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Congress, Left, human rights organizations come together to hold anti-Modi protest on March 19

By Our Representative
In an important move of considerable political significance, Congress and Left parties with be coming together for the first time in many years, joining hands with several human rights organizations and individuals for a rally at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on March 19. The banner of the rally will be "Exposing 300 days of Modi's Rule", says a note by the organizers, adding, Prime Minister Marendra Modi came to power "riding a promise of development", but "his election campaign was fueled by subtle hate against religious minorities".
To be held for the full day, the dharna programme will have speakers from "civil society and secular political parties, victims, artists, intellectuals", the note says, giving out names of Congress' Digvijay Singh, CPI's Amarjit Kaur, CPM's Brinda Karat, CP-ML's Kavita Krishnan, human rights activists John Dayal and Shabnam Hashmi, journalists Seema Mustafa and Siddharth Vardarajan, and Supreme Court advocate Vrinda Grover. Several people's theatre groups attached with left parties will be staging skits on the occasion, and poets reciting poems.
The main aim of the programme is to join forces to "restore the values of Indian nationalism", the note, distributed by Gujarat-based Jesuit human rights activist Father Cedric Prakash, insists, adding, "This is a call for a united response from the vast majority of Indian society who has shown repeatedly that they want to preserve the secular traditions of the country which derived from a united freedom struggle. It is a call for the Idea of India which came up during freedom movement".
The note says, Modi's campaign was having "unstinted support of corporate and was manned by lakhs of volunteers of RSS", it adds, "During last few months the intensity of the divisive agenda of RSS combine has gone up tremendously. Cadres of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and scores of other sister-groups have intensified the intimidating campaigns like Ghar Wapsi and Love-Jihad."
"There were attacks on places of worship of religious minorities. A minister of the Government, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, said that those not believing in Ram are (Haramjade) illegitimate. One of the ruling party MPs went on to praise Godse, calling him patriot. This government tried to remove the words secular and socialist from the preamble of our Constitution. The talk of Gita being a national book was also voiced."
Pointing out that in all during the 300 days of Modi's rule 600 incidents of communal violence took place, it says, "The associates of BJP have become more assertive and the intimidation of the religious minorities has gone up. In Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and other states, the terror, physical violence and social ostracizing of Dalit and Tribal Christians, in particular, continues unabated."
Calling Modi a "a trained pracharak of RSS", the note says, "RSS is going hammer and tongs asserting its agenda of Hindu Rashtra. While he is keeping mum on issues of crucial importance like Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra, RSS has become more aggressive on these issues. Mohan Bhagwat, RSS Sarsanghchalak recently stated that 'Hindutva is the identity of India and it has the capacity to swallow other identities'.”

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