Skip to main content

London School of Economics scholar predicts strong protests against Modi during his maiden visit to Britain next week

By Our Representative
In a clear signal that things may not be smooth for Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Britain next week, well-known expert Dr Kalpana Wilson, a visiting fellow in gender theory, globalization and development at the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE), has noted in a blog on the LSE website that several “campaign organisations, academics and individuals are coming together to protest increasing violence against minority groups” in India.
Calling Modi’s decision to address at Wembley stadium in London during his visit “an ‘Olympic style’ extravaganza”, Wilson said, “UK-based South Asian community groups, human rights organisations, women’s organisations, environmental campaigns, academic and student groups and individuals” have organized themselves under the slogan “#ModiNotWelcome to protest the increase in violence against minority groups under the current government.”
“They are also raising questions about Modi’s role in the 2002 Gujarat riots while he was Chief Minister and highlighting the current policies of his government which they believe are leading to mass dispossession, loss of livelihoods and the undermining of democratic rights”, Wilson added. The LSE has described her views “personal” not those of the institute.
Recalling how in recent months there have seen “a number of incidents of violence against Muslims, Christians and Dalits by Hindu right-wing organisations in India”, Wilson said, “Perhaps the most widely reported was the murder of 52 year old Mohammed Akhlaq by a mob of around 200 Hindu young men mobilised by a local organisation, the Samadhan Sena (Solution Army) on the pretext of accusations of eating beef.”
“This was followed by a spate of similar incidents in different parts of the country. Other high profile incidents include the case of two young children, Vaibhav, aged 3 and 9 month-old Divya, of a Dalit family who died in an arson attack in Haryana, and the murders of rationalist writers MM Kalburgi and Govind Pansare”, she said.
Noting that these “disturbing trends” are not restricted to India, Wilson said, “The Hindu Right has a network of organisations across the UK. The most significant of these is the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) which is the British wing of India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, a paramilitary organisation formed in the 1920s of which Modi is a former full-time worker.
Disputing HSS’ claim of being a “charitable” organization with “cultural aims”, Wilson said, “The HSS UK is currently being investigated by the British Charity Commission for hate speech against Muslims and Christians. After the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 an investigation by Awaaz suggested HSS and its charity wing Sewa International had been channelling funds to organisations directly involved in carrying out the violence.”
Wilson said, while the UK Welcomes Modi campaign, backed by long term UK-based associates of Modi, Manoj Ladwa, seeks to demonstrate support for the Prime Minister among the 1.6 million-strong Indian community in Britain, “but increasing numbers of people are disturbed by the signs of deepening intolerance in India under Modi.”
“This is reflected in the wide range of dissenting activities which have been taking place in the UK recent weeks. Ahead of Modi’s visit, all the major South Asian and BME women’s organisations in the UK and more than 20 academics concerned with gender violence have written an open letter to Modi drawing attention to ‘the hate crimes, patriarchal violence and misogyny perpetrated by the RSS and its affiliated organizations’,” said Wilson.
She added, “Faculty, students and alumni of Cambridge have written to the vice-chancellor urging him not to host Modi in a planned address to the Senate, noting that the invitation comes at a time when ‘prominent Indian writers and intellectuals are returning their state honours in protest against the ongoing assault on civil liberties and academic freedom under Modi’s government’.”
“Meanwhile”, Wison said, “a petition addressed to Labour MPs Keith Vaz, Steve Pound, and Virendra Sharma, who announced that they would be donating their pay rises for November to help fund the Wembley extravaganza, has been launched. It asks them to reconsider their decision and instead donate the money to survivors of communal violence in India or alternatively to foodbank charities in the UK.”
Wilson further said, “In the run-up to Modi’s arrival, a Reclaim Diwali event will take place on Friday 6 November featuring a range of international artists. The organisers describe it as a ‘secular celebration of shared cultures, blurred boundaries, daring to dream and organising against oppression’ and funds raised will go the survivors of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.” And on November 10, “a number of London-based student organisations are jointly calling an event at SOAS called ‘We Need to Talk About Modi’.”
“This will culminate in a day of protest at Downing Street and Parliament Square on November 12, which thousands of people are expected to attend from across the country”, Wilson said, adding, this would happen when British Prime Minister David Cameron “is eager to roll out the red carpet for Modi and promote the interests of British corporates.”

Comments

TRENDING

What's behind public sector banks showing huge profits in 2nd quarter of 2022-23?

