal – demonstrated by the sex ratio (2011 census) of 918 women per 1,000 men (below the already scandalous national average of 940), that hints at the magnitude of female infanticide, and the very high gender imbalance in school enrolments compared to all-India levels. Very high rates of domestic violence against women are accompanied by very low conviction rates in the state.

Nishrin with her father, Ahsan Jafri

Nishrin with her father, Ahsan Jafri

Nishrin Jafri Hussain, in a powerful and moving contribution spoke of the unimaginable brutality  perpetrated on the bodies of Muslimwomen in the villages around Ahmedabad. Speaking in London for the first time Nishrin whose father, the MP Ahsan Jafri, was brutally murdered in the 2002 anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat state, and whose family is waging an ongoing legal battle to bring Narendra Modi, who presided over the violence as Chief Minister of Gujarat, to justice showed a series of photographs of those who had been murdered, with many gaps for those of whom no photos exist. She told the meeting  that the numbers of rapes were far more than those reported because these experiences were not only deeply traumatising  and humiliating but that it was a taboo speaking about them.

She said that in the Gulbarg society where she grew up and  the area around it every Muslim house had been burnt down and every family had lost loved ones – deep scars of these losses remain. She told the meeting that her father had been against the ghettoisation of Muslims and committed to living in a mixed Hindu and Muslim area even after the riots of 1969. When his house where nearly 200 people were sheltering was attacked, and was surrounded by armed Hindu mobs, he had called for help to the central government to no avail. When he phoned Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister replied ‘ You are on your own Jafri, save yourself’. Many in the audience had tears in their eyes as Nishrin reaffirmed her family’s commitment to bringing Narendra Modi to justice.

Angana Chatterji an anthropologist and leading human rights specialist, who convened a people’s tribunal in Odisha in 2005 spoke about her work documenting the experiences of sexual violence in Odisha, noting that ideologies of conservative patriarchy had been taken over and intensified by the Hindu Right across India in a series of attacks on women in minority communities Christian, Muslim, Adivasi and Dalit over the years

Meena Kandasamy a Dalit feminist and writer spoke about the way the language and discourse of Hindutva is conveniently utilised by fanatical Hindu upper caste groups like the Pattali Makkal Katchi, in Tamil Nadu or other caste organisations to construct  Dalit men as the “Other”  and create a myth similar to that of ‘love Jihad’ that they deceive Hindu upper caste girls  by “making” them fall in love. The idea that once such a formula of love-jihad is deployed it can serve to function to contain, and threaten, women’s independence.

The meeting was as one student who attended it described it, ‘both deeply disturbing and a call to action’ and the organisers announced that the campaign internationally to bring Modi to justice would continue.

Gender and the Hindu Right in India

The LSE Gender Institute in collaboration with the Freedom Without Fear
Platform and South Asia Solidarity Group will host a panel discussion on Gender
and the Hindu Right in India

Speakers: Nishrin Jafri Hussain, Angana P. Chatterji and Meena Kandasamy
Chair: Kalpana Wilson

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Monday 3rd March 2014
6.30-8.30pm
at the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

In the context of the forthcoming Indian elections in which the current Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi is the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, a panel of human rights campaigners and academics will discuss questions including:

  • What are the implications of the rise of the Hindu Right for gendered violence in India – and what would a possible victory for Narendra Modi at a national level mean?
  • What are the experiences of those seeking justice for the victims and survivors of organized violence against minority communities in Gujarat and Odisha?  What has been the role of the state in the violence and its aftermath in each case?
  • How does the Hindu right mobilize gendered discourses of religion and caste?
  • How have practices of ‘moral policing’ and fabrications such as ‘love jihad’ impacted on gender relations, and how are they being resisted?
  • What is the relationship of the British and U.S. governments, transnational corporations and diaspora communities with the Hindu right in India?

Nishrin Jafri Hussain is a campaigner for justice for the victims and survivors of the horrific violence against minority communities which took place in Gujarat in 2002. Her father, Ahsan Jafri M.P., was brutally murdered during the violence and her family continues to fight for Narendra Modi to be brought to justice.

