You have been misinformed about Modi: COIMUK tells UK MP
By TCN News,
London, UK: Council of Indian Muslims in UK (COIMUK) has responded to the British MP Barry Gardiner, who has invited Gujarat CM Narendra Modi for a programme in Great Britian. In the letter, COIMUK Chairman Mohamed Munaf Zeena alleges that Gardiner has been “misinformed” about Modi. He writes, “Please forgive us for saying that we have been vindicated in our assessment that you have been misinformed. ”
Terming the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 “among the worst human rights violations in recent history,” COIMUK responds to the reply of Gardiner on Modi pointedly and in details about the riot, several pending cases, reports by several bodies and specifically on the question that Muslims had also voted for him in the 2012 Assmebly elections, suggesting that if those affected have reposed faith in him and are willing to move ahead, leaving past behin, why others should not.
COIMUK had earlier written an open letter to all the British Parliamentarians urging them to review their decision.
Full text of the letter:
Dear Right Hon. Mr. Gardiner,
Thank you for promptly responding to our concerns about your invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Please forgive us for saying that we have been vindicated in our assessment that you have been misinformed. Before we respond to the points raised in your letter, let us start by providing some background on the most serious charge against Mr. Modi, about his role in the Gujarat pogrom of 2002.
The viciousness and barbarism that marked the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 including the burning alive of hundreds of people, and brutal sexual violence against women, make the Gujarat riots among the worst human rights violations in recent history. Over 2000 people were killed, countless others wounded, and over 150,000 displaced from their homes.
After their investigation of the violence, Human Rights Watch stated that the “attacks against Muslims (and other religious minorities) in Gujarat have been actively supported by state BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government officials and by the police.” 
The "Concerned Citizens Tribunal", established by journalists, retired judges and intellectuals in India to investigate the massacres in Gujarat, noted in its report:
The scrutiny of the evidence, which came before us, also reveals that there was systematic preparation for unleashing the violence all over the State. The attackers had with them the lists of persons and properties of the victims. The lists could not have been prepared without an access to government records and agencies like the state intelligence, the sales tax department, the revenue department and the state electoral rolls. The Muslim localities were identified beforehand, as also the property and business houses belonging to the Muslim community.
[Crime Against Humanity, Volume 1 - An Inquiry into the Carnage in Gujarat]
Babu Bajrangi, a convicted mass-killer of the Gujarat pogrom, acknowledged on camera during a media sting operation, that the pogrom would not have been possible without the support of Chief Minister Narendra Modi .
There is much more evidence that we would be happy to provide, should you need us to corroborate our position against Mr. Modi.
We would now like to respond to your letter point by point.
1. Modi, “has been re-elected three times since first becoming Chief Minister in 2001”
This is not unusual in Indian electoral politics which is often driven by sectarian loyalty rather than principle. Nor does it mean that he is governing well. The Left Front government ruled the state of West Bengal for 32 years until 2009. Naveen Patnaik (Orissa), Sheila Dikshit (Delhi) also were re-elected three times in a row. You must be aware of the fact that electoral arithmetic does not entirely depend on the persona of any individual, especially in a Westminster model of democracy.
2. Muslims have voted for him in 2012
The Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), which collects electoral data collected using scientific survey methodology, reported that only 18% of Muslims voted for BJP.
The same data reports that BJP did not field any Muslim candidate in the last Gujarat election. There were areas where Muslims had no option but to vote for the other candidate. This has nothing to do with Modi. Muslims were forced to express, under threat or intimidation by BJP/RSS, their support for him but there is nothing to suggest that they have voted for him as a community. 
3. Since 2001 he has stamped out corruption in the State administration”
This is false – an example of Mr. Modi’s expensive propaganda machine at work. If corruption has been stamped out, why then did the Modi administration resist the appointment of state Lok Ayukta (anti-corruption ombudsman) since 2003? When the State Governor appointed one, the Modi administration contested it up to the Supreme Court where it lost.
4. Modi, “is widely recognized (even by his enemies) to be personally not corrupt and to live frugally.”
Our objections to Mr. Modi's politics concern his fascist traits in politics and government, not his personal lifestyle, which incidentally is also not above board.
5. “Many non-resident Indians who hold him in high regard have a keen interest in maintaining their family contacts in Gujarat and are therefore interested to hear his views.”
This is no reason to justify implicit support for his views by providing him with a platform. Emigrants all over the world maintain contact with their families and relatives back home. There may be many in the UK who support other leaders with fascist views and would be very interested to hear them.
6. “He has presided over what is often referred to as an economic miracle in Gujarat, encouraging foreign direct investment and improving roads, electricity and infrastructure whilst increasing education and healthcare....”
Gujarat has not been a leading state in foreign direct investment (FDI). The Gujarat government claims that it signed nearly $1 trillion worth of memoranda of understanding (MoU), putting the state ahead of China! The real numbers tell a different story. Most of the MoUs never come to fruition. Gujarat's actual FDI is only sixth in the country and slightly ahead of (until recently communist ruled) West Bengal. Mr. Modi’s formidable PR armada led by APCO has created the fiction of Modi’s magic in Gujarat’s prosperity. Even if it were true, how much does a pound of human flesh cost?