By Thomas Franco*  The quarter two results of the public sector banks (PSBs) appear to be noteworthy compared to a few years ago. All these banks showed good profits in the financial year 2021-22. Twelve PSBs made a net profit of Rs 25,685 crore in quarter 2 of FY23 and a total of Rs 40,991 crore in the first half of 2023. The combined profit of 12 banks in March 2022 was Rs 66,539 crore which was 110% more than 2021 – Rs. 31,816 crore. The Asset Quality Review of 2015 saw a surge in NPAs of PSBs jumping to Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 from Rs 2.17 lakh crore in March 2014. This was simply because the norms for NPAs were changed from 180 days to 90 days, and all restructuring of even genuine accounts was done away with. In 2018 NPA of SBI was 5.73% which has come down to 0.8% in Q2 of FY23. The NPA of Canara Bank has come down to 2.19% from 7.48% in Mar 2018. The same trend is seen in all public banks. Now SBI has seen a jump of 74% in its net profit, while Canara Bank’s profit is

Business back to normal? IIM-A survey says, sales expectations have sharply improved

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management’s Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), which polls a panel of business leaders to find out their perception of slack in economy, including their inflation expectations, year-ahead cost expectations and the factors influencing price changes, such as profit and sales levels, etc., has said that the cost perceptions data indicates signs of moderation in price pressures. Carried out for September, the survey says, the cost pressure of the reporting firms has shifted from “very significant increase (over 6%) to moderate increase (3.1% to 6%).” It adds, “The percentage of firms perceiving over 10% cost increase y-o-y has declined. Over 21% of the firms in September 2022 round of the survey perceive that costs have increased very significantly (over 10%) – down from 26% recorded in August 2022.” Claiming to be a unique survey, in that it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or household

Innovative, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies often banked on excessive sentimentalism

By Harsh Thakor*  Late Hrishikesh Mukherjee more popularly known as Hrishi Da, whose birth centenary was celebrated recently, ranks amongst India’s most progressive and innovative film makers, exhibiting mastery in craft of making socially relevant themes. Mukherjee knitted plots together with great visualisation and sensitivity, be it in comedy, pathos, anger or romance, weaving every ingredient in proper proportion.  Melodrama was restrained and scripts dissected with surgical skill. Without over romanticisation, Mukherjee would do complete justice to the role of the character. He did not champion art films, but gave commercial films an artistic touch. Rarely have artists transcended the medium of cinema to project the real essence of their cultural values so or film directors who narrate a simple tale of regular families that have characters of unique shades, characters which are bound to touch human emotions universally. His characters frequently underwent life-changing journeys

GoI's productivity linked incentives to corporates 'without independent analysis'

Counterview Desk  Wondering how prudent is the Government of India's (GoI's) Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, EAS Sarma, former secretary, GoI, in a representation to Nirmala Sitharaman, Union finance minister, has said it appears to be nothing more than subsidy to the private sector without any responsibility. Giving a specific example against the backdrop of announcement of 50% subsidy covering the project cost of the Vedanta Group's decision to set up a semiconductor fabrication plant in Gujarat, in collaboration with Foxconn, Sarma says, "The total cost of this project is reported to be Rs 1,54,000 crore. 50% of this works out to Rs 77,000 crore." Stating that this creates the impression that the entire subsidy allocation for the semiconductor manufacturing sector would be appropriated by this company, Sarma says, "The Gujarat government did not lag behind in liberally announcing similar incentives for the Vedanta-Foxconn project. It offered 7

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

There aren't any hard data to prove forced conversion, why move for a Central law?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Srinivasan Jain, the popular TV anchor with NDTV, has done a tremendous service to the Constitution of India and, thereby, to the people of India! In a hard-hitting exposé on his weekly segment ‘Truth vs Hype’, released on 19 November, Jain talks about the so-called ‘Forced Conversions’ with incontrovertible facts and the falsehoods and myths that are built around the issue!   A good part of his expose is an interview with Ashwin Kumar Upadhyay, the petitioner in the current case on ‘forced conversions’ in the Supreme Court. Jain directly takes on Upadhyay and the 65-page petition submitted by the latter to the Supreme Court. Jain emphatically states that not a single example cited by Upadhyay in the petition comes under the ambit of ‘forced conversion’.  In fact, Jain proves that one of the examples is completely fake! Upadhyay, however, continues with his rant without being able to authenticate or substantiate or furnish a single bit of evidence to prove his

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Diminishing returns: Hydro projects contribute less than 10% of India's power generation

Counterview Desk  Pointing out that India’s hydro generation remains around 10% for the last six years, the advocacy group South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has said that power generation from hydropower projects continues to show diminishing returns, as has been the story close to three decades now. Yet, says SANDRP in a note, the Government of India continues to push large hydro by announcing a slew of additional subsidies for hydropower projects, more for political economy reason. In fact, attempts are being made to flog unviable hydropower projects with various kind of manipulations, illegalities and violations, it adds. Text : In last six years, from 2016-17 to 2021-22, India’s large hydropower projects (projects above 25 MW installed capacity) have contributed just around 10% of the total power generation, going as low as 9.68% in 2017-18. In fact, in three of these six years, large hydro contributed less than 10% and recovering only marginally in the rest,

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.