Dr Angana P. Chatterji is a cultural anthropologist and human rights specialist. In 2005, she convened a people’s tribunal in Odisha, calling attention to the impending violence against minorities and religionized oppression. In 2009, her collaborative work through a people’s tribunal she co-convened in Jammu & Kashmir called attention to the issue of unknown graves and the need for accountability to families of the disappeared, and subsequently received corroboration from the State Human Rights Commission of Jammu & Kashmir. Her publications include: Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present; Narratives from Orissa (Three Essays Collective, 2009); a co-edited volume, Contesting Nation: Gendered Violence in South Asia; Notes on the Postcolonial Present (Zubaan, 2012); and the reports, BURIED EVIDENCE: Unknown, Unmarked, and Mass Graves in Kashmir (2009), Communalism in Orissa (2006), and Without Land or Livelihood (2004).

Meena Kandasamy is a writer, activist and political columnist. She has published two collections of poetry, Touch and Ms.Militancy. Her first novel, The Gypsy Goddess, revisits the 1968 Kilvenmani massacre where feudal landlords in Tanjore killed 44 Dalit peasants striking for higher wages. Her work is centered on caste annihilation, the Tamil national question and feminism in contemporary India.

 

CPI-ML visit to Muzaffarnagar

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These photographs are from the CPI-ML, AISA and RYA visit to the relief camp at Malakpur in Muzaffarnagar.

The mounds in two of the pictures are of graves of children who died here because of the extreme cold.

We would like to say thanks to everyone who has contributed to the appeal fund in the UK.

So far we have raised £800 but a lot more is needed. So please send us cheques or transfer money as soon as you possibly can.

 

Urgent Appeal for Relief for the Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Riots

Urgent Appeal for Relief for the Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Riots

28th December 2013

Dear Friends

Please support the appeal below for help for the survivors of the Muzaffarnagar riots. Thousands of families are still living in relief camps since being forced to flee their homes during the riots in September in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. At least 34 children under the age of 12 have died in these camps as a result of the poor conditions, cold and lack of medicines.  People are desperately in need of warm clothing, firewood, medicines and food.

The riots in September were orchestrated by the Hindu right-wing BJP and its parent organisation the RSS, along with the Bharatiya Kisan Union, with the goal of forcible displacement of Muslim families from the area(1) . The total numbers of people killed are still not known; evidence has emerged of systematic rapes of Muslim women during the riots (2). The ruling Samajwadi Party government did not do anything to prevent or control the violence, nor did it rehabilitate the displaced. Instead the administration  has been continuously harassing the riot survivors living in relief camps and trying to ensure that they do not return home(3)(4). Shockingly, Chief Minister of U.P. Mulayam Singh Yadav recently claimed that the people living in relief camps were not riot victims but ‘conspirators’ who had been asked to stay there by the BJP and Congress to make a political point – leading to widespread outrage.  Even more callously, the U.P. Home Secretary, commenting on the number of children living in the camps who have died as a harsh winter has set in, quibbled that ‘no-one can die of cold. Children have died of pneumonia, not of cold’(5).

A team of volunteers organized by the CPI(ML) is visiting Muzaffarnagar on 28 December to distribute the first batch of relief materials they have collected, and is currently collecting through a fundraising drive including street collections in cities and towns across India for a second batch to be sent during the next few days. But a lot more help is still needed to prevent further deaths as the cold weather continues.

To contribute to the relief effort from the UK, please make cheques payable to South Asia Solidarity Group, and write ‘Muzaffarnagar Appeal’ on the back. Send to South Asia Solidarity Group, c/o Londec, 293-299 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2TJ. Or contact sasg@southasiasolidarity.org

(1)    http://kafila.org/2013/09/18/muzaffarnagar-2013-violence-by-political-design-centre-for-policy-analysis/

(2)    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?288907

(3)    http://www.urdumediamonitor.com/2013/12/09/administrations-wrath-riot-victims-muzaffarnagar/

(4)    http://twocircles.net/2013nov23/muslims_verge_losing_4000_acres_land_muzaffarnagar.html#.

(5)    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muzaffarnagar-relief-camps-deaths-Nobody-dies-of-cold-UP-home-secretary-says/articleshow/28001591.cms

Demand Relief, Rehabilitation, and Justice for Muzaffarnagar’s Riot Survivors

Observe National Protest Day on 2nd January 2014

Friends,

The bitterly cold winter has begun. And the stories of Muzaffarnagar’s relief camps jolts our conscience.

Thousands of people, who have watched their loved ones killed in cold blood, and who have been raped, and lost their homes and means of survival, languish in the relief camps of Muzaffarnagar. The Uttar Pradesh Government had pleaded earlier that they were helpless to prevent the communal violence. But why has the Government turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the plight of those in the relief camps?

