Skip to main content

Howdy Modi? 'Houston Chronicle' recalls Kashmir, human rights, attack on minorities

By Our Representative
Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's big show in the town, "Houston Chronicle" (HC), even as calling Modi visit "historic for a foreign leader", as it "strengthens bonds between the world’s two largest democracies", has warned that "Texas’ hospitality should not be confused with an endorsement of India’s recent actions in Kashmir nor of Modi’s troubling brand of Hindu nationalism.
In an  editorial, "Howdy, Modi! Now, about Kashmir…", HC says while "Modi could not have chosen a better place than Houston", seeing India's economic interests behind the big show in the NRG Stadium where more than 50,000 had gathered to welcome him.
It says, "Our region boasts a vibrant Indian-American population that enriches us culturally and economically", with Houston proposing to be a "major player" as sanctions on Iran "spur India’s need to look elsewhere for oil and gas", adding, "The country has already committed to billions of dollars in new imports, and Modi was scheduled to meet with major energy company executives while in town. Several deals are in the works."
However, the editorial underlines, "But neither increasing business ties with India nor their economic benefits should lead us to turn a blind eye to concerns among human rights groups over increasing hate speech, alienation and violence targeting religious minorities, including Muslims and Christians, and Modi’s empowerment of Hindu hard-liners."
Especially referring to Kashmir, the editorial states, "The ongoing problem in Kashmir is of particular concern. In August, Modi revoked the constitutional autonomy granted in 1949 to Jammu and Kashmir, with security forces taking control of the region, detaining thousands and instituting an ongoing communications blackout."
An anti-Modi rally in Houston
It adds, "Indian officials defend the move as a way to curb terrorism and bring the region in line with more progressive social and economic federal policies, but the crackdown on the Muslim-majority area follows other accusations of targeting religious minorities.
The editorial quotes Nidhi Trehan, a visiting scholar at the University of Texas’ Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs as stating, “There has been an erosion of constitutional norms under Modi.There’s been an attack on minorities, hate crimes have increased, and Rohingya asylum-seekers have been mistreated.” It adds, "These accusations may sound familiar; in some circles, Trump is known as the 'American Modi'.”
The editorial says, "This hasn’t stopped a bipartisan call — including by Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham — for the president to press Modi on Kashmir. In a letter to the White House earlier this month, a group of senators asked that India fully restore telecommunications and internet services, lift the lockdown and curfew completely and release detained Kashmiris."
It urges Trump "to take this high-profile moment, with the eyes of the world on Houston, to demand nothing less", as India is and will "continue to be an important partner for America".
 The editorial concludes: "Friends also tell each other the truth. And the truth is it’s time for Modi to clearly signal — through action, not words — his respect for human rights. That starts with ending the crisis in Kashmir."

Comments

TRENDING

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Is sacrilege charge against Punjab Dalits any different from Pak blasphemy cases?

Lakhbir Singh, his wife By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  There is no doubt that Sikhism actually was a revolt against the Brahmanical system and superstition. Guru Granth Saheb is perhaps the only Holy Book which contains matters from different religions as well as those of various Sufi saints, including Kabir, Ravidas, Baba Farid and others. The aim of Sikhism was to create an egalitarian society, and, definitely, Punjab that way is far better than many other States in India, where violence against Dalits is rampant.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

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.

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".

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

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.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.

Shabana Azmi joins Pak physicist Hoodbhoy to condemn B'desh anti-minority violence

By Our Representative  Several well-known South Asian activists and public figures of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Maldives have expressed “deep distress” by the spate of violence and killings in Bangladesh on the occasion of Durga Puja and Vijayadashami. “Attacks on minorities are a sign of injustice and a matter of shame for any society and bring a bad name to the Government”, they said in a joint statement.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.