Category Archives: Communalism

Fighting Communalism

10Aug/17

PRESS RELEASE: ‘Resist the Politics of Fear’: London March Against Mob Lynchings in India

PRESS RELEASE:

11th August 2017

‘Resist the Politics of Fear’: London March Against Mob Lynchings in India

On the evening of 15th August, India’s Independence Day, several hundred people will take part in a silent torchlit march in London in protest against the terrifying and apparently endless spate of mob lynchings of Muslims, Christians and Dalits which are transforming India into a ‘Republic of Fear’.  Emboldened by the victory of Narendra Modi’s BJP, Hindu supremacist gangs with links to the ruling party, or in some parts of India directly set up by the state, are the chief perpetrators of these abuses which are occurring unchecked and often with the collusion of the authorities.

The march, from the Gandhi statue in Tavistock Square to the Indian High Commission, is organised by South Asia Solidarity Group, CastewatchUK, SOAS India Society, Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance, Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK, Voice of Dalit International (VODI), and Together 4 Good. Spokespersons from these groups gave their reasons for initiating the march:

South Asia Solidarity Group: ‘We are extremely distressed and concerned that under Modi, India has become a country where Hindu supremacist gangs can lynch and rape freely and without any fear of punishment, where children, women and men are brutally killed for what they eat, who they love and simply for who they are. On this 70th anniversary of independence, India has become a Republic of Fear where justice, democracy and the basic right to life lie in tatters. It is crucial that we in the diaspora show our support for those in India who are courageously resisting this descent into fascism .’  

Caste Watch UK: ‘We have come together to condemn the barbaric and despicable acts of violence perpetrated on Dalits and other Minorities in India. While violence against Dalits has been going on from time immemorial, it has escalated enormously since the rise of Hindutva and the BJP. Under the veneer of ‘love-jihad’ and ‘Gau-raksha’ (cow protection) India is in danger of sliding towards a theocratic state which must be resisted at all costs.’

Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance: We demand justice for Dalits and Minorities and the immediate release from prison of Chandrashekhar [the Dalit leader from UP] and his colleagues.’

  • The protesters will assemble at 7pm at the Mahatma Gandhi statue at Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9EU to honour the victims of Mob lynching in India (Muslims, Christians and Dalits).
  • They will then march to a rally outside Indian High Commission under the banner  ‘Resist the Republic of Fear, March Against Mob-lynching in India’
  • They will carry placards with the faces of some of the many who have been lynched and murdered- 16 year old Junaid (lynched in Ballabhgarh, Haryana), 15 year old Swapnil Sonawane (lynched in Thane , Mumbai ), Zafar Hussein (lynched in Pratapgarh, Rajasthan), Maan Devi (lynched in Agra, UP), Laljibhai Sarvaiya (lynched in Ankolali, Gujarat), Pastor Sultan Masih (murdered in Ludhiana, Punjab), Pehlu Khan (lynched in Alwar, Rajasthan), Mohammad Akhlaque (lynched in Dadri, UP)
  • At the High Commission the marchers will deliver a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the BJP government put an end to violence against Muslims, Christians and Dalits and indict not only the perpetrators of these horrific crimes but those, including senior politicians of the BJP, who have instigated communal and anti-Dalit violence.

Other organisers commented as follows:

Together 4 Good: We call upon for Indian authorities to enforce the rule of law, including putting a complete stop to vigilante violence, protecting the right to life of all, and ensuring that the perpetrators these hate crimes are brought to justice without delay. 

Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations: The Indian Government must protect the lives, property and dignity of Dalits and minorities in India. For a healthy democracy, freedom of speech – a fundamental right enshrined in Dr Ambedkar’s Constitution  – must be maintained. ‘

Voice of Dalits International Rampant inequality, discrimination and atrocities on the basis of caste, religion and gender have become general features in India. Living in constant fear of being lynched at any time for any fictitious reasons, including for eating nutritious food, in a country where 42 % children are underweight – is a contradiction when India claims to be the world’s largest democracy with 70 years of independent history and a strong economy.

Immediately following the march South Asia Solidarity Group will also submit a petition with nearly 38,000 signatures calling on the UN Special Rapporteur for Minorities Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, to investigate the growing human rights emergency in India, particularly the attacks on religious minorities and Dalits.

