New York, NY; April 18th 2005: Indian Muslim Council-USA, a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to the promotion of pluralism in India and the US, has expressed its shock and dismay over media reports that a delegation of Pakistani physicians has honored the Hindutva-fascist leader LK Advani with an award for “promoting peace and harmony”. The delegation comprised of members of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA).
Advani leads the hard-line wing of Hindutva, a supremacist movement founded on the model of Mussolini’s Fascist party and many of its leaders and pioneers regard Hitler as one of their heroes.
Advani led the movement that demolished the famous Babri Mosque and was instrumental in creating conditions that caused wholesale massacres of Muslims all over India in 1992. Under Mr. Advani’s tenure as a Home Minister, over 2,000 Muslims were massacred, hundreds of women were raped and more than 150,000 were ethnically cleansed in the Gujarat pogroms of 2002. Narendra Modi, a political protégé of Advani and Gujarat state Chief Minister is widely blamed for orchestrating this violence. Advani allowed these massacres to continue by refusing to dismiss the Gujarat state government during the violence despite calls from all quarters to do so and the constitutional provisions requiring such a measure. The pogroms lasted for over three months. To date, not a single person has been brought to justice. Indian Christians have also been targeted for murder, rapes and discrimination by the Hindutva parties.
On the India-Pakistan peace front, Advani repeatedly called for settling scores by waging a fourth war with Pakistan. He is on record stating “let us fight it out face to face. We have fought thrice, let there be a fourth war”. Most hard-line Hindutva followers dream of annexing all the countries in South Asia and creating a greater India or “Akkhand Bharat.”
Hindutva parties have infiltrated the US power centers and are in the forefront of anti-Islamic propaganda in the US, especially in Washington DC. Their websites such as http://www.hinduunity.org spew venom against Muslims, Christians and Hindus who do not agree with their Hindutva ideology.
A wide spectrum of rights organizations successfully campaigned against the visit of Narendra Modi to the US which led to the US State Department revoking his visas and imposing a ban on him for his role in the Gujarat genocide. Mr. Advani continued to defend Modi after his visa revocation and led a rally that denounced the United States. He is on record defending Modi as an “efficient” Chief Minister when controversy erupted on Modi’s role in the Gujarat violence.
Media reports mention that the meeting to honor Advani was planned through the Pakistani wing of the family of Najma Heptullah a BJP leader. The pluralist-minded Indians consider Heptullah to be a political opportunist without any regard for the representation of India’s Muslim community.
IMC-USA has been in the forefront of bringing different religious and ethnic groups together and in fostering religious tolerance. IMC-USA hopes and works for a peaceful India, peaceful South Asia and a peaceful world. Realization of this hope is only possible when pogrom mongers and supremacist leaders such as Advani and Modi are brought to justice and their ideology marginalized.
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