|Indian Americans pledge to continue the struggle for justice despite Modi victory|
Indian Americans pledge to continue the struggle for justice despite Modi victory
Coalition vows to continue the struggle to uphold India's secular ethos
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2014
Coalition Against Genocide (CAG - http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/), a broad alliance dedicated to justice and accountability for the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 and to defending India's secular tradition, has pledged to continue its struggle with renewed fervor in the wake of the election results in India. The coalition has vowed to bring the perpetrators to book and to fight fascist forces, despite the setback represented by Narendra Modi's victory in India's national elections. The world must not forget that Milosevic and Pinochet also appeared invincible and above the law at some point in their lives. Justice, eventually and inevitably caught up with them. Modi's imminent appointment as Prime Minister of India represents but one more step in his journey on the road to justice.
"CAG is unequivocal in its position. We continue to believe Modi is responsible, not only for the brutal pogroms of 2002 that claimed over 2,000 lives, but also for the denial of justice to the victims, harassment of human rights activists and fake police encounter killings pursued in Gujarat as a matter of state policy. Modi's ascent to the highest executive office in India, is rightly a matter of concern for all who value human rights and religious freedom," coalition spokesperson Dr. Shaik Ubaid stated.
"Parliamentarians with criminal cases against them have become commonplace. However, it is unprecedented in the history of independent India, that a person whose complicity in organized mass violence is being heard by a High Court in India can be the prime ministerial designate. It is a tragedy that a nation of more than a billion people with a rich history of harmony ends up with such a person as their Prime Minister," said Dr. Ubaid.
Despite the massive propaganda onslaught and corporate money poured into the Modi campaign, it should be noted that more than 60% of those voted chose against Modi's party (BJP - Bharatiya Janata Party) and its allies, even though the election was virtually made out to be a referendum for Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate. CAG has called upon civil society institutions to be ever more vigilant and to come together in the cause of protecting the nation's pluralist character and ethos. BJP has championed anti-conversion laws that impinge on the people's right to profess, practice, and propagate the religion of their choice. The potential implementation of such laws at the national level could pose a serious threat to religious freedom on a large scale.
Modi has been a deeply divisive figure in the nation's polity and can easily polarize the citizenry into religious and regional identities. Modi has been a long time member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an organization founded in the 1930's on the model of the Italian Fascists after meetings with Benito Mussolini. Subsequent RSS leaders expressed warm approval of Hitler. During this election campaign, RSS leaders have been openly raking up contentious issues, posing a threat to communal harmony and increasing the prospect of violence against minorities. The coalition has further called upon lawmakers in the US to accept the recommendations of the USCIRF, which urged the US administration to include the issue of human rights in its bilateral talks with India.
"CAG has been in the forefront of maintaining the US visa ban on Modi, and we are proud of having stood up for truth and justice," said Dr. Raja Swamy, another CAG spokesperson. "A possible visit to the US by Modi on a diplomatic visa, in his capacity as the Prime Minister does not negate the earlier ban and the fact that he is 'culpable for the egregious and systematic human rights abuses'," added Dr. Swamy.
CAG is a broad-based coalition representing a diverse cross section of the religious and political spectrum of the Indian diaspora, including Hindu and other faith-based organizations. The coalition is committed to democracy, pluralism and to the preservation of the idea of India.
Coalition Against Genocide
- Dr. Raja Swamy
- Biju Mathew
- Dr. Shaik Ubaid
Phone/Fax: (443) 927-9039
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