For further information: southasiasolidaritygroup (at) gmail.com @SAsiaSolidarity

09Aug/17

March Against Mob Lynching in India – 15 August 7pm

On the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, we must not remain silent and allow the forces of the Hindu far-right to transform India into a Republic of Fear. Join us in a torchlit march in solidarity with the victims and survivors of the ongoing epidemic of mob lynching of Muslims, Christians and Dalits in India. We will march from the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Tavistock Square to the Indian High Commission.

On India’s Independence Day we will remember 15-year-old Junaid (murdered in Ballabhgarh, Haryana), Asghar Ali (Ramgarh, Jharkhand), Otera Bibi (Murshidabad, West Bengal), Zafar Hussein (Pratapgarh, Rajasthan), Dalit families of Shabbirpur village (Saharanpur, UP), Pastor Sultan Masih (Ludhiana, Punjab), Pehlu Khan (Alwar, Rajasthan), the Sarvaiya family (Una, Gujarat), Rama Singrahiya (Sodhana, Gujarat) Mohammad Akhlaque (Dadri, UP), and the many others who have been brutally assaulted or murdered at the hands of lynch mobs. We will pledge in their names to stand together against this violence and the Hindu supremacist Brahmanical ideology which is fuelling it, and to hold the Modi government to account for the horrific crimes committed against them.

Mob lynchings of people belonging to religious minorities, specifically Muslims and Christians, and Dalits are occurring on a horrific scale in India today. Violence against Muslim and Christian communities has been increasing since the early 1990s, and upper caste atrocities on Dalits are a longstanding phenomenon. But there has been a massive escalation in both since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the Centre in 2014. Hindu supremacist gangs closely linked to the ruling party, or in some parts of India directly set up by the state, are the chief perpetrators.

But resistance is also growing, as shown by the protests led by women in Jharkhand after Asghar Ali’s murder, and the massive #NotInMyName demonstrations against mob lynching taking place in cities across India as well as internationally.

On the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, join us and march in solidarity with this resistance to Hindu far-right terror.

More details on facebook here: Follow us on Twitter here at @SAsiaSolidarity.

Supporting organisations: South Asia Solidarity Group; Castewatch UK; SOAS India Society; Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance; Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK; Voice of Dalit International (VODI); Together 4 Good

24Jul/17

15 August 2017 – Call to March Against Mob Lynching in India

Resist the Republic of Fear: March Against Mob Lynching in India

15 August 2017 – Meet Tavistock Square at 19:00 to march to Indian High Commission

On the 70th anniversary of India's Independence, we must not remain silent and allow the forces of the Hindu right to transform India into a Republic of Fear. 

Join us in a torchlit march in solidarity with the victims and survivors of the ongoing epidemic of mob lynching of Muslims, Christians and Dalits in India. 

We will be marching from the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Tavistock Square to the Indian High Commission. 
 

Click here to see Facebook Event


On India’s Independence Day we will remember 15-year-old Junaid (murdered in Ballabhgarh, UP), Asghar Ali (Ramgarh, Jharkhand), Otera Bibi (Murshidabad, West Bengal), Zafar Hussein (Pratapgarh, Rajasthan), Dalit families of Shabbirpur village (Saharanpur, UP), Pehlu Khan (Alwar, Rajasthan), the Sarvaiya family (Una, Gujarat), Rama Singrahiya (Sodhana, Gujarat) Mohammad Akhlaque (Dadri, UP), and the many others who have been brutally assaulted or murdered at the hands of lynch mobs, and we will pledge in their names to stand together against this violence and the Hindu supremacist Brahmanical ideology which is fuelling it.

Human rights violations which target religious minorities, specifically Muslims and Christians, and Dalits are occurring on a vast and horrific scale in India today. While violence against Muslim and Christian communities have been increasing since the early 1990s, and upper caste atrocities on Dalits are a longstanding phenomenon, there has been a massive escalation in both since Narendra Modi ‘s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the Centre in 2014. Emboldened by the victory of the BJP, Hindu supremacist gangs with links to the ruling party, or in some parts of India directly set up by the state, are the chief perpetrators of these abuses which are occuring unchecked.

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28Dec/13

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.