  • ·34 children have died in relief camps in Shahpur, Budhana, Malarpuur and Sunhati due to the cold, and lack of medicines.
  • ·There have been instances of rapes in the relief camps. FIRs have been filed in rape cases that took place during the communal violence – but the accused are yet to be arrested.
  • ·Meanwhile, the BJP shamelessly felicitated its MLAs who are accused of leading the communal violence.
  • ·And the Akhilesh Government issued an order forcibly evicting the riot-hit from the relief camps, and pressurising them to accept a Rs 5 lakh payment in exchange for giving up their right to return to the villages from where they were evicted! In exchange for the Rs 5 lakh, they are being asked to sign an affidavit saying “”Main aur mere parivar ke sadasya apne gram mein hui hinsatmak ghatnaon se bhayakant hokar gaon va ghar chhodkar aaye hain, tatha in kinhi bhi paristhitiyon mein ab apne mool gaon evam ghar nahin lautenge (I and my family left our village and our home due to the violent incidents there. We will not return to our village and home under any circumstances).”
  • ·Also, the UP forest department has booked thousands of Muzaffarnagar riots victims for setting up relief camps by “encroaching” on forest land.
  • ·The report submitted to the UP Government by the 10-member committee of Ministers under the leadership of senior SP Minister Shivpal Yadav, appallingly, blames the madrasas running the relief camps for not wanting to wind up the relief camps in spite of the situation having returned to ‘normal’!
  • ·The SIT constituted to enquire into the riots is doing a mere token job of it and not bothering even to talk to the victims.

We cannot watch this travesty of justice in silence.

The CPI(ML) appeals to people all over the country to contribute funds that can be used to buy relief materials (warm clothing, firewood, medicines, food) that are urgently for the Muzaffarnagar riot-affected. A CPI(ML) team is visiting Muzaffarnagar on 28 December to distribute the first batch of relief materials collected, and is currently collecting for a second batch.

CPI(ML) also appeals to begin the new year with a resolve to secure justice for Muzaffarnagar’s riot victims.

On 2nd January 2014, the CPI(ML) has called for an all-India protest day demanding immediate arrest and prosecution of all rioters and rape-accused named in FIRs, and demanding that the  State Government of UP ensure urgent relief and rehabilitation measures for the riot-displaced and riot-affected people.

Labour Friends of Hindu Fascism

Labour Friends of Hindu Fascism

by Amrit Wilson

In 2001, Labour MP for Brent North Barry Gardiner, visited Gujarat and describing himself as the Chair of Labour Friends of India(LFI) presented Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Minister Narendra Modi with a cheque for one million pounds. Till then  few people in India or Britain, had heard of LFI. The money raised by  Sewa International, a charity based in Britain, ostensibly for the victims of the Gujarat earthquake of 2001 and the Orissa cyclone of 1999 was to find its way to front organisations for the storm troopers of Hindu supremacy, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – groups  who a year later were exposed as perpetrators of the genocidal attacks on Muslims in Gujarat in which more than 2000 men, women and children were killed and 200,000

Confronting Barry Gardiner

Confronting Barry Gardiner

displaced. Sewa International itself was also exposed as inextricably bound up with the Sangh Parivar – the so-called family of organisations of the Hindu right which include both the BJP, the RSS. (1)

But Gardiner was not to be deterred either by these revelations or the fact that Narendra Modi was an avowed admirer of Hitler. He himself has after all cosied up to right-wing forces internationally for some time, visiting Israel in 1999, for example, to meet senior Israeli leaders on behalf of Labour Friends of Israel, an organisation of which he was Vice Chair, and later, in  2009,  sacking his campaigns manager for demonstrating support for the Palestinians massacred by Israel during the Gaza slaughter. (2)Labour Friends of India continued to be Gardiner’s personal project, without even its own bank account and in the words of historian of India and Labour activist Jon Wilson, ‘not apparently publically open to new members or run on the same democratic lines as other associations within the Labour movement’. (3)

When it became widely known that the pogrom in Gujarat was sponsored by the Gujarat government and presided over by Modi  –  a leaked report from the British High Commission,  for example,  noting that the attacks  ‘had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister [Narendra Modi] remains in power’ and that ‘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’ (4)  -  Modi had his visa to the US withdrawn for violations of human rights and the UK government and the EU also distanced themselves from him. But neither Gardiner nor the LFI changed their position in any way and Hindu right-wing groups in the UK invited Modi in 2005 and again in 2009. Both times Modi panicked at the last moment in the face of planned protests by South Asian and human rights organisations, and also the possibility of an arrest in Britain over the on-going case of three members of the Dawood family from Batley who had  been killed in the 2002 Gujarat massacres.

