Demonstration to oppose Narendra Modi’s Chennai visit

By Md. Ali,,

Chennai (Tamil Nadu): That people of the country in general and Muslims in particular have not forgiven Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the 2002 Gujarat genocide, is evident from a big agitation held to oppose his visit to Chennai on 11th July.

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To protest against his visit around 600 activists of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) demonstrated, out of which around 350 were arrested. All of them, however, were released late night on the day.

Modi arrived in the capital city of Tamil Nadu on July 11 to attend a function at D. G. Vaishnawa College located in the city. contacted Dr. Jawahirullah, president of TMMK, to know the reason for the demonstration.

Dr. Jawahirullah said that they were demonstrating to show their anger that in spite of being responsible, directly or indirectly, for the genocide which killed hundreds of Muslims, Modi is moving free in the country pricking the conscience of the country.

He said this is against the idea of India as secular and democratic country. And not only Indian Muslims but all the people who believe in secularism across the globe are pained to see this, said Jawahirullah.

“This demonstration was the expression of our feelings and anger. We consider Narendra Modi a mass murderer of Muslims in Gujarat, and the law has not yet taken any steps to bring him to book,” he said on phone from Chennai.

Although the press release by the state BJP says that the visit by Modi had no political purposes, but Jawahirullah refutes it saying, whether a visit by a person like Narendra Modi can be ever without political implications.

Pointing towards the Hindutva organizations working silently in the state, Jawahirullah says that the visit by Modi was an attempt to showcase their agenda.

If not this then why else the college authorities invited him to address the gathering of academicians, he asks.

After all Modi is not the embodiment of freedom of expression and academic freedom as the attack painting exhibition in Vadodra University, boycott of Amir Khan’s movie “Fanna” and another movie based on the Gujarat riot “Parzania” and several other instances show.

In reality Modi personifies fascist and authoritarian ideology which is opposed to the very idea of freedom of expression itself, he says.

The symbolism of Modi addressing a college gathering shows the dangerous precedent emerging in the state. It tells how the right wing Hindutva elements have managed to penetrate the academia of the state.

And this is where lies the failure of the state government, as one can never take for granted the secularism and an atmosphere which is free of communal elements.

That is why Jawahirullah considers it the failure of the state government that it could not prevent Modi from addressing an academic gathering, which it could have done strategically, citing the law and order problem that his visit has created.