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Hate Based Campaign helps Gandhi's Assassins Gain Power in Gujarat
December 16, 2002 

NEW YORK: India's secular democracy suffered a severe setback
yesterday when the fascist Bharatiya Janata Party was elected in a
landslide victory in Gujarat, winning 125 out of a possible 181 seats.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently charged being in
Belgium as a international war criminal for "Crimes against Humanity",
received an overwhelming mandate to return to power.

The Indian Muslim Council (www.imc-usa.org) joins concerned citizens of
all countries and communities in expressing grave concern about what
the BJP's victory means for India's secular democracy.

Earlier this year, Gujarat witnessed the worst communal violence since
India's independence, where over 2000 were killed, 150,000 displaced,
over 800 women and girls raped, and 132 ell organized pogrom were
Muslim.  Eight months later, many continue mosques and religious tombs
destroyed. Nearly all of the victims of the wto live in squalid relief
camps, fearing their lives.

The United Kingdom's High Commission condemned the violence as "ethnic
cleansing", and "the making of an apartheid", and "pre-planned." In a
scathing indictment by two retired Senior Indian Judges, P B Sawant and
Hosbet Suresh concluded that Chief Minister Modi is "liable for
prosecution for genocide, for refusal to take any preventive measure to
protect the lives and properties of minorities in the State."  The
tribunal accused him of "connivance and facilitation of the carnage,
transfer of honest police officers, abusive comments against the
affected and victimized community, and not taking punitive action
against provocative press and other organizations."

In assessing and understanding the BJP's overwhelming electoral
victory, the Indian Muslim Council wishes to raise four concerns:

1) The BJP's victory suggests widespread endorsement for the savage
violence organized by Chief Minister Modi. The Hindutva-fascists are
already promising to apply this "winning formula" at the national

2) The BJP's victory is a severe blow for those who cherish the values
of freedom and pluralism.  That the BJP campaigned on an open policy of
belligerent ultra-nationalism and racism, indicates that fascism has
totally engulfed Gujarat. Over the past months, journalists-many of
them Hindu-who have written or reported against the BJP have been
attacked or censored.

3) The BJP's victory in Gujarat is dangerous for the international
community. India is a nuclear power in a region plagued by unrest and
instability. India is also a country that is tragically being led by
fascists who openly confess their admiration for Hitler's extermination
of Jews.  With national elections approaching, the BJP stands a strong
chance of re-election at the federal level. If India continues to be
led by religious extremists armed with nuclear weapons, one only fears
that the regional stability will be jeopardized.

4) The BJP's victory is an obstruction to fair and equitable education.
The BJP is part of a larger fraternity of Hindutva organizations called
the "Sangh Parivar". Throughout India, the Sangh Parivar operates over
100,000 schools that encourages militancy and trains young,
impressionable minds to hate minorities. The BJP has led the charge,
both at the federal and state level, to alter textbooks and curriculum
to indoctrinate the next generation into believing that India's
minorities-the Christians, the Muslims, the Parsees-are foreigners
according to Hindutva-fascist definition of a Hindu in India and hence
do not belong in the country. With the BJP firmly in power in Gujarat,
one should expect-and fear-further efforts by the Sangh Parivar to
instill religious hatred. Between January 1998 and February 1999 alone,
there were 116 attacks against Christians in India. According to the
South Asia Human Rights Documentation report, "Most of these attacks
have been perpetrated by the Sangh Parivar."

Right here in the United States, the Sangh Parivar runs over 44
chapters and raises millions of dollars to finance Hindu extremist in
India.  With the BJP firmly in power in Gujarat, one should expect-and
fear-further efforts by the Sangh Parivar to further its global
proliferation of religious hatred.

It is unfortunate that the BJP should win in the home state of Mohandas
Gandhi, the courageous Indian freedom fighter who championed the cause
of non-violence, tolerance and religious harmony. Gandhi was himself
assassinated by a member of the Hindutva- fascist RSS, an organization
that today counts Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its member.
One only wonders what Gandhi would think if he knew the party that
produced his assassin is ruling his home state.

History bears witness that fascist forces can only be stopped by
heightened international pressure.  The Indian Muslim Council is
dedicated to restore Gandhi's vision of a pluralistic India and calls
upon all people, regardless of their religious background, to help
resist the Hindutva forces that have steered the world's largest
democracy towards fascism.