Category Archives: Others

25Aug/13

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

 

22Aug/13

Stop mass murderer Narendra Modi

Stop mass murderer Narendra Modi

from visiting the UK!

Barry Gardiner: Withdraw your invitation to the ‘butcher of Gujarat’!

Protest:­­­  Monday 9 September 2013, 11:30 AM – 1 PM, at Barry Gardiner’s MP’s surgery, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ

Nearest Tube Station: Wembley Park (see map http://www.brent.gov.uk/your-council/brent-civic-centre/your-visit-to-the-civic-centre/)

 

  • Narendra Modi is the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and an avowed admirer of Hitler and his policies.
  • In 2002, Modi presided over the genocidal attacks in which over 2,000 men, women and children from Gujarat’s Muslim minority community were systematically killed.
  • This is the man whom Labour MP for Brent North Barry Gardiner has invited to come and address the House of Commons on the subject of ‘The Future of Modern India’.

What happened in Gujarat in 2002 has been amply documented and there is clear evidence (1)(2)(3) that the violence was orchestrated and sponsored by the state. 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 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).

While in the wake of the 2002 genocide and the clear evidence and documentation of  Modi’s role in coordinating and sponsoring it, the UK, EU and US were compelled to distance themselves from Modi, more recently the British government is  rehabilitating him. At a recent meeting with Modi in Ahmedabad,  the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire made it clear that this was in ‘the UK’s national interests’, meaning the interests of British big business (7) (8).

Modi claims to have brought ‘development’ to Gujarat – but the reality is that nutritional  poverty is higher than all-India levels (9)and there is a huge and growing gap between rich and poor in the state. The people of Gujarat are paying the price for Modi’s policies (10), in which swathes of land and coastline have been converted into Special Economic Zones or ‘Special Investment Regions’ and handed over to corporates heavily subsidised by the state. Recent official figures show 44.6% of children under 5 are malnourished in Gujarat – figures comparable only to the poorest states in India(11)

Now Barry Gardiner on behalf of the ‘Labour Friends of India’ has invited Modi to come and address the House of Commons on the subject of ‘The Future of Modern India’. The Conservative Friends of India have supported this invitation. This is purely an attempt to help British corporates sell their products and services in Gujarat in the interests of larger profits.  It makes a mockery of human rights  and ignores the three British citizens who were murdered  during the genocide and whose families are yet to receive justice.

Modi’s past visits to the UK have been used to raise extensive funds and support for communal violence. A visit at this time is particularly dangerous and must be stopped.

We condemn this collusion in Modi’s attempts to deny his role as a mass murderer.

We demand that the invitation to Modi is withdrawn.

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 February 2012

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

(8) bbc.co.uk: UK India envoy to visit Gujarat for first time since riots http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-19907453

(9)Agrarian Poverty, Nutrition and Economic Class – A Study of Gujarat, India, Anita Dixit, Journal of Agrarian Change,

Volume 13, Issue 2, pages 263–281, April 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0366.2012.00379.x/abstract

(10)Atul Sood ‘Poverty amidst prosperity’ The Hindu, November 30, 2012

 http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/poverty-amid-prosperity/article4147478.ece

(11)‘Narendra Modi’s Gujarat has 44% malnourished children’

 http://www.kractivist.org/india-narendra-modis-gujarat-has-44-malnourished-children/

Organised by South Asia Solidarity Group. Supported by: Council of Indian Muslims, Brent Trades Council, Foil Vedanta, Islamic Human Rights Commission, Southall Black Sisters, Indian Workers Association (Birmingham), South Asian Alliance, Asian Rationalist Society, Brent Trades Council , Freedom Without Fear Platform

 

 

13Aug/13

Keep Mass Murderer Narendra Modi out of the UK!

South Asia Solidarity Group condemns the invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to address the House of Commons issued by the Labour Friends of India and the Conservative Friends of India. We strongly believe that Narendra Modi, who is responsible for the 2002 genocidal attacks in which over 2,000 men women and children from Gujarat’s Muslim minority community were systematically killed, must not be allowed to visit the UK. Modi’s past visits to the UK have been used to raise extensive funds and support for communal violence, and a visit at this time when Modi is launching a campaign to become India’s next Prime Minister, and continues to try to gain votes using openly fascistic and anti-minority rhetoric, would be particularly dangerous.

