|Date: 17 Mar 2005|
Source: Times of India
AHMEDABAD: Troubles are growing for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi with a prominent US Congressman moving a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning the conduct of Modi during the Gujarat riots in early 2002, ahead of his proposed visit to the US next week.
Though Modi was to leave for the US on Sunday, it was still not clear if the US government had granted him the diplomatic visa he was seeking. Lobbyists in the US have already flooded secretary of state Condoleeza Rice with emails to deny the Gujarat CM a visa.
To add to problems, a resolution was moved on Tuesday by John Conyers Jr, an influential Democrat Congressman from Michigan. It blames Modi for his actions to incite religious persecution and urges the US to condemn all violations of religious freedom in India.
The resolution, which has been referred to the Committee on International Relations, says the US Commission on International Religious Freedom has confirmed in its May 2004 report that government in Gujarat led by Modi has been widely accused of being reluctant to bring the perpetrators of the killings of Muslims and non-Hindus to justice.
Congressman Conyers says "The US state department has discussed the role of Modi and his government in promoting attitudes of racial supremacy, racial hatred, and the legacy of Nazism through his government's support of school textbooks in which Nazism is glorified."
The resolution says Modi revised school textbooks to describe the 'charismatic personality of Hitler the Supremo', while failing to acknowledge the Nazi extermination policies, the concentration camps, and the religious persecution.
It says "such conduct by such a high-ranking foreign official undermines internationally-recognised fundamental rights and the directives of Congress under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998."