FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2007
Indian Muslim Council – USA (http://www.imc-usa.org), an advocacy group dedicated towards safeguarding India ’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, expressed dismay at the election results in the Indian state of Gujarat wherein Narendra Modi returned to power as the Chief Minister.
Rasheed Ahmed, President of IMC-USA, described the reelection of Narendra Modi as disappointing for the future of democracy in India and the result of a communally polarized election environment that discouraged inclusion of minorities in the democratic system. “The return of Modi as the Chief Minister of Gujarat is a result of intensification of fear and communal hatred in Gujarat by the Hindutva groups,” he stated. “The reelection of the person held responsible for the Gujarat massacres and for the ascendancy of right wing extremists is damaging to India ‘s standing as a secular and pluralistic nation. Modi’s government, which has displayed no regard for the rights of individuals and minorities, is a mob rule and subversion of democracy.”
Narendra Modi has been implicated in the 2002 pogroms which led to the brutal murders and rapes of thousands of Muslims and property damage worth millions in Gujarat . The Supreme Court of India and various Human Rights organizations have criticized Modi’s support for violence against minorities. The recent investigative report by the Tehelka news magazine had exposed the involvement of Modi’s government in perpetrating the massacres and deterring the legal system from protecting the victims.
Modi will take oath as Chief Minister for the third time with the BJP leading in 118 out of 182 seats in the Assembly elections. The Congress party has performed only slightly better than the 2002 elections by leading in 61 seats. Rasheed Ahmed attributed Congress party’s failure to gain in this election to their lack of a principled stance against BJP’s Hindutva ideology which left the electorate without a choice as Congress was peddling soft Hindutva.
IMC-USA urges the Central Government of India to speed up the legal action against Modi for his involvement in the Gujarat pogroms and investigate his statements approving the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh while in police detention. IMC-USA abides by the belief that democracy in Gujarat is wounded but not annihilated, but has stressed the need for bringing the culture of impunity prevalent in Gujarat to a quick end.
Syed Ali Rahman
email: info@imc-usa. org
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