Statement from the South Asia Solidarity Initiative  May, 2014  

May 16, 2014 marks the day that the Indian bourgeois democratic process elected one of the most divisive, hard right and fascist candidates in recent memory to be the Prime Minister of India. By evoking a manipulated “rags to riches” story that neatly appealed to American capitalist mythology — Narendra Modi’s past and ideology was repackaged and sanitized. Among the ideological and financial supporters that brought Modi to power, are not only the Indian corporate elite but also those Indian Americans in the diaspora that have been funding the hindutva ideology for decades from abroad. At no time in recent memory has the rift between progressives and secularists and the conservative South Asian diaspora been deeper or more significant.  As South Asians living in the United States, we pledge to work hard to ensure that Modi is held accountable for his crimes and the hindutva ideology that he espouses does not go unchallenged.

We join in solidarity with other progressive voices and spaces to interrupt the emboldened Hindu right and fight fundamentalism everywhere. Narendra Modi has yet to answer to evidence that he willfully ignored state intelligence that warned of the ensuing violence and conspired with Hindutva murderers to plot and allow for killings of minorities all over Gujarat. His victory of Prime Minister-ship does not slow down the fight to bring him to justice. It does not wash away his compliance in the killings, rape and displacement of thousands.

Organizations like the Hindu American Foundation and the American Sangh Parivar have been able to reach a silent Indian American community untroubled by the overwhelming evidence of targeted, ethnic cleansing of Muslims in India. The election of Narendra Modi is the result of the Islamophobic, casteist, and hateful ideology that has been allowed to be sanitized in the false rhetoric of development, economic progress and capitalism. As progressive South Asians, we condemn the ready forgiveness and apologism handed down to Narendra Modi by some Indian communities in the diaspora.

Narendra Modi’s campaign rhetoric has already pulled the Indian state relationship with Pakistan and Bangladesh towards reactionary Islamophobia. The most recent example is Narendra Modi’s hate speech against Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants after the massacre of dozens of Muslims in Assam. We stand in solidarity with all people in South Asia who may be affected by this hateful ideology that now has the reins to preside over the Indian state.

We also must remember that there are still hundreds of millions throughout India and millions in the diaspora that refuse to go along with the Modi and BJP agenda. There are still hundreds of movements in India who continue tofight for justice, liberty and equity, that need our utmost support. Progressives, human rights activists, and civil society in India and all over the world – are louder and more committed than ever before to hold Narendra Modi accountable for his crimes against humanity. We will never give up. We will never forget.


South Asia Solidarity Initiative – Organizing Collective


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