7. Britain now has more foreign direct investment in Gujarat than in the rest of India put together.
This is a rather unfortunate admission in that it implies that economic interests are more important than human rights. Please note that the massacres he gave free rein to in 2002 also took the lives of three British citizens. These facts, if underlined, would anger the general British population as well. Under these circumstances, it would be highly regrettable for a British politician to be associated with and seen as endorsing Mr. Modi.
8. He has been voted as the most successful Chief Minister in India by Today Magazine 6 years in a row.
India Today is an English language magazine. English is spoken by 2-3% people in India (per the national census of 2001) - the poll therefore does not carry much weight as representing a significant proportion of Indian citizens.
9. He has recently been made the Leader of the Official Opposition Party
The Leader of the Official Opposition Party is in fact Mr. Rajnath Singh; Mr. Modi is simply in charge of the election campaign for 2014 elections.
10. The BJP is a Hindu Nationalist Party. And those are certainly his uncompromising views (he would like India to be a Hindu State just as Pakistan is a Muslim State.)
Thank you for pointing this out. The issue is that the Hindu Nationalist charter goes above and beyond India as a Hindu state a la Pakistan as a Muslim state. The VHP and RSS who are the ideological sources of the Hindu Nationalist movement were strongly influenced by Nazis in their formative years. University of Chicago Professor Martha Nussbaum calls the movement the most successful proto-fascist movement of modern times . To quote Prof. Nussbaum:
“Since long before the 2002 Gujarat riots--in which nearly two thousand Muslims were killed by Hindu extremists--the power of the Hindu right has been growing, threatening India's hard-won constitutional practices of democracy, tolerance, and religious pluralism. Led politically by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu right has sought the subordination of other religious groups and has directed particular vitriol against Muslims, who are cast as devils in need of purging.”
The Hindu Nationalist movement not only threatens the Muslims in India, but Christians, Dalits, Sikhs, Buddhists, and other minorities as well. In the long run, they will threaten other regional powers (Because India, according to them, extends from Afghanistan to Burma and from Tibet to Sri Lanka.)
BJP is the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a fascist group whose leader M. S. Golwalkar in his book We; Our Nationhood Defined, laid down the aims and objectives of this group in these words, “...the foreign races [read non Hindus] in Hindusthan [India] must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture...must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation...We are an old nation; let us deal, as old nations ought to and do deal, with the foreign races...” Otherwise, “...To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races—the Jews. Germany has also shown how well impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.”
India has a remarkably successful constitution. Modi’s uncompromising views are constitutionally inappropriate and legally unjustifiable.
11. I am of course aware of the allegations that he was implicated in – some say that he organised – the appalling rioting that took place in Gujarat in 2002… train that was set alight by Muslim extremists who objected to the Ram Sewaks’ demands to build a Hindu temple at Ayodhya
The official probe conducted by Indian Railways concluded that there was no attack from outside, that the fire started inside the coach; the claim that the fire was started by the Muslims’ as a retaliation to the temple at Ayodhya is a fiction and perhaps uttered here for the first time.
Muslims do not oppose the construction of a Ram Temple. What they are against is the occupation of Waqf (Muslim trust) land, where once stood a historic mosque and that was pulled down by extremist Hindus under the full gaze of the media.
12. “Hindu mobs... planned massacre”
As has been pointed out, all evidence points to a planned and systematic ethnic cleansing that could not have been possible without the overt support of the state machinery. A former minister in Modi cabinet Maya Kodnani was convicted by the High Court in Gujarat for her role in the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 . This alone is a damning indictment and proof that the pogrom was planned and executed with direction from the highest levels of the state administration.
13. “Given that the Indian Courts... Modi was not implicated in any way”
The truth about Modi will be known only when he is out of office and unable to use government machinery to silence his critics– please see what he does to officers who expose his role like Sanjiv Bhat.
14. “This has of course not stopped people using the allegations against him for political reasons; and they continue to do so... That is no reason... there is not even a case for him to answer”
Even the Supreme court has made these allegations [2, 10]. Are you, sir, suggesting that the Indian Supreme court has political agenda?
Mr. Modi has refused to condemn the attack on Muslims; he has instead focused his efforts on denying relief and assistance to the victims . He has polarized Gujarati and Indian society along religious lines, leading to social and commercial boycott of Muslims, walls separating Muslim and Hindu areas in cities and towns and “Muslim-free” villages. There are still tens of thousands of the displaced during 2002 living in shanty towns and temporary refugee camps too afraid to return to their homes and villages.
The amicus curiae appointed by the Supreme Court has asserted that Modi can be prosecuted . There is enough evidence against him that the United States denies him entry [5,6]. It is difficult to file a case against a Chief Minister everywhere and especially in India.
