|Statement of support from Women's Organizations|
Statement of support from Women's Organizations
We, the undersigned women's organizations, protest the decision of the Asian American
Hotel Owner Association (AAHOA) and Association of Indian Americans of North America to
felicitate Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. The Gujarat government
under Mr. Modi had actively and covertly encouraged violence against women during the Gujarat
pogroms when sexual mutilation and rapes of women and children were used as an ethnic
In Gujarat, during February 28-March 02, 2002, under Narendra Modi's leadership, more
than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed, aided and abetted by the state. In the aftermath,
200,000 people have been rendered homeless and internally displaced. Mr. Modi's government
has not fulfilled its obligations to protect fundamental rights guaranteed in India's constitution or in
international treaties to which India is a party. The state machinery under Mr. Modi has
encouraged rape and sexual assault by frustrating the victim's attempts at legal redress. Mr. Modi
was criticized by the Supreme Court of India as a modern day Nero for his actions during the
2002 massacres and has two cases lodged against him in the State of Gujarat. The former
President of India, KR Narayanan, has also asserted that the pogroms were planned by Mr.
Modi's BJP Party. The International Initiative for Justice and Amnesty International's Stop
Violence Against Women report on Gujarat criticized the failure of Mr. Modi's government in
acknowledging and taking action against the sexual victimization of women from minority
Mr. Modi not only failed to take preventative measures against those who were planning
the violence with his knowledge, but undertook a series of actions which either tacitly or explicitly
condoned the rapes and massacres. Women and girls were beaten, thrown into wells, targeted
for rape, gang rape, and collective rape, sexually mutilated and burnt. Mobs participated in the
severing of women's breasts, the tearing open of women's vaginas and wombs, forcing the
abortion of fetuses and their display on spears. The elderly and children, even unborn children,
were not spared. In the aftermath of the violence, Mr. Modi ordered that the refugee camps in
Gujarat be shut down even as thousands of people had nowhere to go. In a public meeting, he
further mocked the victims of the genocide labeling the refugee camps "baby making factories."
The ultra nationalist Hindu formation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), to
which Mr. Modi pledges allegiance, glorifies Hitler and his genocidal policies, and has been
instrumental in terrorizing Christian and Muslim minorities in Gujarat. In the last few years,
Gujarat has witnessed burning of churches and intimidation of many non-governmental
organizations working in the rural and tribal areas of Gujarat. Under Mr. Modi, Gujarat school text
books have been rewritten to exalt Nazism and Fascism.
Propaganda of the RSS and its allies exhort their members to defile, violate, and destroy
minority women and girls as they are seen as repositories of Muslim and Christian religion and
culture. The State police and task force under Narendra Modi did not provide protection to
women and children from rape during the pogroms and in many cases refused to allow them to
file reports. Mr. Modi's government has taken no action to rehabilitate or provide medical relief to
the victims of sexual violence.
AAHOA's decision to invite and honor Narendra Modi displays an unconscionable
tolerance of the misogynist nature of Mr. Modi's BJP party and his Hindutva allies. It lends
legitimacy to a man who is in violation of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, and
other international laws.
We strongly denounce the Association of Indian Americans for North America and the
Asian American Hotel Owners Association for dishonoring the victims of the Gujarat pogrom, and
insulting the moral dignity of us all. The undersigned organizations support the Coalition Against
Genocide's (CAG) campaign to protest Narendra Modi's arrival in US.
SAHELI for Asian Families
Narika for South Asian Women
Sakhi for South Asian Women
Sneha (A network for women of South Asian origin)
Manavi (An organization for South Asian women)
Daya Inc. for South Asian Families
Tulane Amnesty International Stop Violence Against Women Committee
March 11, 2005.