FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 05, 2005
Detroit, MI. IMC-USA, an advocacy organization working to promote values of pluralism, tolerance and respect for human rights, with particular focus on the Indian Diaspora in the United States, launched a nationwide campaign to promote its third annual convention in Detroit, MI. IMC-USA invites all concerned individuals and groups to the convention that will be held at the Holiday Inn – Fairlane, Detroit, MI on October 1st, 2005.
The theme of the day long event is “Indian Americans: Activism for a Better India” and will be addressed by eminent personalities including Congressman John Conyers Jr., and Fr. Cedric Prakash.
This year’s convention comes in the aftermath of the historic victory for the forces of pluralism over the religious extremists in the form of denial of US visa for the Indian politician and chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi, who is widely accused by Indian and international human rights organizations of presiding over State assisted massacres where over 2,000 Muslims were killed. Modi was invited as the guest of honor by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association to address the AAHOA convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida earlier this year.
IMC-USA conventions have become an annual tradition for Muslims and other communities that constitute the Indian Diaspora in the US. The events comprising of focused sessions, workshops and celebration of pluralism attract representation from diverse groups such as the Muslim, Indian-American, American inter-faith, secular, human rights, NGOs and business communities.
IMC-USA’s second annual convention that was held in Chicago last year focused on India’s Muslims, the largest minority group in the world, and addressed the contributions, prevalent conditions and the future direction for Indian Muslims (and other minorities) to thwart the menace of Hindutva. The full day event with the theme, “Indian Muslims: Past,Present and Future”, was addressed by prominent scholars and social scientists. Several well-known leaders of Dalit, Sikh, Hindu and Indian-Christian communities as well as representatives of Women’s groups and NGOs addressed the convention. The hallmark of the Chicago convention was the launch of a broad-based coalition of faith-based communities and secular groups under the banner of “Coalition to Build a Better India” (CBBI).
CBBI was influential in launching the successful multi-pronged campaign “Coalition Against Genocide” that resulted in sponsors withdrawing from the AAHOA convention and the revocation of US visa for Narendra Modi.
Rasheed Ahmed, the vice president of IMC-USA said in a statement, “The recent changes in India’s political climate is a welcome sign, but the threats still persist. Hindutva ultranationalist forces, that espouse a hate-based and divisive ideology, point to the failure in implementing Hindutva as the main reason for their recent political misfortunes. Hindutva leaders are now calling for their cadres to go back to hard core ‘muscular’ Hindutva. This is a dangerous trend as Hindutva has a hidden agenda for the marginalized and as an ideology, needs a hate-object to keep itself alive.”
Asim Khan, the president of the Detroit chapter of IMC-USA and the co-chairman for the convention reminded the delegates to pre-register before the convention as the tickets will likely be sold out and no tickets will be sold at the door.
For more information and to register, delegates and journalists can do the following