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US visa denial to Narendra Modi

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Genocide in Gujarat
The Sangh Parivar, Narendra Modi, and the Government of Gujarat

 

15 April 2005  

   Modi builds case under PM cover (The Indian Express)

 

1 April 2005

  Eagle is blinded - Editorial  (The Daily Pioneer)

  Legality of denying visa  (The Hindu)

 

31 March 2005

  Modi issue may make BJP anti-US  (The Times of India)

  Anti-Modi MLAs in Delhi to meet Advani  (The Asian Age)

  America’s apologists  (The Daily Pioneer)

  Week of high drama   (The Daily Pioneer)

  We are the problem  -- By: Rajdeep Sardesai  (The Mid-Day)

  Globodada's double standards  (The Daily Pioneer)

  Stand up to the global gaze  (The Indian Express)

 

30 March 2005

  Meeting against Modi in UK  

  Modi Episode Will Serve To Redeem NRI Image -- Rajiv Desai (The Times of India)

  Modi better curb his wanderlust  (The Indian Express)

   L'AFFAIRE MODI (Editorial)  (The Hindu)

  The conscience of the king -- Ram Punyani  (The Indian Express)

  Ostracise villains of democracy -- Anil Dharker   (The Indian Express)

  Modi: Endgame or reprieve?   (The Times of India)

 

29 March 2005

  Modi's US supporters launch signature campaign  (The Times of India)

  Deny Bush visa  (The Stesman)

  The US gives India with one hand to take away with another  (The Telegraph)

 

25 March 2005

  PMO clarifies position on Modi visa issue  (ndtv.com)

  Editorial: ‘Untouchable’ CM   (The Statesman)

  White House man under fire for backing Modi   (The Times of India)

  AmEx pulls out of Modi meet  (The Times of India)

  Modi invites Bush to Gujarat  (The Times of India)

  Threat to Modi's life in UK, trip called off (The Times of India)  

  Florida governor gets Modi's invitation (The Times of India)

  Modi's visa woes begun with China  (The Times of India)

  Modi has new friends  (The Deccanherald)

  Prospects of protests forced Modi to cancel UK visit: AWAAZ  (The Deccanherald)   

  Arrogance of power  (The Daily Pioneer)

  America has made Modi a hero  (The Daily Pioneer)

  PM alert keeps Modi off London (The Telegraph)   

  Justice by the law, not by a vigilante  (The Indian Express)

  Rights activists press for Modi's arrest   (The Hindu)

  American Express not to sponsor hoteliers' meet  (Rediff.com)

 

  Stand on Modi unchanged: Cong  24th March 2005  

  Modi to head for UK on business visa  24th March 2005  

  US denied entry to Shia cleric in Chicago  24th March 2005  

  Visa denial flak not in Modi’s defence: Cong  24th March 2005  

  ‘Modi a national embarrassment’ 24th March 2005  

  Imposing visa power (Editorial)   24th March 2005  

  Cong gets back to Modi bashing   24th March 2005  

  Singh delinks visa protest from Godhra   24th March 2005  
 
Pressure on U.K. to revoke Modi's visa   24th March 2005  

  Acting against the Gujarati  24th March 2005  

  Acting with highest morality  24th March 2005  

  Cong squirms beside Modi on visa denial  24th March 2005  

  Congress sticks to its stand on Modi  24th March 2005  

  No official meeting in Britain for Modi   24th March 2005  

  'No racist undertones in visa denial'  24th March 2005  

  Religiously against Modi  24th March 2005  

  Don't find national insult in a rejected visa!  24th March 2005  

  UK reads the riot act to Narendra Modi  23th March 2005

  Modi's 36 hrs in UK can be stormy  23th March 2005

  No regrets: Modi  23th March 2005

  Leftists fume over CPI silence on Modi  23th March 2005

  BJP again criticises US over Modi visa  23th March 2005

  US plays down Modi issue   23th March 2005

  Lessons for us  23th March 2005

  Whose law is it, anyway?  23th March 2005

  Modi visa denial not to hit ties: USA  23th March 2005

  Stiff trip for Modi: Brits cool to ‘untouchable’ CM  23th March 2005

  Invite cloud over Modi’s London trip  23th March 2005

  Look again, Mr Bush, at your law... (Editorial)  23th March 2005

  Righting a wrong   23th March 2005

  'US visa denial to Modi wrong'   23th March 2005

  Modi's trip to U.K. on 23th March 2005

  U.S. stand will hit bilateral ties: BJP  23th March 2005

  `Denial of visa to Modi has nothing to do with India-U.S. ties'   23th March 2005

  'We'll have Modi in will and faith'  23th March 2005

   IMC-USA commends American Express for officially withdrawing sponsorship
     of AAHOA's convention honoring Modi
23th March 2005

