Cambridge, Oxford Profs Issue Open Letter Against Modi

Around 75 professors and other academics of Indian origin working at some of Britain's prestigious institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford university and London School of Economics today issued an open letter, sharply attacking Narendra Modi and saying, "The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread."

The academics led by Prof. Chetan Bhatt and Gautam Appa of the London School of Economics issued the open letter in the UK’s Left-leaning Independent newspaper.

"As the people of India vote to elect their next government, we are deeply concerned at the implications of a Narendra Modi-led BJP government for democracy, pluralism and human rights in India," the letter said targeting the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate.

"Narendra Modi is embedded in the Hindu Nationalist movement, namely the RSS and other Sangh Parivar groups, with their history of inciting violence against minorities. Some of these groups stand accused in recent terrorist attacks against civilians," the letter titled "The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread" reads.

The letter followed a similar open letter by Indian-origin author Salman Rushdie and artist Anish Kapoor among others in the Guardian earlier this month.

The letter in Independent published here today reads: "There is widespread agreement about the authoritarian nature of Modi’s rule in Gujarat, further evidenced by the recent sidelining of other senior figures within the BJP. This style of governance can only weaken Indian democracy."

"Additionally, the Modi-BJP model of economic growth involves close linking of government with big business, generous transfer of public resources to the wealthy and powerful, and measures harmful to the poor.

"A Modi victory would likely mean greater moral policing, especially of women, increased censorship and vigilantism, and more tensions with India’s neighbours," the letter reads.

The academics represent some of the leading British educational establishments, including Oxford University’s Prof. Nandini Gooptu and Prof. Joya Chatterji from Cambridge University.

Like most of the other columns in the British media, the letter refers to the Godhra riots as proof of sectarianism in Gujarat under Modi, who has been the chief minister of the western state for 13 years.

"We recall the extreme violence by the Hindu Right in Gujarat in 2002 which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. This violence occurred under Modi’s rule, and senior government and police officials have provided testimony of his alleged role in encouraging or permitting it to occur," the letter says.

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Digression

14/D-121
Apr 23, 2014
03:40 PM

Saroja mami,

[[I made no such statement and I am not Narendramodifacts though I mostly agree with his/her posts.]]

If you "mostly" agree with him, then Ram Lala's post "mostly" applies to you.

Ganwaar, Ganwaarpur
13/D-117
Apr 23, 2014
03:34 PM
There is absolutely nothing this letter is going to achieve except push more undecided voters into the BJP's arms. As for the governments to which this letter is addressed, did they think the UK government would intervene and stop Modi from contesting?

Methinks the real intent behind this letter is to gain some cheap publicity. Like the tree rewards those who stone it with fruits, Modi-baiters will get their two days of fame by targeting him.

Ganwaar, Ganwaarpur
12/D-78
Apr 23, 2014
12:25 PM

>>Additionally, the Modi-BJP model of economic growth involves close linking of government with big business, generous transfer of public resources to the wealthy and powerful, and measures harmful to the poor.

In the last 10 years, we had the 2G, Coalgate etc. where exactly the same model was followed. SC cancelled licenses in one case and the other, investigations and cases are going on. Yet we never heard a whimper from these worthies. But in case of Gujarat, we have a dimwit's toffee allegation and it becomes gospel for these idiots. Its good they are writing these letters, it shows their total lack of integrity and an overinflated opinion of themselves.

RSM, Delhi
11/D-58
Apr 23, 2014
10:16 AM

So this is a fight between arm chair sermoniser professors vs the concerned one. Who, for shake of her mother land, spends tone of hard earned money and vacation, to spend time in a constituency of little chance. Yaa, I am talking about Saswati Sarkar @@sarkar_swati.

Is it possible that the difference is that of non/semi-science vs science?

Santosh Gairola
Hsinchu, Taiwan
10/D-53
Apr 23, 2014
08:59 AM

"As Katrina-Lantos Swett said when discussing why the US won't give Modi a visa: "Mr. Modi wants us to reverse our position because that would be part of his rehabilitation process". " Bibi Saroja

I made no such statement and I am not Narendramodifacts though I mostly agree with his/her posts.

R. Saroja, Bombay
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