Tag Archives: hindu

14Jan/18

Stand Together Against Modi’s Violence and Hate!

Say No to India’s Descent into Fascism!

Republic Day Vigil at the Indian High Commission

26 January 2018, 5.30pm – 7.30pm

Indian High Commission

The Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA

As the Indian state gets ready to celebrate Republic Day with a show of military hardware and xenophobic nationalist rhetoric, we stand with the many, many Indians who today are rising in grief and rage against the violence and hate choreographed by the far-right Hindu supremacist Modi regime against its own people. We pledge to resist India’s descent into a Republic of Fear.

This year has seen a continuation of the epidemic of mob lynching in which Muslims have been the main target. Whether the pretext has been claims of eating beef, cattle trading, so-called ‘love jihad’ or simply travelling while Muslim, these attacks have been instigated and organized by the network of vigilante groups and paramilitaries linked to the ruling BJP government and the openly fascist organisation which inspires and directs it, the RSS. Those who have been brutally murdered range from 15-year-old Junaid beaten to death in a train in UP, to Pehlu Khan lynched by cow vigilantes on a Rajasthan road.

Their deaths have been met by resounding silence from the Prime Minister, justifications from his ministers, and waves of celebration from the army of hideously abusive online right-wing trolls, many of whom are followed by Narendra Modi, the man who himself oversaw the 2002 genocide of Muslims in Gujarat when he was Chief Minister.  On December 6, millions of people witnessed the horror of Afrazul Khan, a migrant worker from Bengal, being hacked to death and burnt alive in Rajasthan, with the carnage being sickeningly videoed and circulated online by the perpetrator and his 14-year-old nephew. That the perpetrator Shambhulal was very far from a mentally disturbed lone wolf was confirmed by the celebrations of his crime and the protests against his arrest organized by the Hindu right wing organizations linked to the government, culminating in the replacing of the Indian flag by the saffron flag (representing Hindu supremacist  power) atop the High Court building in Udaipur. Equally chilling was the fact that the murder was clearly pre-planned to take place on the anniversary of the demolition by RSS footsoldiers of the historic 16th century Babri Masjid (mosque) in 1992.

December 2017 saw the continuation of attacks on Christians which have involved brutal assaults on churches and pastors, with the authorities colluding in the persecution of people celebrating Christmas in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, where carol singers were first attacked by Hindu right-wing groups and then arrested by the police.

This year has also seen the intensification of attacks on Dalits, and brutal attempts to crush their ongoing resistance to caste oppression, by the forces of the Hindu right. In UP where the rabidly communal and casteist hate preacher Yogi Adityanath was made Chief Minister in March 2017, we witnessed the burning of Dalit villages and the sexual assaults on Dalit women by upper caste mobs in Saharanpur. This was followed by  the arrest of Chandrashekhar Azad (Raavan) the leader of the Bhim Army, a Dalit Human Rights Group. While Chandrashekhar Azad was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on November 2, with the court observing that charges against him were “politically motivated” , the very next day the Uttar Pradesh government slapped the National Security Act (NSA) against him in an effort to silence him.

Most recently, as 2018 began, Hindu right wing terror groups carried out attacks on thousands of Dalit families who had gathered at Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra to commemorate the 200th anniversary of a battle which is central to Dalit identity.. Instead of arresting the key organisers of this violence (one of whom is a close associate of Modi) the police have carried out a witch hunt of  Dalit youth and children, beating them up and arresting them on fabricated charges and telling their parents that these minors will be in prison for years.

Meanwhile the Modi government is ruthlessly seeking to silence all those who dissent from its agenda of creeping fascism.  The cold-blooded assassination on 5 September 2017 of the courageous journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bangalore, who had fearlessly criticized and exposed the BJP and its associated groups, brought thousands onto the streets in mourning and protest. While the mainstream media have become loyal mouthpieces for the Modi government, whipping up hysteria against all those who criticize the government, alternative critical media outlets like The Wire have been threatened with massive lawsuits when they expose the terror unleashed by the Modi regime and its endemic corruption. We learnt too about the suspected murder of Justice Loya, the judge who dared to insist that Modi’s right- hand man Amit Shah appear in court in the Sohrabuddin murder case. And now the interference by the Modi-appointed Chief Justice in the investigation of Justice Loya’s death has led four of the five senior-most Supreme Court judges to take the unprecedented step of holding a press conference to  warn of the ‘danger to democracy’ posed by the Modi government.  Meanwhile, BJP leaders like Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde have openly stated their intention to get rid of the Indian Constitution drafted by Ambedkar and its basic principles of liberty equality and fraternity, replacing it with the caste supremacist and misogynist principles of Manusmriti!

At the same time in Kashmir, where the people have long been fighting for their right to self-determination in the face of acute state repression and military occupation, atrocities have further escalated. The BJP, now also sharing power in Srinagar, has shed all pretence of constitutional governance, treating Kashmiris as virtual prisoners of war, and even a tentative recognition of the humanity of Kashmiri youth by a government official  is treated as seditious.

As India descends rapidly into open fascism, we cannot afford to remain silent.  We must stand by those whose very existence is under threat. We must show our solidarity with the thousands taking to the streets in India in protest against mob lynching, atrocities on Dalits, assassinations of dissidents and the Islamophobic, caste supremacist far-right regime of Narendra Modi.

#NotInMyName  #ResistTheRepublicOfFear #NoToFascismInIndia

Organised by South Asia Solidarity Group www.southasiasolidarity.org @SAsiaSolidarity and SOAS India Society

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

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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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.

 

22Sep/13

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)