  Callous US, guilty Bush  23th March 2005

  Gujaratis ignore Modi’s swabhiman warcry, queue up for US visas 22th March 05

  Is London calling CM Narendra Modi?  22th March 2005

  Biggest Indo-US lobby group calls visa denial 'unfortunate'  22th March 2005

  An attempt to defame CM, says Gujarat govt 22th March 2005

  Modi changes colour, says no issue with US  22th March 2005

  US snubs India, says Modi visa denial stays  22th March 2005

  US reviewing denial of visa to Modi  22th March 2005

  UK reads the riot act to Narendra Modi  22th March 2005

  Indo-US ties not to be affected, says US  22th March 2005

  NRIs protect our pride: Modi  22th March 2005

  ‘Good boy’ Modi is bad news to Cong   22th March 2005

  US keeps door shut   22th March 2005

  On video, Modi goes mild   22th March 2005

  Modi bonds with Indian community in US, virtually  22th March 2005

  Modi gets a Red Card  22th March 2005

  India's plea on visa rejected   22th March 2005

  In virtual visit, Modi sells Gujarat to US   22th March 2005

  The American split (Editorial)  22th March 2005

  Parivar seeks soft targets
    After visa denial, Sangh men attack Coke, Pepsi vans  22th March 2005

  No offence meant but can’t let Modi in: US  22th March 2005

  Meanwhile, he hints at nexus between Bush & Musharraf   22th March 2005

  USA sticks to its guns  22th March 2005

  US decision to please Pak: BJP  22th March 2005

  'We'll have Modi in will and faith'  22th March 2005

  Modi's visa denial: Who did it?  22th March 2005

  Callous US, guilty Bush  22th March 2005

  'US Indians should create a lobby'  22th March 2005

  Modi uses tech power to beat ban  21th March 2005

  Modi-baiters avoid Swambhiman rally  21th March 2005

  Modi invokes Mahatma to warn America  21th March 2005

  Modi's US hosts a split body?  21th March 2005

  'Gujarat might be next Iraq'  21th March 2005

  No issues against US, says Modi  21th March 2005

  'Decision taken at the highest levels'  21th March 2005

  It's an issue of swabhimaan: Modi  21th March 2005

  Modi to address US associations via satellite  21th March 2005

  Modi may face protests during UK visit  21th March 2005

  Modi visa issue has hit Indo-US ties: Advani  21th March 2005

  US decision attack on India's pride: NDA  21th March 2005

  Hoteliers cancel Modi invite 21th March 2005

  U.S. group welcomes withdrawal of invite to Modi   21th March 2005

  NDA rally thanks Manmohan for stand on Modi's visa   21th March 2005
  Modi, the U.S., and visa power   21th March 2005

  ‘Nothing political about it’  21th March 2005

  US has stepped on India’s pride, says Advani  21th March 2005

  Advani slams US, thanks PM on visa issue   21th March 2005

  Nation united, not Modi BJP- Rival trio missing from visa protest rally   21th March 2005

