Karishma Dharni

Unspeakable Violence Unleashed by Modi’s band of Hindu fundamentalists

Southall Black Sisters joins #ModiNotWelcome and #JusticeforAsifa protests outside Downing Street against Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, and the latest series of horrific rapes perpetrated against women and girls in India and the complicity of Modi and his government. Under Modi’s watch, we have witnessed wave after wave of unspeakable violence and inhumanity perpetrated against women, minorities and dissenters, all of which have been unleashed by Modi’s brand of Hindu fundamentalist and fascist politics. This is the grotesque, everyday reality of ‘Incredible India’. It is time the world took notice.

The media must question Modi about the involvement of his party members in these atrocities, write signatories including Meena Kandasamy, Sarah Green and Pragna Patel.

In the context of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK, we are deeply shocked at the gut-wrenching violence against women and children in India being defended by politicians of Modi’s ruling Hindu rightwing party, the BJP.

Hindu extremists, or their associates, stand implicated in rape and murder while some BJP leaders actively mobilise to defend them and undermine the rule of law (Reports, 12 April and 17 April).

In Kathua, in Jammu and Kashmir state, eight-year old Asifa was horrifically gang raped and murdered in a Hindu temple by a group of men, in order to terrorise the nomadic Muslim Bakarwal community she belonged to. There followed violent protests in defence of the accused by a pro-Modi Hindu rightwing outfit the Hindu Ekta Manch. At least two BJP ministers took part in these protests. In Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, ruled by the BJP’s notorious hate preacher Yogi Adityanath, a 16-year-old girl was raped. When her family protested after almost a year of inaction by the police, her father was brutally assaulted by Sengar’s supporters, arrested on a false case and died in police custody.

Narendra Modi’s long silence was only broken on 13 April in the face of mass protests in Delhi. He promised justice to “daughters” but refused to utter the word “rape” let alone recognise the role of his own party supporters in perpetrating and celebrating such horrors. The media must question Modi about the involvement of his party members in these atrocities and his government’s effective sanctioning of rapes, attacks on minorities and lawlessness.

Sarah Green Co-director, End Violence Against Women Coalition
Vivienne Hayes CEO Women’s Resource Centre 
Marai Larasi Director, Imkaan
Anber Raz Co-chair Imkaan
Gurpreet Virdee Director, Women and Girls Network
Camille Kumar Women’s and Girls Network, Rape Crisis Centre West London
Baljit Banga Director, London Black Women’s Project
Anjum Mouj Chair, London Black Women’s Project
Pragna Patel Director Southall Black Sisters
Sabrina Qureshi Million Women Rise Movement
Sarbjit Johal Freedom Without Fear Platform
Rachel Moran Executive director SPACE International 
Nirmala Rajasingam South Asia Solidarity Group 
Taranjit Chana GMB Union Race
Dipti Morjharia London Black Women’s Project
Yasmin Rehman Feminist and human rights activist 
Meena Kandasamy Novelist and activist
Tabitha Benjamin Singer- songwriter
Amrit Wilson Writer and activist
Rahila Gupta Journalist and activist
Rosie Woods Harrow Momentum
Jaiti Sharma Harrow Labour party 
Priya Sharma Harrow Labour party 
Professor Shirin M Rai University of Warwick
Professor Avtar Brah Birkbeck, University of London 
Professor Nira Yuval Davis University of East London
Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya University of East London
Dr Kalpana Wilson Birkbeck University of London
Dr Shakuntala Banaji London School of Economics
Dr Meena Dhanda University of Wolverhampton
Dr Sumi Madhok London School of Economics
Dr Anandi Ramamurthy Sheffield Hallam University
Dr Goldie Osuri University of Warwick
Dr Rashmi Varma University of Warwick
Dr Alessandra Mezzadri Soas, University of London
Professor S. Sayyid University of Leeds
Dr Navtej Purewal Soas, University of London
Dr Feyzi Ismail SoasUniversity of London
Dr Rinella Cere Sheffield Hallam University
Dr Katy Sian University of York
Dr Marsha Henry London School of Economics 
Dr Sukhwant Dhaliwal London Metropolitan University
Dr. Ravi K. Thiara University of Warwick
Dr. Fiona Vera-Gray University of Durham
Dr Josie Phillips University of Durham
Dr Penny Vera-Sanso Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Deepta Chopra Institute of Development Studies
Dr Jennifer Ung Loh Independent scholar
Dr Joanna Lovett London Metropolitan University
Dr Churnjeet Mahn University of Strathclyde 
Dr Yasmin Gunaratnam Goldsmiths, University of London 
Dr Gail Lewis, Birkbeck University of London 
Dr Iona Szeman University of Roehampton 
Dr Nisha Kapoor University of York 
Dr Bethan Harries University of Manchester

Many in India do not want to focus on the fact that Asifa was from a nomadic Muslim community. Her captivity, rape and murder were carried out to instil fear among this community and drive them out. This rape forms a pattern of systematic, pre-planned rapes and murders that are rooted in religious hatred harboured by the Hindu right. Aside from the communal/sectarian rapes, the raise of violence against women and rapes has risen significantly in India. In 2016 Indian Police registered 38,947 rape complaints, an increase of 12.4% compared to what was reported in 2015, however incidents of the rape of children in India increased by over 82% compared to 2015 according to the National Crime Records Bureau data. This is a shocking indictment on #Modi’s government.

South Asia Solidarity Group has started a petition to UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Dr Fernand de Varennes to investigate the human rights emergency and attacks on religious minorities and Dalits in India. Please visit the change.org petition and show your support.

Further Reading

Southall Black Sisters: Narendra Modi Exposed Report
Urgent Request for Signature in Support of Lawyers Collective (India)
Indian government’s attempt to gag Lawyers Collective in India
Modi Not Welcome in the UK
Not in our name: House of Commons Meeting
Not in our name
UK Modi supporters attempt to silence free speech after Parliament meeting
Bring Modi to justice, urges meeting hosted at UK Parliament
Campaign against Narendra Modi and Hindutva politics
Narendra Modi & the rise of “Hindu Fascism”

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