Over the last decade, the lobbyists, APCO in the US and Saffron Chase in the UK have been working to get acceptance for Modi abroad and transform his image. The founders of the latter are Manoj Ladwa and Vikas Pota who just happen to be members of both the LFI and the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) (5), the British wing of the RSS. Modi’s new avatar is a man of progress and development who has transformed Gujarat into the  ultimate success story in terms of prosperity. In reality, his policies, which have converted swathes of land and coastline into Special Economic Zones or ‘Special Investment Regions’, have increased  inequalities (with malnutrition among children comparable to that in the poorest states in India) and Gujarat has recently been categorised as one of the ‘less developed’ states in India far behind Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa. (6)

However, for the Con-Dem government, the entry of British corporates is what matters so while Modi makes a bid to become India’s next Prime Minister, campaigning in the same virulent communal rhetoric as before, and claiming, falsely (7), that he has been exonerated by the Supreme Court of India, the British government has begun to rehabilitate him because as Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire said this was in ‘the UK’s national interests’.  meaning the interests of British big business (8).

Beyond these ‘national interests’,  Barry Gardner has another more personal reason for fostering the relationship with Modi. The UK has some 700,000 Hindu Gujaratis (including a sizeable number in his ModiPhoto1constituency).  With Pota and Ladwa lobbying them that Modi is the man to lead India it is not surprising that Gardiner is proclaiming that he and Modi are the closest of friends. In the run up to the 2010 UK election, Gardiner’s website even carried  Modi’s testimonial –  ’Gujarat has no greater friend in Britain than Barry Gardiner’ . Clearly the LFI’s recent invitation to Modi to speak at a meeting in Parliament about the Future of Modern India was simply Barry Bhai returning the favour. As it happened the invitation backfired and in the face of angry protests coordinated by South Asia Solidarity Group and supported by a host of South Asian, human rights and trade union organisations, and of course  Modi’s continuing fear that he may face  arrest on entering the UK, he backed out claiming  he was just too busy to come.

(1)http://www.sacw.net/DC/CommunalismCollection/ArticlesArchive/British_charity_and_Hindu_extremism_a_report_summary.pdf

(2) http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/pro-israel-mp-fires-pro-palestinian-staffer

(3) http://labourlist.org/2013/08/if-we-stand-for-the-politics-of-one-nation-we-cannot-support-narendra-modi-an-open-letter-to-iain-mcnicol/

(4)  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1951471.stm

(5) http://www.truthofgujarat.com/uk-based-hindutva-lobbyists-manoj-ladwa-vikas-pota-driving-force-behind-modis-uk-invitation/

(6)http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/raghuram-rajan-committee-report-demolishes-modis-claims-of-development-in-gujarat/1/311856.html

(7)  Sahmat – Citizens for Justice and Peace: ‘Press Release- Supreme Court clean chit to Narendra Modi ?’  http://www.kractivist.org/press-release-supreme-court-clean-chit-to-narendra-modi/ which explains in detail how the Supreme Court has NOT in fact absolved Modi of responsibility for the 2002 genocide.

(8) See The Hindu ‘Embracing the Darkness’ October 23, 2012, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/embracing-the-darkness/article4023194.ece

This article first appeared in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of Red Pepper

Jai Bhim Comrade – Film showing and Q&A with Anand Patwardhan

‘Jai Bhim Comrade – Songs  That Won’t Be Silenced’ film review by Kavita Krishnan

http://www.cpiml.org/liberation/year_2012/june_2012/film.html

 

Statement on Baba Ramdev’s conference in Hounslow, 22 September 2013

We are extremely concerned over the use of Baba Ramdev’s visit to the UK to promote a Hindu communal agenda, and specifically to build support for Narendra Modi’s election campaign. Modi is responsible for the genocidal killings of more than 2,000 members of the minority Muslim community in Gujarat in 2002, including three British citizens, whose families are still waiting for justice. Over the last month, in the run-up to elections, Modi’s party the BJP and his right-hand man Amit Shah have been trying to recreate these horrific events in Uttar Pradesh, fomenting riots which have seen the worst communal violence in over a decade, leaving large numbers of people dead or missing and tens of thousands of people homeless and destitute. In the midst of these events, Baba Ramdev has proclaimed himself a key supporter of Modi in his campaign to become Prime Minister. This makes it highly inappropriate and disturbing that a small number of British MPs elected politicians, including Minister for Energy and Climate Change Baroness Sandip Verma, and Labour MPs Keith Vaz and Seema Malhotra, should be taking part today in what is clearly a partisan and provocative communal event designed to divide Indian and South Asian communities in Britain. We call on them to withdraw from this event and we call on Hindu organisations in Britain to distance themselves from Baba Ramdev’s support for the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’ and to join us in building unity among Indian and South Asian ommunities in Britain.