  'US should review decision on Modi after PM's appeal'   21th March 2005

  Modi likens self to the Mahatma  21th March 2005

  Ugly America  (Editorial - Daily Pioneer)  21th March 2005

  NDA rally thanks PM on Modi visa denial issue  21th March 2005

  Undeserving martyr (Editorial - Deccan Herald)  21th March 2005

  UK NGOs to stage anti-Modi protests  21th March 2005

  Now Modi may emerge stronger in Gujarat  20th March 2005

  'Severe violations of religious freedom'   20th March 2005

  A liability for the state, say rivals  20th March 2005

  Furious CM blames 'Five Star' NGO activists  20th March 2005

  BJP now seeing US in a new light  20th March 2005

  Security tightened at US visa office  20th March 2005

  Invitation to Modi very much on: NRI hoteliers  20th March 2005

  Modi done in by US House motion  20th March 2005

  Give This Man A Visa (Opinion -- Vir Sanghvi, Hindustan Times) 20th March 2005

  American-Indians flay Modi's visa denial  20th March 2005

  Modi to be on air in New York; live from Gujarat  20th March 2005

 Modi may address meet via satellite  20th March 2005

  Modi a national shame: Moily  20th March 2005

  The man who took on Modi  20th March 2005

  Temple devoted to Modi to be built in US using matching funds  20th March 2005

  US denial subjective: PM backs Modi in RS  20th March 2005

  US still ‘assessing’ request; NHRC mum  20th March 2005

  U.S. unlikely to change decision on Modi  20th March 2005

  We are not concerned, says CPI(M)   20th March 2005

  Diplomatic discourtesy, says BJP   20th March 2005

  Protests in Surat   20th March 2005

  Condemnable, says Vaiko  20th March 2005

  U.S. flag burnt in Indore  20th March 2005

  U.K. Muslim groups welcome U.S. decision on Modi  20th March 2005

  Night sting for satellite Narendra  20th March 2005

  Singh sharpens knife  20th March 2005

  Lethal ammo in riot report  20th March 2005

  BJP, Shiv Sena protest against visa denial to Modi 20th March 2005

  Has US not Modi-fied the law?  20th March 2005

  US discourteous: PM  20th March 2005

  Surviving all odds  20th March 2005

  After all, Modi may get his visa power back  20th March 2005

 God to redeem Modi's visa power?   20th March 2005

  Indian christians cheer US move  20th March 2005

  Modi has a way to beat US ban  20th March 2005

  Decision was based on NHRC's findings: U.S.  20th March 2005

  Reconsider decision, Manmohan tells U.S.  20th March 2005

 Persona Non Grata (Editorial, The Times of India) 19th March 2005

  Modi, martyr! (Editorial, The Indian Express )  19th March 2005

  A SLAP IN MR. MODI'S FACE (Editorial, The Hindu) 19th March 2005

  Denial of visa insult to Constitution: Modi  19th March 2005

  Denial of visa to Modi 'insult' to nation: BJP  19th March 2005

  Cong supports Modi on visa issue  19th March 2005

  Modi denied visa to visit US  19th March 2005

  Denial of US visa  to Modi - - Right or Wrong  19th March 2005

  'Decision taken at the highest levels'  19th March 2005

  It's an issue of swabhimaan: Modi  19th March 2005

   Modi visa: Muslim bodies hail US move  19th March 2005

   'Visa denial a courageous stand'  19th March 2005

   U.S. denies entry to Modi; Centre protests  19th March 2005 
 ``Insult to India''   19th March 2005

   BJP protests against U.S. action   19th March 2005

   Visa refused for 'severe violations of religious freedom'   19th March 2005
 `He glorified Nazism'  19th March 2005
 U.S. carried away by canard: Modi  19th March 2005  
 A reprieve for Modi  19th March 2005
  USA denies visa to ‘fanatic’ Modi  19th March 2005

  CM’s American scream  19th March 2005

  Purely legal matter: State Department  19th March 2005

  VHP plans meetings against Acharyas' arrest  19th March 2005
  Visa denial  19th March 2005
  State Dept rebuke for Gujarat govt  19th March 2005

  US denies visa to Modi, India lodges protest  19th March 2005

  Modi cries foul  19th March 2005

  Modi visa issue polarises  19th March 2005

  Modi’s denied US visa, India lodges protest  19th March 2005

  Insult to nation, do we deny them visa over Iraq, he asks 19th March 2005

  Bush bombs Modi’s flight Belated riot retaliation  19th March 2005

  War against visa- Party to encash ‘insult’ by invoking pride,  19th March 2005
    Advani rally on Sunday

