Skip to main content

US-based anti-Modi alliance declares it will hold protest against PM during community reception at San Jose

By Our Representative
Flutter in the Indian American community in the US around Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to the the US, especially Silicon Valley on September 27, 2015, has intensified, following the Alliance for Justice And Accountability (AJA) – a broad coalition of progressive organizations – declaring that it will hold a campaign to hold Modi “accountable” for past and present attacks on the freedoms and human rights of Indian communities.
As many as 125 left-liberal academics from across the US, associated with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), in August-end came down heavily on what they called “uncritical fanfare being generated over Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley to promote Digital India on September 27, 2015.”
Among those who have signed the statement include Wendy Doniger, Professor of the History of Religions, University of Chicago, who shot into prominence after her book, “The Hindus” was withdrawn from circulation in India by the Penguins following a saffron objection, and Ania Loomba, Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, who in March 2013 organized a campaign to stop Modi's address to Wharton India Economic Forum.
The academics' protest led right-wing American Indian academics, many of them engineers, to sign up another statement declaring their support to Modi's Silicon Valley, saying the there was no cause of concern for Modi's 'Digital India' campaign.
Broadly comprising of Indian-American organizations and individuals who were part of Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), which had successfully campaigned against US visa to Modi, when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister, the AJA declared it would hold “a protest at SAP Center on September 27, 2015 under the banner #ModiFail, to expose the realities behind Modi's alleged accomplishments.” Modi is expected to address an Indian community reception at the Center, situated in San Jose, California.
“The AJA will also reach out to elected officials and corporate leaders in the US to inform them about Modi's failed and regressive policies that negatively impact human rights, religious freedoms, the environment, and overall: shrink the space for civil liberties under his rule”, AJA statement reads, recalling, Modi was banned by successive US administrations from entering the United States, for his role in the 2002 Gujarat massacres, “in which nearly 2,000 people were killed.”
“With his Silicon Valley visit, Modi's supporters plan to hold a rock star reception aimed at rehabilitating his image as a pogrom-tainted politician. According to news reports, Silicon Valley corporations wanting to do business in India have been asked to contribute towards an $800,000 fund for the event at the SAP Center”, AJA says.
Ever since Modi came to power, “India has seen a dramatic rise in mass violence against Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits and other marginalized communities while Hindu nationalist militias responsible for that violence are being granted impunity from prosecution at the highest levels of government”, the statement says.
“The Modi administration has led a campaign against environmental and human rights groups across India. Since coming to power, Modi has blocked funding for over 13,000 nonprofits, attempting to shut down environmental groups like Greenpeace, 350.org, and the Sierra Club. His administration has even issued an ordinance banning the use of the phrase 'human rights' in the names of NGOs”, the statement points out.
.Coming down heavily on Modi's Digital India campaign, the statement says, “Modi's government has been actively censoring internet access and activity, with a unilateral blocking of websites, including that of GitHub, Vimeo, and the Internet Archive, while also trying to revive the online censorship law struck down by India's Supreme Court in March. The government has also increased its censorship of the Indian media.”

Comments

TRENDING

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.