Skip to main content

Indian diaspora, allies in 3 US states protest against 'anti-Kuki violence' in Manipur

By Our Representative 

Indian Americans and allies have held protests in California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to condemn the ongoing ethnic violence in the northeast Indian state of Manipur, which has left at least 130 dead and 35,000 displaced. The brunt of the violence has predominantly impacted Manipur’s Christian Kuki-Zomi community, leading to the destruction of thousands of Kuki-owned homes and hundreds of churches, the protesters said.
The protests were in part a response to a horrific video that went viral showing two Kuki women being paraded naked while being molested by a group of men. However, despite the ongoing brutality, India’s Hindu far-right government has largely remained silent on the violence faced by Christian tribals in Manipur, they added.
In California, Indian Americans and allies gathered on the steps of Oakland City Hall for a protest organized by several advocacy groups, including the North American Manipur Tribal Association (NAMTA), Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), and Ambedkar King Study Circle.
Speaking at the event was Niang Hangzo, founding member of NAMTA, who highlighted several instances of Meitei mob violence against Kuki-Zomis, including the gang-rape of a 21-year-old Kuki woman, the beheading and dismemberment of a Kuki man, and the fatal torching of an ambulance transporting an 8-year-old Kuki child and his mother to a hospital for treatment.
“They chased us out of our homes. They burned our homes, our properties. They looted, they killed, they raped, they immolated, they beheaded, they’ve left us broken and everything we own reduced to ashes,” said Hangzo. “This is the butchery being done to the Kuki-Zomi… How long will the world stay silent? We want the House to bring this issue and discuss it like the EU [Parliament] has done.”
In Iselin, New Jersey, IAMC organized a protest and candlelight vigil attended by people from diverse faith and ethnic backgrounds, including members of local churches, NAMTA, and the National Association of Asian Indian Christians.
“The Indian government only speaks out when viral videos of atrocities come up, but they’ve known what’s happening all along,” said NAMTA co-founder Mark Haokip. “There are so many videos of atrocities I saw that are now being buried because the internet in Manipur is banned. The government banned it so all these things could keep happening without any [news] coverage.”
“If those two [Kuki] women could be dragged and paraded, it could happen to any other woman, no matter what religion,” said Pastor Prem Kankanala, representing the United Telugu Christ Church. “Let us be united and raise our voices to protect women and to protect minorities.”
In Boston, Massachusetts, Indian Americans and allies, including IAMC, came together to hold a protest, expressing solidarity with the victims and urging the Biden administration to intervene and call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to halt the escalating violence in Manipur.
“It is our collective responsibility to raise our voices against such atrocities,” IAMC Associate Director Amin Zama said.
“American leaders who hosted Modi for a state dinner at the White House and [allowed him] to address a joint session of Congress should stand up and tell Narendra Modi to stop allowing the murder and ethnic cleansing of minorities,” Zama added.

Comments

TRENDING

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Joblessness, saffronisation, corporatisation of education: BJP 'squarely responsible'

Counterview Desk  In an open appeal to youth and students across India, several student and youth organizations from across India have said that the ruling party is squarely accountable for the issues concerning the students and the youth, including expensive education and extensive joblessness.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Following the 3000-year old Pharaoh legacy? Poll-eve Surya tilak on Ram Lalla statue

By Sukla Sen  Located at a site called Abu Simbel in Nubia, Upper Egypt, the eponymous rock temples were created in 1244 BCE, under the orders of Pharaoh Ramesses II (1303-1213 BC)... Ramesses II was fond of showcasing his achievements. It was this desire to brag about his victory that led to the planning and eventual construction of the temples (interestingly, historians say that the Battle of Qadesh actually ended in a draw based on the depicted story -- not quite the definitive victory Ramesses II was making it out to be).

Why it's only Modi ki guarantee, not BJP's, and how Varanasi has seen it up-close

"Development" along Ganga By Rosamma Thomas*  I was in Varanasi in this April, days before polling began for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. There are huge billboards advertising the Member of Parliament from Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The only image on all these large hoardings is of the PM, against a saffron background. It is as if the very person of Modi is what his party wishes to showcase.