  CM fumes at affront to ‘Gujarati pride’  19th March 2005

  Visa denial won’t silence oust-Modi cry  19th March 2005

  Kanchi case: Judge says he may pull out  19th March 2005

  US snubs Modi, revokes visa  19th March 2005

  Modi cries foul over US’ denial of visa  19th March 2005

  BJP should know better, says CPM  19th March 2005

  Stunned BJP plots protest  19th March 2005

  India gets taste of US dadagiri  19th March 2005

  'Lucky' CM polarizes opinion  19th March 2005

  Modi's visa revoked, Govt lodges protest  19th March 2005

  Is this nice, Dr Rice?  19th March 2005

  Swabhiman rally  19th March 2005

 US decision on Modi based on NHRC findings  19th March 2005

  Denial of visa an insult to India: Modi  19th March 2005

  Rights of CM can't be refused: Cong  19th March 2005

  Decision arbitrary, unwarranted: BJP  19th March 2005

  Left offers mixed opinion  19th March 2005

  U.S. revokes ‘riot Modi’ visa  19th March 2005

  Centre protests, BJP happy  19th March 2005

  BJP criticises US decision to deny visa  19th March 2005

  US reacts: We acted on NHRC findings  19th March 200

  Now Modi may emerge stronger in Gujarat  19th March 2005

  NRI hoteliers strongly protest US move   19th March 2005

  America shuts Modi out, India lodges protest  19th March 2005

 Modi reacts: If Mush can go, why can't I?  19th March 2005

  Cong's reaction: He has every right to go abroad  19th March 2005

  It's an insult to nation: Modi  19th March 2005

  Review decision on Modi: India to US  19th March 2005

  US denies visa to Narendra Modi  19th March 2005

 A liability for the state, say rivals  19th March 2005

 BJP now seeing US in a new light  19th March 2005

 Furious CM blames 'Five Star' NGO activists  19th March 2005

 'Severe violations of religious freedom'  19th March 2005

  Security tightened at US visa office  19th March 2005

 Modi plans rally at Ahmedabad  19th March 2005

  Rebels fear Modi will try to polarise Gujarat again  19th March 2005

 No entry for Modi into US, visa denied  19th March 2005

  Modi allowed riots to brew: US report  19th March 2005

  Modi fumes without visa power  19th March 2005

  BJP dissidents vow to up the ante  19th March 2005

  Security beefed up at US visa office  19th March 2005

 Modi plans rally, sees chance to tide over crisis  19th March 2005

  Modi's rhetoric finds no takers this time  19th March 2005

  Censure motion in US House over Modi visit  19th March 2005

  US says denial of visa to Modi based on NHRC's findings  19th March 2005

  Modi may address NY meeting via satellite link  19th March 2005

 Indian American Christians pleased at denial of visa to Modi  19th March 2005

  US Congress takes aim at Modi 18th March 2005 

  Activists laud move on Modi *  18th March 2005

  Censure motion in US House over Modi visit  18th March 2005   

  IMC-USA applauds Congressional Resolution condemning
    persecution by Modi
16th March 2005


 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modi builds case under PM cover

 

The Indian Express

April 15, 2005

 

Harit Mehta

Ahmedabad, April 14

 

    DESPITE objections from the PMO, the Gujarat Government has brought out a 47-page booklet, entitled “US Refusal of Visa to Shri Narendra Modi: India Stands United”, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s photo next to that of Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the cover. It also takes potshots at Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

 

    The booklet, with saffron bars on the cover, has been published by the state information department. It praises the PM for “standing by Modi”, when the United States didn’t allow him in, and includes as toto his March 18 Rajyan Sabha speech on the issue. Excerpts of the speech appear as part of the cover design.

 

    The booklet is a compilation of statements, write-ups, editorials, cartoons, graphics, even anonymous quotes from the Internet that speak up for Modi.

 

    The PMO had objected to the use of Manmohan Singh’s picture without permission. On April 12, it wrote to the Gujarat Chief Secretary seeking an explanation. “This is a highly objectionable and incorrect practice,” said Sanjaya Baru, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman. “The Prime Minister’s photograph cannot be printed in any government publication without his permission.”

 

    Baru said the PMO was separately conveying its “disapproval” of the booklet to the state government. A few samples from the booklet:

 

    “The influential Indian-American lobby will try….. to bring Modi to USA….. pressure to deny visa may have come from Musharraf regime and silent support from Sonia Gandhi.” – Sudhir Chaddha, indiadaily.com

 

    “…Congress party sans some Nehru family mascot putting its foot down always comes up with sensible and logical decisions…bet my bottom dollar Sonia didn’t get opportunity to dictate terms… Manmohan…took care of the issue himself.” – an anonymous quote from the Internet.

 

    “… It insults our naiton…The nation feels insulted at the hands of the US.” – Javed Akhtar, noted lyricist.

 

    The Indian Express repeatedly tried to contact Information Secretary Pankaj Kumar, but he was unavailable for comment. Chief Secretary Sudhir Mankad confirmed that he has received the PMO letter of objection to the booklet: “I will first have to have a look at the publication before saying anything.”

 

BOX :- Manmohan next to Modi in visa booklet, PM’s Office objects


 

 

 

http://www.imc-usa.org/cgi-bin/cfm/PressRelease.cfm?PRID=101

IMC-USA commends American Express for officially withdrawing sponsorship of AAHOA's convention honoring Modi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2005

The Indian Muslim Council-USA, an advocacy group working towards protecting and promoting the pluralist and tolerant values of the Indian society and a founding member of the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), commends American Express Corporation for canceling its sponsorship of a convention honoring Narendra Modi. This announcement comes in the wake of a concerted campaign by CAG, protesting American Express' sponsorship of the convention. Narendra Modi, the Chief Executive of the Indian state of Gujarat, had been invited by the Asian American Hotel Owner Association (AAHOA) as a guest of honor at its convention and trade fair to be held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on March 24 - 26 2005. He had been indicted by various Indian and International human rights organizations for his role in the pogroms directed at the Muslim community in Gujarat in 2002. AAHOA treasurer Danny Patel had earlier claimed that the sponsorship was still active, but American Express officially confirmed today that it has been withdrawn.

American Express representative Christine Elliot announced today that it was withdrawing sponsorship of the Asian American Hotel Owner Association of America (AAHOA) convention that sought to honor Narendra Modi. Writing to the Coalition Against Genocide, Ms. Elliott stated, "A conference that was intended to help promote travel and tourism has become the object of partisan political contention. Therefore, we have chosen to withdraw from the conference."