In the wake of the 2002 genocide and the extensive documentation of Modi’s role in co-ordinating and sponsoring it. the UK, other EU, and US governments were compelled to distance themselves from Modi and the Gujarat state government. However recently we have seen David Cameron take steps to rehabilitate Modi, as evidenced by meetings between the British High Commissioner and Modi in Ahmedabad. This puts the interests of British corporates wishing to invest in Gujarat ahead of any concerns for human rights and justice, and makes a mockery of the rights of the three British citizens who were murdered during the genocide and whose families are yet to see justice. We condemn this collusion in Modi’s attempts to deny his role as a mass murderer. We demand that the invitation to Modi is withdrawn and he is refused a visa to the UK.

19Jun/13

‘Culture’ the cuts and Violence Against Women and Girls – public meeting

Speakers
Carlene Firmin (Principal Policy Advisor at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, OCC) on the findings of the OCC inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, the experiences of Black and minority ethnic victims and perpetrator profiling and data recording
Zlakha Ahmed (Director of Apna Haq Rotherham a Black, South Asian and minority ethnic women’s organisation which provides services to women facing violence) on the experiences and invisibility of Black and minority ethnic survivors of grooming, the denial across society about the extent of child sexual abuse and the ways in which media and community leaders shape discourse
Amrit Wilson (Freedom Without Fear Platform) on the changing policies on violence against women and girls in the context of austerity and privatisation, the increased role of the Criminal Justice System, as a preventative approach is abandoned in favour of one based on pursuing and punishing perpetrators, and the impact of the National Security agendas of the British state
Chair: Camille Kumar

13Jun/13

‘Culture’ the Cuts and Violence Against Women and Girls

 ‘Culture’ the Cuts and Violence Against Women and Girls

CULTURE, THE CUTS AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

Public meeting – all welcome

Tuesday 18thJune 2013, 6 pm  

Room V211, (2nd floor)

SOAS Vernon Square Campus (off Pentonville Road , not Russell Square)

http://www.soas.ac.uk/visitors/location/maps/

Speakers include:

Zlakha Ahmed, Director, Apna Haq, Rotherham

Carlene Firmin, Principal Policy Advisor, Office of the Children’s Commissioner,

Amrit Wilson, Freedom Without Fear Platform,

Speaker from LAWA

The  sexual abuse, grooming, and other forms of violence against women and girls which are being reported almost daily in the media are taking place against a background of relentless closure of the very services which women and girls facing violence could turn to. Refuges and services for Black and Minority women particularly, which were fought for and established over the last three and a half decades, are being closed down. They are being replaced with punitive policies which involve the prosecution not only of the perpetrators but of women who withdraw cases.

At the same time and in apparentcontradiction, the violence against Black and ethnic minority women and their struggles against it are made invisible, except where they can be blamed on practicessupposedly unique to Black and ethnic minority cultures – forced marriage, honour killings and Female Genital Mutilation and so on. Join us to discuss these disturbing developments and look at the reality behind the myths

 *Who are the perpetrators of violence against women and girls in Britain and who are the victims and survivors?

* Why are ‘race’ and‘culture’ selectively invoked in discussions of violence against women and
girls?   Is racial profiling for potential perpetrators taking place?

*How do the moregeneral cuts to services and legal aid affect violence against women and girls and what do they tell us about the government’s commitment to combating this kind of violence?

 

Organised by Freedom Without Fear Platform

FREEDOM WITHOUT FEAR PLATFORM was set up in London UK, in solidarity with the anti-rape movement in India. It is an arena for Black, South Asian and ‘Minority Ethnic’ women to lead discussions on the violence against women and girls; to counter imperialist racist discourse that UK mainstream media bombards us with and; to highlight the co-opting of violence against women and girls issues by various groups who seek to further their own racist/anti-immigration/ Islamophobic agendas.