The Modi behind the mask....

Once shunned by the UK, the welcome laid out for him hides a history of violent extremism, poisoning his countries' politics with hate

The Modi behind the mask....

Zuhal Mohammady/World Bulletin

With two days left to the G20 summit in Turkey, many leaders are making their way preparing for the summit in the southern city of Antalya. Turkey will be hosting 19 countries, and Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, will also be in attendance as a part of his "world tour".

Narendra Modis' reception in London was met with great hostility. Keeping a stoic face was no easy task - hundreds of protestors chanted 'Intolerant India' as their way of welcome. The slogans most heard were "Modi, Modi! Shame, shame" and "Modi, Modi! You can’t hide; you committed genocide." Modi maintained a facade of calm but this new sensation was quite clearly unnerving.

Welcoming the Indian Prime Minister to No 10, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said UK and India should work to make the partnership even stronger. “Britain is already the largest investor in India among the G20 countries, with India investing more in the UK than it does in the rest of the EU combined,” said Cameron. “That’s making a difference to people’s lives, creating jobs, generating growth and making our economies more secure. But there is scope to go so much further.”

Cameron should have raised the issue of human rights.  Aditya Chakrabortty from The Guardian, asked the all important question and rightfully so: why roll out the red carpet for someone who has been shunned for years?

The answer lies in cash-strapped Cameron who, despite all evidence to the contrary, refuses to raise the red flag of human rights issues in India. In fact, the permanent secretary at the Foreign Office acknowledged to MPs just a few weeks ago that human rights was no longer considered  a “top priority”, and are well below the government’s “prosperity agenda”.

Modi's history of violence

The champion of Indian extremism, Modi owes much of his success to his fervent Hindu nationalism.

As a boy, Modi became a member of the far-right Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), whose goal was to turn India – which gave the world Jainism and Buddhism and Sikhism, and which has the world’s third-largest Muslim population – into a Hindu superpower. It counts Nathuram Godse, the fanatic who gunned down Mahatma Gandhi as an alumni member. This is the same group also responsible for the destruction of the great Babri Mosque built in 1527 and destroyed by the Hindu extremists in 1992.

The Godhra train burning took place on 27 February 2002, in which 59 people died in a fire inside the Sabarmati Express train near the Godhra railway station in the Indian state of Gujarat. The victims were mainly Hindu pilgrims who were returning from the city of Ayodhya after a religious ceremony at the disputed Babri Masjid site. Modi wasted no time in blaming the Muslim Gujarat, even allowing for the ensuing anti-Muslim riots to continue. The state of Gujarat saw some of the ugliest scenes in living memory: more than 2,000 Muslims were murdered, raped, or burned alive by their Hindu neighbors in what Human Rights Watch say was a planned attack.

Sanjiv Bhatt, a senior police officer's sworn statement to India's Supreme Court alleged that Gujarat Chief at the time, Narendra Modi deliberately allowed anti-Muslim riots in the state saying that Hindus should be allowed to vent their anger. Not only was Modi was blacklisted, he was also denied a visa to both the UK and the United States for years.....

Fast Forward to 2005

Again in the state of Gujarat, police killed Sohrabuddin Anwarhussain Sheikh on November 26, 2005, while he was in police custody. In his campaign speech at Mangrol in South Gujarat that year, Modi's defence of the police was justified. "What else could be done at home to one who has illegal possession of weapons? " Addressing an election meeting at Mangrol in South Gujarat in 2007, Modi questioned the crowd as to what should have been done to a man who dealt with illegal arms and ammunition, to which they responded with "kill him". He assured the crowd that "he got what he deserved".

Crackdown on NGO's

In a press release yesterday, Amnesty International said “There’s a fevered crackdown on critics underway in India at the moment. NGOs and activists face multiple obstructions to carrying out their work, including being subjected to smear campaigns, having their funding cut off and being accused of being anti-national.

“Over 10,000 organisations have been ‘de-registered’ over the last year to prevent them from receiving foreign funding, and just last week Greenpeace had its license to operate cancelled".

No beef with Muslims?

In recent weeks as many as four Muslims have been killed on suspicion of consuming or transporting beef. Modi's supporters have said this has nothing to do with him; however his critics will say that when the Prime Minister says his opposition wants a "pink revolution" -- a reference to cow flesh -- then he's emboldening people who equate India with Hindus, and Hinduism with not eating beef.

India ranks third in the world with the highest number of Muslim population - standing at just over 200 million Muslims. Since its creation by Babur Shah, this number has been on the rise. India, the land of religion and sects, is an important one tainted by a leader whose values are not in line with what it was created upon.

 

Last Mod: 21 Eylül 2016, 18:14
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