This positive development is the latest in a series of victories such as the US State department's decision to deny Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat and the chief architect of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, a diplomatic visa and to revoke his existing tourist/business visa based on the International Religious Freedom Act. Earlier in the campaign, Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC, who was a keynote speaker at the convention along with Narendra Modi, had withdrawn after CAG wrote to him. By withdrawing its sponsorship of the convention, American Express has set a good example for responsible corporate behavior.

The Modi government has continually been threatening and victimizing Christians, Muslims, Dalits (lower caste people), Adivasis (tribals) and secular Hindus who have raised their voice in search of justice for the victims of the Gujarat pogrom, even as it prevented victims from gaining legal and social justice. The continuous efforts of thousands of secular activists in India and abroad, attempting to bring the perpetrators to trial in courts of law, had resulted in exposing Narendra Modi's role in the violence and his undying faith in the sectarian and violent ideology of Hindutva. His visit to the United States has been seen as an attempt to rehabilitate his severely tarnished image. A number of the reports from human rights organizations and a special dossier on Mr. Modi are available on the coalition website (http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/reports.php).

AAHOA had scheduled its annual convention from March 24-26 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and American Express was a founding sponsor of the convention. CAG had written a letter to AAHOA leadership on Feb 19th, 2005 expressing dismay that they had chosen to honor Narendra Modi and asking them to rescind the invitation. However, AAHOA's leadership categorically refused to do so. In a letter dated March 4th, 2005, CAG wrote to American Express that the corporation's sponsorship of the event would legitimize a politician who can be held accountable for the Gujarat pogrom under the guidelines of the international convention on genocide. This letter was followed by numerous calls, emails and faxes from human rights activists, professors, students and other concerned community members to several American Express Executives.

Commending American Express' belated decision, CAG member Dr. Usha Zacharias observed: "The campaign against Narendra Modi is not one of partisan politics, but a campaign for justice. At a time when corporations have become famous for the worst kind of callous cynicism, American Express' ethical action is a model to be followed."

IMC-USA and CAG are appalled that despite protests from numerous human rights activists and concerned individuals (including several members of AAHOA), the AAHOA leadership has refused to cancel its invitation to Mr. Modi and is attempting to videocast his talk. CAG urges the AAHOA leadership to rescind their invitation immediately and work towards safeguarding the pluralist ethos of India and the economic well being of the Indian Diaspora in the U.S.

IMC-USA urges the AAHOA members who are Modi supporters to work against the incitement of anti-American violence in India by Modi and Hindutva activists. "These extremist elements are damaging the good name of India and Indian diaspora by facilitating attacks on US symbols and businesses by frenzied mobs in Gujarat," said M.K.Rahman, the secretary General of IMC-USA. He demanded that AAHOA denounce these attacks and cancel Modi's speech in their convention.

SEE ALSO:

US Sponsors withdraw from hotel owners' convention
http://www.keralanext.com/news/indexread.asp?id=160353


CONTACT:

Zeeshan Farees
IMC-USA
Tel: 516-567-0783


 

IMC-USA applauds Congressional Resolution condemning persecution by Modi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 16, 2005. New York, N.Y. The Indian Muslim Council-USA today applauded the introduction of resolution in the US Congress condemning persecution of Muslims and Christians by Narendra Modi the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. The resolution was introduced yesterday by Congressmen John Conyers (D, MI-14) and Joseph Pitts (R, PA-16).

In a joint Press Release Cong. Conyers and Cong. Pitts urged the United States to condemn violations of religious freedom, and to assist the Indian government in promotion of fundamental right to freedom of religion in India.

Congressman Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and the Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, said, "Mr. Modi has attacked Muslims and Christians with vile venom, and according to both India's highest court and many international human rights groups, has condoned terrible, violent religious hate crimes, all the while, shielding those said to have committed them. Such actions by high-ranking government officials of any religion are unacceptable and must not be tolerated. The United States has a duty to set an example for other new democracies by condemning religious intolerance and promoting religious freedom, so that others may see what our great democracy stands for."

"The evidence is clear. Mr. Modi persecutes religious minorities in Gujarat. Our government should speak with one voice in condemning these policies and the actions of the Modi administration that has led to the death, torture, and imprisonment of thousands in Gujarat," said Congressman Pitts, a member of the India Caucus and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

The resolution is a major boost to the multi-pronged efforts by the Coalition Against Genocide, of which IMC-USA is a founding member, to educate the public, media and policy makers in the United States about the spread of religious hatred in India. The Coalition which includes community-based ethnic and religious groups, developmental groups, women's groups, human rights groups and academic experts in the United States and Canada is protesting the visit of Narendra Modi.

The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is under tremendous pressure to cancel its invitation to Modi as the chief guest at its 2005 Convention in Fort Lauderdale, FL next week. Modi is also invited by Association of Indian Americans of North America (IANA) to speak at another event in Madison Square Garden, New York on the 20th of March.

