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Will Modi tell Trump that India also condemns what happened to George Floyd?

Counterview Desk
A statement issued following a virtual public meeting by the #BlackLivesMatter Tamil Nadu Campaign, even as condemning torture and racial killing of the George Floyd, has asked US president Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to acknowledge racial and caste discrimination are two sides of the same coin.
The statement, sent as an email alert by well-known Dalit rights activist Henri Tiphagne, says that while the US administration should “hold a dialogue with the #BlackLivesMatter and find long lasting solutions”, Modi should allow inclusion of caste discrimination in the UN-Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and urgently ratify the UN Convention Against Torture.

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“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.’ These were the words pivotal in the speech, delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr before a crowd of some 250,000 people at the 1963 March on Washington for Job and Freedom.
He spoke of the Proclamation of Emancipation signed by Abraham Lincoln one hundred years earlier and referred to the promise held out by the US Constitution itself. One of the themes highlighted by Martin was police brutality towards the Black. He said, “There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
This was said in nineteen sixty-three and now this is twenty twenty, yet the reality of police brutality towards the Black is not a thing of the past. We have been painfully reminded of this by the May 25 killing by strangulation of George Floyd in the hands, rather knees, of the inhuman cops of Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota.
We call on the authorities to take a full and comprehensive look at the alleged crime committed. Based on the video materials and the information publicly available, there is strong prima facie evidence that George Floyd was tortured to death.
The use of kneeling on the neck -- a form of ‘positional asphyxiation’ that can create effects similar to a dry form of water boarding -- during 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while the person cries for air without meeting any reaction or alleviation of the suffering, is not only disproportionate, but points to the intentional infliction of harm defined as torture.
Torture is universally banned. We are further deeply concerned about the reports of excessive use of force by police in response to the protests that could lead to an escalation of violence getting increasingly out of hand. We are particularly alarmed at suggestions and attempts to quell dissent and legitimate protest through military force.
The right to protest is enshrined in national and international law, and it is a state obligation to ensure its enjoyment. We have seen, the world over, including throughout India, the devastating impact of the militarisation of law enforcement. It leads to a spiral of violence and counter-violence, gross human rights violations, including torture and impunity, and leaves a lasting damage to democratic institutions, the rule of law and whole societies.
In this regard, our movement also looks with concern at the numerous reports and accounts of media intimidation, including of international media covering the events. The challenge of police accountability is an urgent issue both for India and for the United States.
Over the past months, in India and the US we have seen the spreading of abusive policing and ‘law enforcement through intimidation and fear’ when enforcing movement restrictions in the context of the anti-CAA protests in India in which large sections of Muslims participated, and the COVID-19 in India and the United States.
We from India have a special interest in #BlackLivesMatter as we are ourselves up against caste discrimination which is just another form of racial discrimination
And we have seen an almost complete blackout of the anti-torture protection system locally in both countries. The incident has revived and rejuvenated the #BlackLivesMatter movement all over the USA and the anti-caste and human rights movement within India stands in solidarity with them and thus together is becoming a global wave for human rights and for the right to life and personal liberty of every one, irrespective of colour, caste or creed.
We, from the land of the great Thiruvalluvar, who upheld universal equality by birth even more than two millenniums ago, are proud of expressing our solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and we all consider ourselves part of it.
We stand united with the Black and other coloured people of the great American nation who have been suffering racial discrimination for more than four centuries defying all codes. We salute and are greatly inspired by all those who, irrespective of the colour of their skin, have risen together to assert by action the truth of #BlackLivesMatter.
We strongly sympathize with the American people for the great and widespread suffering undergone by them due to the morbidities and deaths caused by Covid-19 which has only exposed the inefficiency and inhumanness of your country’s health system. What is more, the discrimination on the basis of color, caste and class in the US and India has been shown by the deadly virus to go deep even into the lifesaving business.
We from India have a special interest in the #BlackLivesMatter as we are ourselves up against caste discrimination which is just another form of racial discrimination. The Covid-19 period also saw several incidents of brutal cases of caste discrimination in different parts of our country that went uncared for by most law enforcement authorities as well as our justice institutions in India.
We know both of you like to be addressed as friends and both of you match each other in abundance of empty words and absence of meaningful deeds and hence this common letter addressed by all of us. However, we appeal to you, Mr President, to concede and implement the demands of the #BlackLivesMatter to take immediate legal action against the culprit cops by arresting them, and also take swift corrective steps to leash down the police.
It is time your administration admits to the reality of racial discrimination in the system, hold a dialogue with the #BlackLivesMatter and find long lasting solutions, lest your term as President may well prove to be an “American carnage”.
Mr Prime Minister it is time for you to definitely act on issues of caste discrimination and admit to the global community that caste discrimination is included in racial discrimination under UN-Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and urgently ratify the UN – Convention Against Torture. Will you not tell Mr Trump that you also condemn what happened to George Floyd on behalf of all of us from India?

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