Tag Archives: gujarat

29Sep/15

Never Forget the Gujarat Genocide!

Join the protests against Indian PM Narendra Modi’s UK visit!
Who is Narendra Modi?
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 http://www.foilvedanta.org/vedantas-crimes/

and Essar Energy http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/essar-internal-mails-hint-at-access-to-budget-proposals-of-petroleum-ministry/articleshow/47535557.cms are siphoning money and resources out of the country, grabbing huge swathes of land http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/essar-internal-mails-hint-at-access-to-budget-proposals-of-petroleum-ministry/articleshow/47535557.cms and displacing the people who live on it, and destroying the environment http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2015/4/narendra-modis-war-on-the-indian-environment.html . 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 http://thediplomat.com/2015/06/narendra-modi-to-become-first-indian-pm-to-visit-israel/ – which is providing weapons for intensified state terror in Kashmir – and aligned itself fully with the ‘War on Terror’.

Dongria Kond women blocking railway tracks to protest the land-grab of Niyamgiri moutain in Odisha

Dongria Kond women blocking railway tracks to protest the land-grab of Niyamgiri moutain in Odisha

Silencing dissent

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 http://www.firstpost.com/india/hc-calls-govt-decision-offload-priya-pillai-plane-illegal-2150665.html

and Teesta Setalvad who has consistently campaigned to bring Modi to justice for his role in the Gujarat massacres of 2002 http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/silencing-teestathe-courts-must-step-in-when-governments-persecute-individuals-like-setalvad/

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. david

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 http://www.buzzfeed.com/sirajdatoo/hindu-group-tells-voters-to-back-tories-because-they-dont-wa#.lf6rx8WDw

Join the protests against the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’ 11-14 November 2015 #ModiNotWelcome
UPDATES AT https://modinotwelcome.wordpress.com
@SAsiaSolidarity; FB: Stop Mass Murderer Narendra Modi UK;

18Feb/15

‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai’ or ‘Muzaffarnagar Eventually’

On the thirteenth anniversary of the Gujarat genocide, with the survivors still waiting for justice, we invite you to the UK
premiere of this powerful film about a horrific new ‘laboratory of Hindu Rashtra’ and how it is being resisted.

‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai’ or ‘Muzaffarnagar Eventually’

(Hindi with English subtitles)

Film Screening and discussion

Tuesday 24th February, 7.00pm

Room V211

SOAS Vernon Square Building,

Vernon Square, Penton Rise
London WC1X 9EW

Muzaffarnagar

In September 2013, an anti-Muslim pogrom took place in the Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Western Uttar Pradesh in which more than 100 men, women and children  were killed and some 80,000  displaced.  In the past, these two districts had seen relative harmony between Muslims and Hindus. What happened this time? ‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai…’ (Muzaffarnagar eventually…) explores this question examining the many facets of the massacre- the question of  women’s ‘honour’, which was used by organisations of the Hindu right, including BJP-RSS, to orchestrate communal violence,  the merging of caste identity politics within the larger Hindutva fold, the breakdown of the once powerful farmers’ union, the Bharatiya Kisan Union, whose survival hinged on the unity of Hindu and Muslim peasants,  the various aspects of Dalit politics in the districts, the dubious role of the Samajwadi Party, the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh and the feeling of complete alienation and marginalisation of the Muslim community. The film looks at how the massacre found its resonance in the 2014 Indian General election campaign. Finally, it tells of the continued and growing resistance in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts against the corporate- communal nexus.

Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai  Nakul Singh Sawhney/2014/135 mins/Hindi with English subtitles

FilmMaker

 

Nakul Singh Sawhney’s earlier films include the award winning With a little help from my friends (2005),  Agauravand Undecided, both in 2006,  Once upon a time in Chheharta  and the acclaimed Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyaan (2012) on “honour” crimes in Haryana

 

 

04Mar/14

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.

12Feb/14

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.

 

14Jan/14

CPI-ML visit to Muzaffarnagar

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.


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