15. My assessment in inviting Modi to speak in the UK is that he is a hugely important figure in Indian politics. He is already Leader of the Opposition and depending on the outcome of next year’s elections he could become the Prime Minister of India. At the very least he will continue to be a dominant influence on India’s future direction one way or another. Britain has good relations with India and our trade and education links are strong and growing. It is therefore in my view entirely appropriate that British politicians and leaders of the Indian community in the UK should have an interest in what he has to say about the future direction of his country.
As we have pointed out before, Modi is not the leader of the Opposition. He is not as popular as you have been told . Humanity has nothing to gain from a fascist leader, however alluring his promises may seem.
We hope we have convinced you that the facts and arguments provided to you by Modi supporters are false and reprehensibly so. We would like to expand on why we oppose Mr. Modi and his propaganda of a Gujarat `miracle.’
He inherited a rich state which was richer than the rest of India even before independence - in comparison to other Indian states Gujarat has always been an economically better .
Even so, income disparity in Gujarat is one of the most extreme in India. Per data released by the planning commission of India, 31.8% are still below poverty line. Note that poverty means those who do not earn Rs. 20 (GBP 0.20) per day!
Responding to a question on malnutrition in Gujarat, Narendra Modi, on 29 August 2012, said: "The middle class is more beauty-conscious than health-conscious that is a challenge…If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they'll have a fight-she'll tell her mother, 'I won't drink milk. I'll get fat."
We would like to emphasize that Mr. Modi refused to condemn the 2002 riots, let alone apologize to the victims. He walked out of an interview with Karan Thapar when pressed on this. On the contrary he continues to evoke the 2002 case to create his image as a nationalist!
We have tried our best to answer you point by point. We specially request you to watch and read the links and references provided in our responses. If that is difficult, please ask an unbiased and credible source about the facts presented here. At stake are values that are common to both the United Kingdom and India and indeed to all civilized nations [7, 8].
Notes and References
 “The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future” Martha Nussbaum Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2009)
 “Gujarat riots: Amicus curiae says Modi can be prosecuted”http://www.indianexpress.com/news/gujarat...amicus-curiae...modi.../946400/
 “Muslims solidly against Modi: Katju
 Growth Rate: As per the Planning Commission data, this is true that in the period of 1995-2000 and 2001-10, Gujarat increased its annual rate of growth from 8.01% to 8.68%.
But look at other states Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. In fact, Gujarat was ranked second after Rajasthan (8.34%) in the first period and third after Uttarakhand (11.81%) and Haryana (8.95%) in the second period. Even Bihar and Orissa, the two most backward states of the country, have also shown growth pick up from 4.70% and 4.42% in the first period to 8.02% and 8.13% in the second period. Even smaller states like Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have registered growth of 11.01% and 8.96%, respectively. In 2011, Gujarat ranked sixth among major states with PCI of Rs 63,996, after Haryana (Rs 92,327), Maharashtra (Rs 83,471), Punjab (Rs 67,473), Tamil Nadu (Rs 72,993) and Uttarakhand (Rs 68,292).
 Keep denying visa to Modi: US lawmakers (Dec 4, 2012)
25 US lawmakers have urged US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to continue with America's move.
 US official warns against giving India’s Narendra Modi a visa (Aug 16, 2013)
“India will not be able to survive because it has so much diversity, so many religions, castes, languages, ethnic groups, etc.
 Narendra Modi's re-election a black mark for Gujarat: Martha C Nussbaum (Dec 24, 2012)
Martha C Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.
"Modi has long been denied a visa to enter the US because of his complicity in the 2002 pogrom, as ascertained by the US State Department. But now, the Naroda Patiya verdicts make official the fact that responsibility for heinous crimes goes very high up in his government," she notes.
 Printers protest Narendra Modi as chief guest, pullout from conference (Feb 25, 2013)
"We do not agree with the content of your seminar and invitation of Narendra Modi as a chief guest," he said. "As a magazine and as a publishing house in India with more than 12 years of standing, we stand by the principles of good taste, decency, progressive values, democratic principles and above all, the Constitution of India. As editor of PrintWeek India, I don't think Narendra Modi stands by these values; and hence the withdrawal of support," Ramnathan said.
 Godhra Riots: Gujarat HC Raps Modi for 'Inaction'
Passing strictures against the state government, the court said, "Gujarat Government's inadequate response and inaction (to contain the riots) resulted in an anarchic situation which continued unabated for days on".
 HC asks Modi Govt. to implement minority scholarship scheme (Feb 8, 2012)
In a major blow to the Narendra Modi government, the Gujarat High Court today censured it for "inaction and negligence" during the 2002 post-Godhra riots, holding that this had resulted in an "anarchic" situation.
 Naroda Patiya case: Former BJP minister Maya Kodnani convicted along with 31 others http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-08-30/news/33499655_1_...
"We have no orders to save you" - Report by Human Rights Watch
 The Truth – Gujarat 2002: Babu Bajrangi
Council of Indian Muslims (UK) : http://coimuk.org/
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