South Asia Solidarity Group

CasteWatch UK

Southall Black Sisters

Indian Workers Association (Birmingham)

Open meeting and discussion with Kavita Krishnan in London

India’s anti-rape movement – experiences,
reflections and strategies for the future

  • What does the anti-rape movement which arose from the protests of December 2012 mean for  struggles against sexual and gender violence across India?
  • What are the implications of the rise of Narendra Modi and the activities of the Hindu Right for violence against women in India?
  • How does the UK’s  current relationship with  India affect gender violence?
  • What are the possibilities of international  solidarity against gender violence?

 

Open meeting and discussion with

Kavita Krishnan

(Secretary of the All-India
Progressive Women’s Association)

Thursday 3 Oct October, 7.00pm

Room DLT, Ground Floor

SOAS, University of London

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Kavita Krishnan is a feminist and revolutionary left activist who has been centrally involved in the anti-rape movement in India which began in December 2012. She is the Secretary of the All-India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) which is active among women workers, agricultural labourers, and other sections of poor labouring women in rural and urban India and has a record of resisting  feudal violence and state repression against women. Kavita is also editor of Liberation, the monthly publication of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

Freedom Without Fear Platform https://www.facebook.com/FreedomWithoutFearPlatform and South Asia Solidarity Group  www.southasiasolidarity.org

Details from sasg@southasiasolidarity.org or freedomwithoutfearplatform@gmail.com,
 

Press Release

Barry Gardiner – Withdraw your invitation to the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’!

Brent North MP Barry Gardiner will be embarrassed by a large and noisy protest outside his surgery at Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ, on Monday 9th September between 11.30am and 1.00pm.

Called by a large number of South Asian organisations, including Sikh and Muslim groups; human rights and equality campaigners; and local organisations including Brent Trades Council, the protest will demand that Gardiner withdraws his open invitation to Narendra Modi the so-called ‘Butcher of Gujarat’, and that he should never invite him again. A theatrical stunt about the relationship between Gardiner and Modi will be performed between 12.15 and 1.00pm

Organisers South Asia Solidarity Group said ‘in the face of so much opposition to the invitation to Modi, Barry Gardiner has now released a statement saying that Modi is unable to come in the next few weeks. But we are continuing our campaign demanding that the invitation is officially withdrawn and not  repeated. Modi has already tried to make political capital in India from this  invitation, and we need to send a clear message that he is not welcome here’     

Protest:­­­ Barry Gardiner – Withdraw your invitation to the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’! Monday 9 September 2013, 11:30 AM – 1 PM, at Barry Gardiner’s MP’s surgery, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way,
Wembley HA9 0FJ

There will be a theatrical stunt about the Modi-Gardiner relationship between 12.15 and 1.00pm

Who is Narendra Modi?

Narendra Modi has  been the Chief Minister of Gujarat since 2001 and is the most likely Prime Ministerial candidate of the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). He is an avowed admirer of Hitler and his policies.

In 2002, Modi was responsible for the horrific attacks on Muslims in Gujarat – over 2,000 men,women and children  were killed.  There is clear evidence (1)(2)(3) that these attacks were sponsored by the state. The police had been told not to intervene while Hindu right-wing mobs linked to the BJP murdered and raped, brutally murdering children in front of their mothers, who were then raped and murdered.

Among those killed in 2002 are three Britons, Saeed and Shakeel Dawood and Mohammed Aswat whose family are still seeking justice and whose case against Modi is still going on. Also on-going is a case brought by Zakia Jafri whose husband former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was also murdered in the riots.

According to a leaked report by the British High Commission in India, the violence ‘had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister [Narendra Modi] remains in power
and that ‘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.’(4)

Modi is currently making a bid to become India’s next Prime Minister and has launched a campaign using openly fascistic and anti-minority rhetoric. At the same time he is claiming that he has been absolved of wrong doing in connection with the massacres of 2002 by the Supreme Court of India. This is untrue, see for example (6).

