A debate on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's controversial past sparked a row at a meeting within Britain's parliament complex.
Human rights groups and organisers of 'Narendra Modi and the Rise of Hindu Fascism' at a committee room in the Parliament building yesterday claimed they had been subjected to intense pressure and death threats from Hindu right-wing groups in the UK to cancel the debate.
"This meeting has been held under extremely difficult conditions, in the face of death threats. It just highlights the inability of Narendra Modi's supporters to tolerate anything other than their narrative and attempts to suppress free speech," said Chetan Bhatt, director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Bhatt traced Modi's RSS roots during the meeting leading up to his role as chief minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots.
"The human rights issues are very serious and are not going to go away, no matter what happens in the Indian elections," he added.
The meeting was also addressed by Yusuf Dawood, a British Gujarati who lost two of his brothers in the 2002 riots and filed a civil case against Modi for genocide and crimes against humanity back in 2004.
"We can't just brush the facts of what happened under the carpet. It is important that the truth remains the truth," he said.
Members of the Hindu Forum of Britain and other UK-based Hindu groups present at the event expressed their discontent with the proceedings and claimed Modi was being unfairly accused and attacked.
A small group of rabble-rousers had to be eventually escorted out of the room, with one member screaming "Modi will be PM of India".
The meeting received the backing of a number of British parliamentarians, led by Labour MP John McDonnell, as well as celebrated Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor.
"We are in a moment of great danger and your call to our sense of justice is much needed," Kapoor said in his message read out at the event.
The event also marked the launch of 'Narendra Modi Exposed: Challenging the Myths Surrounding the BJP's Prime Ministerial Candidate', a report published by the Awaaz Network and Monitoring Group.
In it the author, LSE Emeritus professor Gautam Appa noted that the BJP's claim of the so-called "clean chit" given to Modi by the Supreme Court is a misconception.
>>>> When an apostate was sentenced to death in Iran a few years ago, the New York Times published two letters of protest. One of them was mine.
>> Good. I expect you and your beloved CAIR to demand that: Iran immediately apologies for its criminal past w.r.to expelling its original faith namely zorastrianism .
Seems you are an absolute idiot!
>>>> I must have called for abolition of blasphemy laws, heresy laws and apostasy laws at least 50 times over the past 10 years in four different blogs.
>> Are you calling for declaring Diwali, Dusherra and Onam as holidays in the Gulf Nations?
Are you considering ever writing any comment that is not totally idiotic?
Narendra Damodaradass Modi is a citizen of INdia , elected as CM thrice from india's dynamic state of Gujarat and cleared by Indian courts in all cases and is front runner to lead this nation post May 2014.
If some species in London or UK do not like him, let they bang their heads on the walls of Buckingham palace..
Or better protest the rise of Namo by self immolating by jumping into the cold waters of English Channel..
Anwaar >> When an apostate was sentenced to death in Iran a few years ago, the New York Times published two letters of protest. One of them was mine
Good. I expect you and your beloved CAIR to demand that:
* Iran immediately apologies for its criminal past w.r.to expelling its original faith namely zorastrianism and
* The country acknowledges its Zorastrian heritage in schools, colleges and in official dom and declares its offical faith as both Islam as well as Zorastrianism
* And it must cease to be the Shia islamic republic that it is and provide special rights to religious minorities and also right for Zorastrians to resettle in Iran if they wish and also provide money to rebuild their temples etc.
Will you do all that?
Anwaar >> I must have called for abolition of blasphemy laws, heresy laws and apostasy laws at least 50 times over the past 10 years in four different blogs.
Are you calling for declaring Diwali, Dusherra and Onam as holidays in the Gulf Nations?
Are you calling for ensuring that Hindus live safely and are able to build their places of worship without any official controls in West Asia and Pakistan?
Are you calling for measures to resettle the Minorities who were 22% of population of bangladesh in 1971 but only 9% today?
How about having a Hindu as head of state in Pakistan or bangladesh? Why you are silent on that?
How about ensuring that the leaders in these nations participate in hindu festivals and sport a tilak? And observe meditation and prayers during Buddha Purnima and abstain from meat on Mahaveer Jayanthi ?
When is CAIR going to speak for the need for Pakistan and Bangladesh to recognize their Hindu+Jain+Buddhist past?