What Modi’s Hindu fascist regime has done for Vedanta:
Mining and Corporate land-grab
The law is being changed* to allow even easier land acquisition by corporates like Vedanta without the consent of those who live on it or are its owners, or any consideration of environmental destruction. Communities like the Dongria and Kutia Konds which resist are being terrorised not only by the police and paramilitaries but by state- and corporate- sponsored militias, like the recently revived Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh.
Abolishing workers’ rights
Vedanta which was responsible for the deaths of more than a hundred workers in one of India’s worst construction accidents will be able to get away with even more abuses of workers. In order to attract yet more corporates to ‘Make in India’, a labour law reform will make contract work and instant hiring and firing legal and the norm for a host of different occupations, while many basic labour rights including the right to form a trade union will be erased.
Those who have dared to criticise Modi or his government’s pro-corporate policies have been accused of being ‘anti-national’. The state has sought to silence them through censorship, threats, false cases and imprisonment. 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 and Teesta Setalvad who has consistently campaigned to bring Modi to justice for his role in the Gujarat massacres of 2002(see below)
Who is Narendra Modi?
Narendra Modi is a lifelong cadre of the RSS, a Hindu supremacist paramilitary organisation founded in the 1920s, in opposition to Indian independence. Its revered leader M.S. Golwalkar notoriously viewed Hitler’s treatment of the Jews as a model of ‘race pride’ which India should emulate in its treatment of minority groups. The RSS is the core of a family of organisations which includes the ruling BJP.
Narendra Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, presided over the state-sponsored massacres of Muslims in which some 2,000 people were murdered and 200,000 displaced in February 2002. Court cases implicating Modi are still being heard, including one filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband Ahsan Jafri, a former MP, was brutally murdered in the violence. The family of two British citizens, Saeed and Sakil Dawood, murdered in Gujarat while on holiday, are also pursuing a civil case against Modi. Judgments in both these court cases are expected in the next few months. The Hindu supremacist groups declared Gujarat ‘the Laboratory of the Hindu State’ and repeated this ‘experiment’ in Odisha, in 2007, in an anti-Christian pogrom, and again against Muslims in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh during Modi’s election campaign.
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*Since this was written, Modi has been forced to back down from amending the Land Acquisition Act in the face of massive opposition