LONDON: The South Asia Solidarity Group has called on the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Rita Izsák-Ndiaye to investigate the growing human rights emergency in India, particularly the attacks on religious minorities, Dalits and lynching of Muslims.
South Asia Solidarity Group, a coalition of various Indian organisations, marched from Tavistock Square at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue towards the Indian High Commission and condemned the rising tide of lynching of innocent citizens by Hindutva mobs and the silence of Narendra Modi’s government.
The protestors said that the increasing trend of mob lynching in India of Muslims, Christians and Dalits posed a great risk to all minorities as Modi’s administration was fully backing the lynching mobs and supported their blood-thirsty ambitions. Those who took part in the event include Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, secularists.
Marchers carried posters of mob lynching victims and held placards in their hands condemning Modi and mob lynchings.The posters read: “Hindutva is a threat to humanity”, “Value human lives not just cows”, “Arrest Hindutva gangsters now”, “Modi, Yogi blood on your hands”, “Modi, Modi, you can’t hide, you committed genocide”; “Modi, Yogi shame, shame! No more killings in our names”.
South Asia Solidarity Group’s Amrit Wilson said: “We are extremely distressed and concerned that under Modi, India has become a country where Hindu supremacist gangs can lynch and rape freely and without any fear of punishment, where children, women and men are brutally killed for what they eat, who they love and simply for who they are. India has become a republic of fear where justice, democracy and the basic right to life lie in tatters. It is crucial that we in the diaspora show our support for those in India who are courageously resisting this descent into fascism.”
“We have come together to condemn the barbaric and despicable acts of violence perpetrated on Dalits and other minorities in India. While violence against Dalits has been going on from time immemorial, it has escalated enormously since the rise of Hindutva and the BJP. Under the veneer of ‘love-jihad’ and ‘Gau-raksha’ (cow protection), India is in danger of sliding towards a theocratic state which must be resisted at all costs,” said Caste Watch UK.
Satpal Muman of Caste Watch UK said that “ the republic of India has become a republic of fear” and that intolerance and religious fanaticism of Hindutva have touched new peaks under the current BJP government.
He said that India has become the largest exporter of beef under Modi and the only reason Hindutva gangs are attacking Dalits and Muslims is that they want to deprive them of their livelihoods to allow major corporate houses to monopolise this sector. He said big corporations were involved in the funding of BJP’s Hindutva agenda.
The protestors called on Indian authorities to enforce the rule of law, including putting a complete stop to vigilante violence, protecting the right to life of all, and ensuring that the perpetrators of these hate crimes are brought to justice without delay.
They said the Indian govt must protect the lives, property and dignity of Dalits and minorities in India. For a healthy democracy, freedom of speech – a fundamental right enshrined in Dr Ambedkar’s Constitution – must be maintained. ‘
The organisers sent a letter to Indian President Shri Ram Nath Govind demanding, “…that the BJP government put an end to the violence against Muslims, Christians and Dalits and indict not only perpetrators of these horrific crimes but those, including senior politicians of the BJP, who have instigated communal and anti-Dalit violence as well.”
They also demanded the “immediate resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who has been one of the most virulent promoters of hate and has callously tried to evade responsibility for the deaths of nearly 70 children in a government hospital in his long standing constituency.”