M Ghazali Khan
LONDON — Thousands of protesters demonstrated against Indian Prime Minister as he came to lay a wreath at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Parliament Square. “Modi, Modi you can’t hide, you have committed genocide”; “Modi shame on you”; “David Cameron you should know Narendra Modi has to go!”
Protesters had started gathering at 11 am at some distance from 10 Downing Street, the residence of British Prime Minister. Holding placards with a variety of messages against anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and anti-Dalit violence in India they continued shouting slogans there.
From there they moved towards Parliament Square and stopped at some distance from the Parliament where police had set up steel barricades. At parliament Square they waited until around 3:45 p.m. the time when Modi was scheduled to arrive there. From such a short distance it was quite impossible that Mr Modi would not have seen the protesters and would not have heard their slogans.
As Modi was laying the wreath and three aeroplanes passed overhead making in the sky Indian tricolor demonstrators became more agitated. Pointing their fingers they shouted, “Shame on you, shame on you.”
Availing the waiting time representatives of organizations participating in the protest made short speeches condemning the crimes against religious minorities under Modi.
Awaz Network’s spokesman Suresh Grower taunted Modi for laying the wreath at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in whose philosophy he does not believe. He also reminded the demonstrators that before Modi he had projected the message of “Modi not welcome” at the very building of the Parliament where he is going to make a speech and that has been seen by over nine million people in Indian subcontinent alone. Mr Grower said that they are saying that it was photoshoped. He assured the protesters that it was a real photograph. “ It is not photoshopped. I did it with the help of a professional.” He said.
South Asia Solidarity Group’s spokesperson Amrit Wilson, an activist and a writer, said that under Modi India has become an intolerant country and “a nightmare.” “We know so many people have lost their loved ones there. In the last four weeks there have been four lynching under the pretext that they had eaten beef. What sort of a country has India become where you cannot eat what you like and you cannot love whom you like. This is what Modi has done to India and that’s the reason we are here today.”
Other speakers included Satpal Muman, of Caste Watch UK and representatives of women organisation South Hall Black Sisters and Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee Of Great Britain
Although representatives of the British media were present there, so far there is a complete blackout about the protest. To give yet another example of the “objective” and “free” British media, Friday BBC would be showing live the grand welcome being given to Modi by his supporters at Wembley stadium.
Two days ago a researcher from the BBC contacted me and double checked if I am a Gujarati Muslim. When I told her that I am an Indian Muslim she wanted to know my views on Narendra Modi’s visit. When I told her that Modi was the worst Prime Minister India has ever had the researcher thanked me and said “we will contact you by the end of the day if we need you.” The lady was keen to find a Gujarati Muslim and perhaps someone who could appear in a panel and praise Modi.
However, Guardian and one or two newspapers have published detailed articles criticizing Modi’s visit reminding the readers of Modi’s crimes.
In the meanwhile 200 authors have sent an open letter to David Cameron urging him to address in his meeting with Modi the “rising climate of fear” in India.