Archive for category War on Terror

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.

 

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

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

 

 

JUSTICE-INJUSTICE Racism

Saturday 10th November 2012 2pm to 5pm

VENUE: Carrs lane Church Carrs Lane B4 7SX,Birmingham

Speakers include members of the families affected by the decision, campaigners against extradition and community representatives

We very much welcome the decision not to extradite Gary McKinnon – we would not want his family to experience the pain, suffering and sense of betrayal which the family and friends of Babar and Talha have been enduring since they were extradited.

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t drag Afzal Guru into the Delhi High Court Bombing

South Asia Solidarity Group condemns recent the attack on the Indian High Court and offers our deepest condolences to the families of those – mainly lawyers and witness due to appear in court -who lost their lives. Those who have dragged in Afzal Guru’s name and those in the Indian media who have eagerly followed are also to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Afzal Guru, who is a Kashmiri, was incarcerated as a consequence of a grave miscarriage of justice after an attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001. In that case the corruption of the police particularly those from the so-called Special Cell, and the bias of the media and the judiciary were fully exposed but ignored by the Indian government. Afzal Guru remains in jail with a death sentence hanging over him.

The following statements from Afzal himself and Afzal’s lawyer N.D. Pancholi are a response to the latest events.

Read the rest of this entry »

Behind the fog of propaganda, America’s relationship with Pakistan’s military

Naeem Malik, revisits Hamza Alavi’s incisive analysis of   the role of Pakistan’s military in the administration of the US Empire and discusses its relevance today

Writing in 1998 (Economic and Political Weekly June 20), Hamza Alavi, Read the rest of this entry »

War on Terror in Pakistan: Interview with Saadia Toor

by Ashley Smith, MRzine, October 27, 2009

Saadia Toor is an assistant professor at Staten Island College, author of a forthcoming book on Pakistan from Pluto Press, and part of the group Action for a Progressive Pakistan.

The Pakistani Army has launched a major offensive against Taliban forces in the province of Waziristan.  What is behind this assault, and what impact will it have on the people there?

The Army had been warning ever since it attacked in Swat earlier this year that its next move would be inSouth Waziristan.  This area is incredibly undeveloped and has become a stronghold of the Tehrik-e-TalibanPakistan(or TTP), which had been led by Baitullah Mehsud until he was killed in drone attack conducted by theU.S.earlier this year

Read the rest of this entry »

Civilian Victims of CIA’s Drone war

The civilian victims of the CIA’s drone war

A new study gives us the truest picture yet – in contrast to the CIA’s own account – of drones’ grim toll of ‘collateral damage’

Read More

 

 

Bradford 12: lessons for organising by IRR News Team

An event in London marking the Bradford 12 thirtieth anniversary was a celebration and an education for resistance.

Thirty years ago, on 10 July 1981, twelve young Asians were arrested and charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and to endanger life, after a crate of home-made milk-bottle petrol bombs was found. (In fact thirteen were arrested, but the thirteenth, the only woman, Shanaaz Ali, was released without charge.) A defence campaign was formed; thousands marched in Bradford and Leeds under the slogan ‘Whose conspiracy? Police conspiracy!’ and hundreds attended the trial each day. But the defence to the charges, not disclosed in advance of the trial so as to surprise the prosecution, was community self-defence. Yes, we made these petrol bombs, the young men said. We were forced to, to defend our communities from the threat of an invasion by the far-right National Front, against which we knew from previous experience there would be no police protection. The twelve and their legal team set out to educate the jury about the realities of racist violence for them, their families and for black people in Britain. The jury responded by acquitting them. Read the rest of this entry »

ASIAN WOMEN UNITED AGAINST THE WAR!

June 2002

Asian Women Unite! an umbrella group of Asian women’s organisations and many individuals in Britain are mobilising protest against the war under the banner of  Asian Women United Against the War. We are women who have been at the forefront of fighting domestic violence, women engaged in struggles against racism, women from anti-imperialist organisations, women artists, writers and trade unionists. Read the rest of this entry »