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Indian rights campaigners slam Indian PM

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Modi, diaspora Indians, London visit, protest, rapes, violence, #ModiNotWelcomeProtests by the UK’s Indian diaspora greeted Indian PM Narendra Modi.

“Narendra Modi is to visit Britain for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM),” a spokesperson of the South Asia Solidarity Group explained.

“When he last visited the UK in 2015 he was met with massive protests.

“But the last two and a half years since then have seen him presiding over an epidemic of rapes, mob lynching of Muslims, Christians and Dalits, assassinations of dissidents, undermining of basic democratic rights and the frightening consolidation of fascism at every level.

“In the two horrifying recent cases in Kathua and Unnao, Modi’s ruling BJP has actively mobilised to defend powerful rape-accused men and undermine the rule of law.

“Meanwhile in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and other states in attacks on Dalits who were protesting the dilution of legislation supposed to protect them from atrocities, 9 people were killed, thousands arrested and the targeted violence against Dalit activists is continuing.

“For example, activist Gopi Pariya whose name was on a list circulated on social media was brutally murdered in UP on April 5th.

“We must remember, however, that people across India are continuing to courageously resist these attacks and stand up to fascism,” the spokesperson continued.

“We in the UK are organising these protests to support them and to give Modi the message loud and clear that he is not welcome!”

The South Asia Solidarity Group (SASG) and CasteWatchUK, organisers of the protest, also highlight the fact that Narendra Modi is an avowed fascist and admirer of Hitler, saying Modi is a lifelong cadre of a fascist organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu supremacist paramilitary organisation modelled on the Nazi and Italian Fascist parties.

It was 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 copy in its treatment of minority groups.

The RSS is the core of a family of organisations which includes the BJP, currently India’s ruling party. Their fascistic ideology aggressively promotes attacks on Muslims and other religious minorities, Dalits, women and sexual minorities. The Left and other dissidents are demonised and targeted as ‘enemies of the nation’.

Meanwhile Modi’s ruling BJP has actively mobilised to defend powerful men accused of rape and undermine the rule of law.

In Kathua in Jammu, 8 year-old Asifa was horrifically gang-raped and murdered by a group of powerful men including a police officer and a temple official, in order to terrorise the nomadic Bakkarwal community she belonged to.

This was followed by protests in defence of the accused by a pro-Modi Hindu right wing outfit the Hindu Ekta Manch. At least two BJP ministers took part in these protests.

In Unnao, in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, a sixteen year-old girl was raped by a BJP MLA Kuldip Singh Sengar – and when the family protested her father was brutally assaulted by Sengar’s supporters, and arrested on a false case. He died in police custody.

Narendra Modi has remained silent as these party leaders rape and take to the streets to defend rapists.

The BJP/RSS has been actively promoting caste hierarchy and attacks on Dalits; assassinating dissenters like Gauri Lankesh; undermining the judicial system, intensifying atrocities in Kashmir, and encouraging corporate plunder of India. Click here for more details.

The Hindutva groups have a network of organisations in Britain, including the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (the British wing of the RSS), the National Hindu Students Federation, the Hindu Forum of Britain, and others, which are heavily involved in promoting anti-Dalit hatred and Islamophobia, and, say SASG and CasteWatchUK, have the support of a handful of Conservative MPs such as Priti Patel and Bob Blackman.

They are involved in attempting to block the law banning discrimination against Dalits which was passed by the last Labour government but never implemented.

However, large sections of the Indian diaspora are deeply concerned and angry about escalating human rights violations in India under Modi and joined the protests during his visit.

A spokesperson for CasteWatchUK said: “On the one hand Modi talks about bringing people together and of Bharat ki baat sab ke saath, but on the other hand his cohorts RSS storm troopers continue to brazenly defy the law unleashing violence on Dalits and religious minorities.

“Hindu Nationalism must be curtailed to avert India sliding towards wholesale dictatorship threatening democratic fabric, rule of law and the unity of India.”

The South Asia Solidarity Group has started a petition asking to UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Dr Fernand de Varennes to investigate the human rights emergency and attacks on religious minorities and Dalits in India. Please visit the change.org petition and show your support.

Southall Black Sisters joined the #ModiNotWelcome and #JusticeforAsifa protests on 18 April outside Downing Street ‘against Narendra Modi and the latest series of horrific rapes perpetrated against women and girls in India and the complicity of Modi and his government.’

Under Modi’s watch, Southall Black Sisters said ‘we have witnessed wave after wave of unspeakable violence and inhumanity perpetrated against women, minorities and dissenters, all of which have been unleashed by Modi’s brand of Hindu fundamentalist and fascist politics.

‘This is the grotesque, everyday reality of ‘Incredible India’. It is time the world took notice.’

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