Southall Black Sisters has a long history of campaigning against religious fundamentalism in all religions. We examined its effects on women’s rights in particular in communities, locally, nationally and internationally. In addition, SBS is part of the group Awaaz, which is campaigning against the rise of Hindu nationalism/fascism led by Narendra Modi who presided over one of the darkest episodes of communal violence in India in 2002, when over 2,000 Muslim men women and children were killed, raped and mutilated and hundreds of thousands displaced.
Modi may be voted into power in the forthcoming Indian elections in March this year. Along with many others, we are extremely concerned about the impact of Modi and Hindutva politics for Indian democracy and the rule of law. To aid the campaign, Awaaz has organised a parliamentary meeting on 26 February and produced a briefing report which includes an analysis of Hindu right wing politics in India and the UK, its impact on Muslims, other minorities and women and dispels myths about Modi’s style of governance’.
One point of the campaign has been to expose the fallacy of the view that the events of 2002 should be consigned to the past as the Supreme Court of India has given Modi a ‘clean chit’. The second point has been to question the presentation of Modi as a uniquely competent administrator who has worked miracles in Gujarat.
This collection of briefings presents facts that challenge both these claims and argues that Modi remains a figure deserving international opprobrium and should remain a persona non grata for us here in Britain.
The report looks at key areas that include:
- Narendra Modi: The Making of a Hindutva Leader
- Narendra Modi’s culpability in the Gujarat Genocide
- The Murder of British Citizens in a Genocide Forgotten
- A Clean Chit? Has Narendra Modi been Absolved by the Supreme Court?
- Violence and Control: Modi, Hindutva and Women
- Don’t Believe the Hype: Modi’s Model of Governance
- Hindutva, RSS and the Sangh Parivar
- Hindutva Fascism in the UK
Violence and Control: Modi, the Sangh Parivar and Women
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters has contributed a chapter entitled “Violence and Control: Modi, Hindutva and Women.” She discusses the crucial issue of the patriarchal cast of Hindutva ideology. Most chillingly, in 2002 it was manifested as systematic rape and assault of Muslim women in Gujarat. Modi’s deep-seated belief in the exercise of control over women continues to be in evidence in Gujarat since 2002. Her chapter examines three critical areas:
- Rape and violence against women as an instrument of subjugation
- Modi and the lack of state accountability
- The Sexual politics of Modi and the Sang Parivar
Pragna Patel concludes that “ Modi has failed to uphold the constitution of India and the standard of due diligence under national and international law and obligation to prevent grave human rights abuses.”