Earlier, Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC's "Hardball" program made a conscientious decision by withdrawing as a keynote speaker at the convention. He was educated about Modi by the coalition and received hundreds of calls and e-mails from concerned individuals asking him to cancel his speech.

Currently American Express Corporation is under pressure to withdraw as a key sponsor of the AAHOA convention. Responding to a call by the Coalition Against Genocide concerned individuals have been calling, sending e-mails and faxes to officials at American Express requesting them to cancel their sponsorship of the event.


CONTACT:

M.K.Rahman
Secretary General, IMC-USA
265 Sunrise Highway, suite 1-355
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
(516) 567- 0783


Awaaz: South Asia Watch Announcement

The Gujarat Genocide: A barbaric and planned tragedy

PUBLIC FORUM
Tuesday 5th April 2005: From 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm

Moses Room, House of Lords, Parliament, London SW1

Invited speakers include: Lord Adam Patel; MP’s John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, Marsha Singh et al; Anand Grover (Lawyers Collective representing the Dawood Family in India); Bilal Dawood; Purna Sen (Amnesty International); Imran Khan (Civil Rights Lawyer); Chetan Bhatt (Awaaz and Lecturer at Goldsmith College, London University); and Indian Muslim Federation. Chair: Suresh Grover (Dawood Family Campaign and Director of Awaaz and The Monitoring Group)

Over the last fourteen days the horror of the Gujarat tragedy has become internationally recognised. Firstly, in an unprecedented action, the American Government banned the Indian state’s Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, viewed as the chief architect of the Genocide against Muslims in 2002, from entering the USA. Secondly, fearing large scale mass protests against him, Modi decided to duck international opposition and scrutiny by cancelling his much publicised opportunistic visit to the UK last week.

In our campaign to Stop Modi, we urged all progressive & human rights organisations and individuals to protest at the presence of Modi in the UK and mount peaceful demonstrations at places where he was scheduled to speak. We made forceful representations to the British Government not allow him into the United Kingdom and organised strong counter phone and email campaigns aimed at those agencies financing or hosting his alleged meetings. Awaaz – South Asia Watch congratulates all those who participated in this tremendous and collective effort. Only international pressure and spotlight on Modi can ensure some semblance of justice for the victims of the pre-meditated carnage. WE URGE YOU TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND THE MEETING on 5th APRIL.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

What happened in Gujarat

Exactly three years ago, in February and March 2002, Gujarat witnessed horrific incidents of unparalleled violence that can only be described as genocide of innocent Muslim people. Over 2000 people, including British Asians, were slaughtered with more than 100,000 people displaced in under-resourced refugee camps. Houses were systematically looted, businesses burnt down, hundreds women gang raped and many children murdered. .All the evidence suggests that the Gujarat state government, led by the current Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and the police orchestrated the violence and were responsible for the carnage. Yet, despite domestic and international public pressure, not a single prominent individual has been held to account or brought to justice.

USA Bans Modi

On 18th March 2005 the US government revoked the visa earlier granted to Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, for his role “in severe violation of religious freedom”. Modi was invited by the Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association (AAHOA) as chief guest for their annual convention in Florida on March 24-26. This revocation of both diplomatic and business visas has come about as a result of untiring effort of the US-based Coalition against Genocide (CAG) which comprises of 38 organisations and 10 supporting groups alongside individual members from Canada and the US...

For further information, please contact: AWAAZ on: 02088432333 or visit www.awaazsaw.org


http://www.asianage.com/ (18th March 2005)

Activists laud move on Modi
- By Our Correspondent

New Delhi, March 17:
The Coalition Against Genocide, a human rights watch group, has commended Congressmen John Conyers and Joseph Pitts for introducing a joint resolution condemning human rights abuses perpetrated by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

The resolution comes ahead of Mr Modi’s impending visit to the US. Mr Modi has been accused by Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch of complicity in the massacre of over 2,000 Muslims in 2002. He has also been accused by the US commission on religious freedom of inciting hatred and violence against Christians and other vulnerable minorities in Gujarat.

The resolution introduced on March 16, 2005, condemns Mr Modi for promoting attitudes of racial supremacy, hatred and the legacy of Nazism through his government’s support of schoolbooks in which Nazism is glorified. The resolution has also been referred to the House International Relations committee.

It also cites hundreds of attacks on Christian leaders, worshipers, and churches throughout India, including killings, torture, rape and harassment of church staff, destruction of church property and disruption of church events. It condemns the conduct of Narendra Modi for condoning or inciting bigotry and intolerance against any religious group in India.