Barry Gardiner and the Labour Friends of India

Barry Gardiner  who chairs the ‘Labour Friends of India’(LFI) has invited Modi to come and speak at the House of Commons on the subject of ‘The Future of Modern India’. Other prominent members of  the LFI are Vikas Pota and Manoj Ladwa, founders of  the firm Saffron Chase,  Modi’s key lobbyists  in the UK. Pota and Ladwa are prominent members of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh the London wing of the RSS, an organisation which is the Hindu right’s storm troopers (7)
However, Barry Gardiner has acted without consulting  the rest of the Labour Friends of India group, as Batley and Spen MP, Mike Wood, also a member of the group, has complained in a letter to Gardiner. Wood has tabled an Early Day Motion in the British parliament opposing the invitation to Modi. (8) (9)

Pete Firmin Chair of Brent Trades Council said: ‘It is a terrible idea to invite Modi given his involvement in the massacres in Gujarat. Barry Gardiner should withdraw the invitation right away” And Davinder Prasad of Caste Watch UK which is also supporting the protest said ‘Modi’s supporters have shown their caste prejudice and tried to block the our campaign for caste equality in the UK. Barry Gardiner  invitation to Modi  only encourages this discrimination, he should withdraw the invitation.’

Samarendra Das of  Foil Vedanta said ‘Modi claims to have brought ‘development’ to Gujarat – but the reality is that nutritional  poverty is higher than all-India levels and there is a huge and growing gap between rich and poor in the state. The only people benefitting are corporates like Adani and the notorious Vedanta Resources. Modi should not be invited to the UK’

Modi’s past visits to the UK have been used to raise extensive funds and support for communal violence. It makes a mockery of human rights and ignores the murders of three British citizens Saeed and Shakeel Dawood and Mohammed Aswat. The Dawood family are still seeking justice and have an ongoing case against Modi.

Contact: South Asia Solidarity Group sasg@southasiasolidarity.org; 07846873341

Notes

(1) See Human Rights Watch: ‘ “We Have No Orders To Save You”
State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat’,  April 30, 2002
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/04/30/we-have-no-orders-save-you

(2) Amnesty International: ‘India: Justice  — the victim in Gujarat’ [Full Report] 27 January 2005

http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/reports/2005/ai.27jan2005.gujarat.pdf

(3)‘Threatened Existence: A Feminist Analysis of the Genocide in Gujarat’ Report by the International Initiative for Justice (IIJ) December 2003

http://www.gujaratfiles.net/files/iij.dec2003.report.pdf

(4)bbc.co.uk: UK report censures Gujarat
rulers (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1951471.stm

(5)Amnesty International: ‘A decade on from the Gujarat riots, an overwhelming majority of victims await justice in India’ 29 February2012

http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/reports/2012/Amnesty-International-A-decade-on-from-the-Gujarat%20riots.pdf

(6) Sahmat – Citizens for Justice and Peace: ‘Press Release- Supreme Court clean chit to Narendra Modi ?’
http://www.kractivist.org/press-release-supreme-court-clean-chit-to-narendra-modi/  which explains in detail how the Supreme Court has NOT in fact absolved Modi of responsibility for the 2002 genocide as he has falsely claimed.

(7) http://www.truthofgujarat.com/uk-based-hindutva-lobbyists-manoj-ladwa-vikas-pota-driving-force-behind-modis-uk-invitation/#.Uih83JpwbIU.

(8) Early Day Motion in UK Parliament http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/479

(9) Gardiner’s invitation has also been supported by Sailesh Vara Chair of the Conservative Friends of India  who was forced to quit the All Party Parliament Group on Trade and Investment in India because of his connections with Saffron Chase. Sunday Express http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/87026/MP-forced-to-quit-over-conflict-of-interests

Organised by South Asia Solidarity Group.

Supported by:

Council of Indian Muslims

Brent Trades Council

Foil Vedanta

Islamic Human Rights Commission

CasteWatch UK

Southall Black Sisters

Indian Workers Association, Birmingham

South Asian Alliance

Asian Rationalist Society

Freedom Without Fear Platform

Kavita Krishnan’s video message to UK Feminista 2013 Summer School

Kavita Krishnan reflects on the experiences and ways forward for the anti-rape movement in India. This speech was addressed via video to a plenary session on ‘transnational feminist solidarity’ at the UK Feminista 2013 Summer School on 18 August 2013. Kavita Krishnan is National Secretary of the All-India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) and a politburo member of the CPI(ML), whose monthly magazine, Liberation, she edits