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Protest the Visit of Modi, the Chief Architect of Gujarat Pogroms

 


We are appalled that the Asian-American Hotel Owners Association and Association of Indian Americans for North America are honoring Mr. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, India. AAHOA's adulation of Mr. Modi as the "Man for the 21st century for Gujarat" and as "a master political strategist, a firebrand agitator, an able administrator, an extraordinary orator" is deeply troubling and makes us wonder if this is an attempt to whitewash his role in the Gujarat pogrom.

Mr.Modi and his state apparatus have been indicted by reputable Indian and International human rights organizations for their sponsorship of and complicity in the ethnic cleansing and pogroms against the Muslim community in Gujarat during February - March 2002 where thousands of people were killed and made refugees, hundreds of women and young girls were brutally raped and tortured, and religious places of worship were defiled and destroyed. Mr.Modi's government has targeted Muslims, Christians and secular Hindus before and after the 2002 Gujarat pogrom.

By honoring Mr. Modi AIANA and AAHOA dishonor the victims of the Gujarat pogrom, and insult the moral dignity of all. Furthermore it raises questions about the current AAHOA leadership's commitment to secularism and pluralism.

Mr. Modi's government has systematically prevented victims and survivors of the genocide from attaining redress from the state judiciary. Its blatantly discriminatory handling of more than 2000 cases stemming from the Gujarat carnage has impelled the Supreme Court of India to transfer some of the cases out of Gujarat.

He is a long-standing member of the RSS, an organization modelled on the Nazis and the Italian fascists. Mr. Modi's tenure has had a chilling effect on the Christian and Muslim communities of Gujarat.

Mr. Modi's visit to the US is in violation of Section 604 of the US International Religious Freedom Act which makes any foreign official who has engaged in "particularly severe violations of religious freedom" inadmissible to the United States.

We demand that:
The Indian government take immediate steps to punish the perpetrators of the pogrom and to rehabilitate the victims.

AIANA and AAHOA rescind their invitation to Mr. Modi and appeal to the co-sponsors of the AAHOA convention to withdraw their support.

The Indian and the US governments work together to curtail the fund-raising and other activities in the US of hate groups such as the one Mr.Modi belongs to.

Signed