Conyers is a ranking Democrat on the house judiciary committee and the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus representing all the Black members in Congress. Conyers charged: "Mr Modi has not been shy about proudly professing his anti-Christian, anti-Muslim and anti-tribal stances. He has repeatedly dehumanised the Muslim population of his state by accusing treachery; he has actively sought to interfere in the practice of the Christian faith in Gujarat, and he has caused wide-scale displacement of indigenous populations in the state in the face of stiff popular resistance".


http://www.asianage.com/   (19th March 2005)

U.S. revokes ‘riot Modi’ visa
- By Deepal Trevedie

Ahmedabad, March 18: The United States on Friday denied Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi a diplomatic visa and revoked his tourist-business visa, which he possessed since 1998.

"We confirm that the chief minister of Gujarat state, Narendra Modi, applied for but was denied a diplomatic visa under Section 214 (b) of the act because he was not coming for a purpose that qualified for a diplomatic visa," a US embassy spokesman said in New Delhi on Friday. "His tourist/business visa was revoked under Section 212 (a)(2)(g) of the act, which makes ‘any government official who was responsible for, or directly carried out at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom,’ ineligible for a visa," he added.

Mr Modi was scheduled to visit the US from March 20 to attend several functions organised by the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association in Florida and other non-resident Gujarati groups. Several human rights groups in India and the US protested against his entering the US. They accused Mr Modi of religious extremism and violating religious freedom.

The denial of a visa came as a rude shock to Mr Narendra Modi and his Cabinet.

"We were all set to leave. The US has acted in a most undemocratic manner just two days before we were to leave," a Modi confidant who was to accompany him told this newspaper.

Reports from Delhi said the Indian government has asked the US to review its decision. US deputy chief of mission Robert Blake was summoned to the foreign office where foreign secretary Shyam Saran conveyed India’s concern and regret over the development. Emerging after the 30-minute meeting, Mr Blake told reporters that India had asked the US to review its decision. He said he explained to the foreign secretary the reason for the US decision.

Mr Modi turned his anger on the US government and raised some uncomfortable questions. "How can the US refuse me a visa and treat Musharraf as a state guest," he asked at a hurriedly convened press conference. The cancellation of the visa triggered a fierce reaction here with Mr Modi accusing the US of humiliating India’s Constitution, sovereignty and democratic traditions.

"No court of India, or the world, has passed any judgment against either the Gujarat government, or its chief minister. The decision is heavily lopsided, against the tenets of democracy and human rights and a violation of natural justice. The American government, which prides itself on being a democracy, has indulged in the misdeed of insulting the Indian Constitution and the five crore people of Gujarat," a furious chief minister Modi said here.

While the decision of the US government may have revived the ghost of Godhra, thrilled human rights groups campaigning against the chief minister and intensified diplomatic activity, the development appears to have consolidated the position of the chief minister politically with the BJP central leadership now backing him to the hilt.

Mr Modi questioned the wisdom, the source of information and the basis of the US’ visa verification procedures and said no country had the right to impose its law on another country. He said neither the state government, nor the Central government, nor the Prime Minister’s Office, which cleared his travel plans, was counselled by the US government. Mr Modi objected to the reason forwarded by the US government for cancelling his visa — that he had violated the religious freedom of people. He said the Union government should rise above political confines and take up the case with the US government to protect the sovereignty of the country.

State BJP president and MP Rajendrasinh Rana said the US government’s decision was "an insult of the people of the country and (amounted to) interference in the internal affairs of the country by a foreign government".

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha Arjun Modhwadia said here that while the cancellation of the visa was unjustified, Mr Modi should take personal responsibility for his own actions and refrain from linking it with the honour of five crore Gujaratis.

Human rights activist Father Cedric Prakash welcomed the US government’s decision. "The denial of the visa is an indicator that the global community is becoming concerned at the happenings in Gujarat. The denial will hopefully lead to the desired harmony and peace in the state," he said.

Father Prakash said the US could not have talked about human rights and religious freedom and simultaneously granted Mr Modi a visa. "The move by the US government is an indicator that those working for a just and humane society in Gujarat will ultimately see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Teesta Setalwad of Citizen’s for Peace and Justice said, "The genocide orchestrated by the Modi government cannot be overlooked. Although justice takes time, such developments are indicative of the fact that the issues are kept alive at the international level." She asserted that the issue should not be misunderstood by the Gujarati community. "Not that such issues hurt Gujarat’s asmita alone. It is a question of the country’s pride and whosoever violates human rights should be condemned," she added.

The BJP is planning to organise a "swabhimaan" rally to be addressed by party chief L.K. Advani on March 20. 


http://www.asianage.com/ (19th March 2005)

Centre protests, BJP happy
- By Seema Mustafa

New Delhi, March 18: The stinging blow dealt by the US to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi elicited reactions of euphoric welcome from secular groups in the US and India and strong protests from the BJP, Mr Modi himself, and the government of India. Human rights activists in New York and here were "stunned" when the ministry of external affairs called the head of the mission of the US embassy to lodge a strong protest against the denial of the visa and to "request an urgent reconsideration".

