Skip to main content

Invitation to 'misogynistic, homophobic, anti-people' Brazilian president 'outrageous'

Counterview Desk
As many as 23 civil rights organizations and 134 individual activists and experts from different fields have taken strong exception to the Narendra Modi government making Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro the chief guest at the prestigious Republic Day parade, to take place at the India Gate in New Delhi on January, stating that he is "a threat to democratic values, indigenous people and environment."
Claiming that Bolsonaro is "not welcome by Indian people", the statement, issued by National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) says that he has been "openly homophobic, racist, made crude jokes about rape and over the time been responsible for targeting environmental and human rights NGOs" and has attacked the freedom of expression and dissent."

Text:

The Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro is on a four day visit to the country, starting January 24. He has been invited by the Indian government to be the chief guest at the 71st Republic Day celebrations.
This is a special day that we cherish and reassert the values of freedom, equality, plurality and diversity, the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution, adopted after a long fight for Independence and firmly defended by us ever since.
As we mark this day, millions across the country are on the streets protesting the divisive agenda being pushed in the name of rabid nationalism and the process of ‘othering’ being planned through new citizenship laws.
We the signatories of this letter would like to state that President Bolsonaro is the guest of the Indian State and as Indian people we are opposed to his misogynistic, homophobic and anti-people views and actions as witnessed in his term as President of Brazil.
We condemn the actions of the Brazilian President and many regressive measures he has undertaken since the time he became President in January 2019.
Bolsonaro has been openly homophobic, racist, made crude jokes about rape and over the time been responsible for targeting environmental and human rights NGOs and have attacked the freedom of expression and dissent.
He has denied climate change and changed the Brazilian environmental laws owing to his pro-business policies, and allowed Amazonian forest fires in June – August 2019 and only acted after huge international pressures. His actions have only contributed to already worsening climate crisis.
It also needs to be noted that Brazil’s Human Rights Advocacy Collective (CADHu) and the Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns Commission for Human Rights (Arns Commission) including six former government ministers are seeking to indict the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for encouraging genocide against Brazil’s indigenous people.
The briefing note to the ICC notes that since taking power in January, Bolsonaro has repeatedly denigrated Brazil’s indigenous people – comparing them to animals in zoos and “prehistoric men” – and overseen efforts to dismantle Funai, the already underfunded agency supposed to protect Brazil’s more than 300 tribes.
As part of his global neoliberal agenda, he has also pushed to open up indigenous reserves to mining companies.
As a result the living conditions and lifestyles of the indigenous peoples are being destroyed by massive river pollution and invasion of their lands by wildcat miners, loggers and land-grabbers, noting the recent 29% increase in annual deforestation – the highest rate in a decade.
Indian government is following similar anti-people policies, is promoting discrimination against minorities, attacking freedom of expression, criminalizing dissent 
Bolsonaro said after those devastating numbers emerged that Amazon fires and deforestation were cultural and would never end.
The invitation to the Brazilian President by the Government of India is outrageous too because as President, Bolsonaro has dragged India to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) dispute settlement body, contending that India’s commitments to some binding rules in WTO have been violated.
If the dispute panel upholds the complaint of Brazil (and other countries which have joined subsequently), Indian sugarcane producers’ future looks bleak. Already reeling under the agrarian crisis Indian farmers are feeling indignant that by inviting Bolsonaro as the chief guest, the Indian government appears to be giving a message to them that their lives and livelihoods do not matter much for the government.
It is no coincidence that the current BJP-led government at the centre finds common cause with the Brazilian President because on many of the issues they have similar views. The current Indian government is following similar anti-people policies, is promoting discrimination against minorities, attacking the freedom of expression and association, criminalizing dissent and weakening environmental and labour laws.
Coming together of these two similar fascist and anti-people leadership is determinantal to the progress of a progressive politics and democratic values which advocates building of mutual solidarity and people’s power.
We extend our solidarity to the struggling indigenous people of Amazonia, the Brazilian working people and the environmental and rights groups in Brazil who have been protesting against these policies of Mr Bolsonaro.
The rise of the right wing forces in our country and in Brazil is detrimental to democratic norms and we vow to continue fighting against this and build real people to people solidarity between India and Brazil.
---
Click here for the names of organisations and individuals who have endorsed the statement 

Comments

TRENDING

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

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.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

'Bird, take me flying with you too!' Being Devangana Kalita

By Ashley Tellis*  I first met Devangana Kalita in a first year English Honours classroom in which I entered to teach Charles Dickens’ Hard Times in Miranda House, Delhi University, in 2008. She was one of the smartest students in the class – Devangana smiled the most and had the brightest twinkle in her eyes of the girls in the class. A middle class girl – Kalita comes from a family in upper Assam, the Kalitas along with the Brahmins dominate Assam (the Bamon-Kolita nexus as it is called) – in an elite all women’s institution known for a feminist, rebellious history. Like all institutions, it was repressive; like all all-women institutions, particularly so. But Miranda House had met its match in Devangana. She organised, protested, all within the democratic tradition resisted. The seeds of Pinjra Tod, the group Devangana was to eventually co-found, and which now finds her jailed for as absurd a reason as inciting a ‘riot’ were already sown in that first year. By the third year, they

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.

Ahmedabad slum dwellers lathicharged: Demand for basic amenities for settlements

By Our Representative  Ahmedabad police allegedly used brute force to break up an assembly of migrant workers demanding decent housing. Hundreds of workers had gathered before the district collector’s office, Ahmedabad, to submit a memorandum to the district collector demanding that their settlement be enumerated as slums and basic services like light and drinking water be provided.