November 27, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Washington, D.C. (November 27, 2013): According to press release sent to the Sikh Siyasat News by Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI): [t]he rising problem of foreign interference in the U.S. political arena took on startling reality last week when Shalli Kumar, a business tycoon who heads the Chicago-based National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI), was caught distributing materials which used names and photos of several prominent Republican congressional representatives to fraudulently suggest they are supporting Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) nominee for Prime Minister of India.
In advertisements for “Bharat Day,” a November 19 event in Washington, D.C., Kumar used names and photos of top Republican lawmakers (including Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Speaker of the House John Boehner) without permission. A promotional flyer deceptively emblazoned with the official U.S. House Seal claims the event is hosted by the “House Republican Conference,” lists HRC Chair Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers as hostess, and identifies Modi as the scheduled keynote speaker via satellite video. Rodgers, who was joined on November 15 by other Republican congressional representatives in denying any involvement in “Bharat Day,” has served Kumar a “cease and desist” letter.
“Kumar clearly implies House Republicans invited Modi to address them at this Indian Pride event,” commented Bhajan Singh, a director of Organization for Minorities of India. “That is both a lie and, considering Modi unabashedly advances a supremacist ideology which some people have termed fascist, a deeply disturbing act.” Singh says the event, billed on NIAPPI’s website as part of the “Modi Vision Movement,” concerns him as an apparent attempt by foreign agents to subvert the U.S. political system.
“Modi’s vision,” Singh says, “was made visible to the naked eye in 2002 when he ordered Gujarati police officers to stand down as several thousand Muslims were beaten to death, gang-raped, and burned alive by the leaders of his political party. Now his supporters are spreading propaganda in America. Either Modi knows what his subordinates are doing or he doesn’t; if he does, Modi is a lying butcher and if he doesn’t, Modi is a bad leader. Either way, God help India — and the world — if he leads it.”
The brewing scandal indicates a rocky future for Modi, the genocide-linked Chief Minister of the Indian State of Gujarat. Considered a forerunner for Prime Minister of India, he is one of Time magazine’s short-listed candidates for its “Person of the Year” title. The truth is still unfolding, but South Asian Americans like OFMI coordinator Arvin Valmuci are already questioning why foreign candidates are operating on American soil.
“It’s no surprise Modi chose the city that invented Chicago-style politics as a base for his foreign intelligence arm to expand his violent extremist movement,” says Valmuci. “What do his criminal attempts to manipulate American political leaders say about the character of India’s probable next Prime Minister? Why is a religious extremist and genocidal maniac sending foreign agents to interfere in U.S. politics?”
Narendra Modi, who was first elected Chief Minister in 2001, assumed office just 26 days after the tragic September 11 terrorist attacks. Modi is the world’s leading proponent of Hindutva, a political ideology which the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) says “holds non-Hindus as foreign to India.” Just four months after becoming Chief Minister, Modi orchestrated the 2002 Gujarat Genocide of several thousand Muslims by police-backed BJP enforcers.
Beginning February 27, 2002, mobs of BJP members, armed with addresses of Muslim-owned homes and businesses, massacred Muslims throughout Gujarat. The most intensive violence lasted three days, but it continued sporadically for months. Approximately 2,000 Muslims were killed, though some human rights groups believe the true body-count may be significantly higher. Police joined in the violence, telling victims: “We have no orders to save you.” Post-mortem reports identified many victims of police shootings as having died from an execution-style “double-tap” (a shot to the chest and a shot to the head).
In 2002, Smita Narula, senior South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, stated: “The attacks were planned in advance and organized with extensive participation of the police and state government.” Senior officials have since blown the whistle, testifying Modi ordered police to “allow the Hindus to vent their anger” and told BJP leaders: “I’ll give you three days. Do whatever you want.” In 2005, the U.S. State Department denied Modi a visitor’s visa based on evidence he coordinated the violence; on November 5, a U.S. State Department spokesperson stated there is “no change in our longstanding visa policy [towards Modi].”
In August, OFMI joined Sikh Information Centre (SIC) in asking California congressional representatives Judy Chu, Tom McClintock, and Ami Bera to support permanently blacklisting Modi from U.S. entry. SIC Executive Director Pieter Singh, who spoke to congressional staff, says: “Modi’s plantation-owner mentality illustrates how Indian politicians still rule the people as colonial chattel to be slaughtered if they dissent. Modi experiments with truth with the same practiced ease of his hero, Mohandas Gandhi. His disdain for diversity and disregard for human life embodies the true spirit of Gandhism.”
In a November 12 op-ed called “The Two Faces of India,” USCIRF officials Katrina Lantos Swett and Mary Ann Glendon warned: “The poster child for India’s failure to punish the violent remains Narendra Modi, who is Gujarat’s chief minister — a post he held during the 2002 riots…. [Sixty-five] members of India’s parliament reportedly wrote to President Barack Obama, requesting that he not issue Modi a visa. Sadly, despite all this, Gujarat’s most controversial resident is the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party candidate in India’s 2014 prime ministerial election.”
For several years, USCIRF has blown the whistle on the rising tide of state terrorism and extremist violence against minorities in India. Since 2009, India has remained on USCIRF’s Watch List of countries which “require close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the governments.” In the India chapter of its 2009 annual report on international religious freedom, the commission stated:
“The failure to provide justice to religious minorities targeted in violent riots in India is not a new development, and has helped foster a climate of impunity. In 1984, anti-Sikh riots erupted in Delhi following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguard. Over 4 days, nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed, allegedly with the support of Congress Party officials. Few perpetrators were ever held accountable, and only years after the fact. In April 2009, the Congress Party dropped Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar from its roster of general election candidates over their suspected role in the 1984 riots. In the late 1990s, there was a marked increase in violent attacks among members of religious communities, particularly Muslims and Christians, throughout India, including incidents of killings, torture, rape, and destruction of property. Perpetrators were rarely held responsible. For example, there has been little justice for the victims of riots between Hindus and Muslims after the 1992 destruction of the Babri mosque at a contested religious site in Ayodhya. At least 900 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in Bombay in the 1992-1993 riots, but few have been successfully prosecuted.”
Bhajan Singh sees a familiar pattern in the NIAPPI fiasco, saying, “Kumar’s behavior is a typical manifestation of South Asia’s ancient caste system of social tyranny, an ideology of division endorsed and entrenched by another son of Gujarat named Gandhi.” Singh also thinks the scandal may easily turn into a major upset for Modi’s movement in North America.
In his parting remarks, Singh notes: “We applaud U.S. representatives for courageously standing against Modi’s attempt to manipulate them into supporting his ill-founded bid for Prime Minister. Perhaps the FBI should probe Modi’s criminal ring in Chicago. Certainly South Asian minorities and every equality-loving person must stand up to stop the vicious cycle of upper-caste orchestrated killings of Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Buddhists, and Muslims.”
(1) Save Our WhatsApp Number 0091-855-606-7689 to your phone contacts; and
(2) Send us Your Name via WhatsApp. Click Here to Send WhatsApp Message Now.