External affairs minister Natwar Singh set the tone earlier on Friday when he responded to the US decision by stating that the government would take up the issue with the US embassy. On Friday evening, the MEA issued a statement saying, "This action on the part of the US embassy is uncalled for, and displays lack of courtesy and sensitivity towards a constitutionally elected chief minister of a state of India." It pointed out that the visa had been requested for the chief minister by the government through a note verbale to the US mission on February 28. The human rights and secular organisations that had initially supported the Congress-led government were furious, while the BJP expressed great happiness with the response. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said the government had acted with speed and "we are very happy".

Secular activist Shabnam Hashmi said, "It is now clear that the ordinary people voted out the communal forces and the Congress Party came to power without doing anything. They are not bothered about the country, they are just basic CEOs running a party."

It was a month-long battle that led to the US decision to invoke the relevant sections under the US Immigration and Nationality Act that, a US embassy official said, "makes any government official who was responsible for, or directly carried out at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom ineligible for a visa."

A high-voltage pressure campaign led to several small victories over the last month for the US groups, which had united to oppose Mr Narendra Modi’s visit. The Gujarat chief minister was scheduled to address the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This was to have been addressed by well-known personality Chris Matthew, who yielded to signature campaigns and letters to announce that he would not speak at this function with the Gujarat chief minister. Two US Congressmen, Democrat John Conyers and Republican Joe Pitts, joined the campaign and also moved a resolution.

The US activists had also written to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice saying, "Secretary Rice, we ask that you do not allow this egregious violator the privilege of entering the United States, in keeping with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. His planned campaign of religious violence and persecution has been evidenced in his severe violations of religious freedom and is due cause for him to be turned away from our borders." The fact that the US decision came shortly after Ms Rice’s visit to India, and just two days before Mr Modi was scheduled to leave for the US, might just not be a coincidence.

The Coalition Against Genocide issued a statement lauding the US state department decision to deny Mr Modi a visa and to revoke his existing tourist and business visas. "This decision is in spirit and action fully commendable and we hope it establishes a precedent for future actions," a statement issued by the coalition said. It also pointed out that under US law, Mr Modi’s actions are criminal. It announced that the protest rally to be held against his visit at Madison Square Garden would now be turned into a "victory and a new resolve for justice" rally to highlight the continuing violations in Gujarat and the role of the Hindutva movement in the US.

Anhad joined hands "with the millions of people who believe in secular democracy" to welcome the US decision on Mr Modi, who the organisation described as "the disgraced chief minister of Gujarat and the chief architect of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002".

In fact, the only voices of protest against the US decision were from the BJP and the government. The Congress sat back in shock after the government’s strong protest against the US move. Senior leaders were silent with the decision having been taken by the MEA after high-level consultations. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were fully in the know. Left leaders, including the CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechuri, were sharply critical of the government’s position. A senior JNU professor, Dr Anuradha Chenoy, had the last word: "It is an irony of history that the BJP and Congress are on one side and the Left and the US on the other." 


http://www.asianage.com/    (19th March 2005)

BJP criticises US decision to deny visa
- By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, March 18: The BJP on Friday hit out that the United States for denial of visa to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

Former external affairs minister and BJP spokesman Yashwant Sinha said that the US move was "unwarranted and was an insult to the entire nation." BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "This is a serious issue. We do not need any certificate from any country, including the US, on the religious harmony and freedom in our country which we are proud of."

Mr Modi was to visit the United States to attend a function of Asian-American Hotel Owners’ Association. However, the BJP was "pleased and happy" with the Centre’s reaction over the Modi episode. "Government of India acted with speed. We are happy the way the Union government reacted to the entire situation," Mr Sinha, who had telephonic conversation with external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh said.

Mr Sinha felt that the "neither the US nor any other foreign country has any right to judge Mr Modi or any Indian. It is for us to judge Modi," Mr Sinha said. According to him, "Application of US domestic law on the visit of a high political personality of India is unacceptable."

Mr Sinha added, "Modi was going to the US on an invitation from Gujarati community. The US administration has come to the conclusion without checking facts with the Gujarat government. This is unwarranted."

Following the denial of visa to the Gujarat chief minister, Mr Sinha called Mr Natwar Singh. The external affairs minister told the BJP spokesman that the government had taken the issue "very seriously" and then read out the statement his ministry was expected to issue, sources said. "I appreciate the government of India for the statement," Mr Sinha maintained.

Mr Sinha felt that the decision to deny visa to Mr Modi was "perhaps taken last evening." He maintained that chief ministers "regularly visit foreign countries, including the US, to promote their states or to attract investments for their states." "Modi’s visit can in no way be termed extraordinanry," he added.

 

 
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