(Speech by South Asia Solidarity Group at the Vigil Against Fascism and Hindu Supremacy in India: Resisting Modi 2.0, Indian High Commission, London 21 June 2019)
We are here today as we have been many times since 2014, to remember and honour those who have lost their lives at the hands of fascist, caste supremacist Hindutva forces in India.
Today we are remembering in particular those who have already been murdered under the new one-month-old Modi government. People like Dr Payal Tadvi, the young Adivasi Muslim doctor who was hounded to death by casteist senior colleagues; like Ashok, a young Dalit left activist hacked to death in Tamil Nadu; like Ashraf Ali, who was found dead after he heard he might be excluded from the National Register of Citizens under which millions of people are being disenfranchised and thousands imprisoned in camps.
We are here to show that no matter what, we vow to stand by all India's minorities and marginalised communities and individuals who are facing violence and persecution. We vow to stand up for all the human rights activists, the journalists, the lawyers, the whistleblowers who are courageously exposing the Modi government and the RSS network which keeps him in power.
We are also here, one month after the elections brought Modi back to power, to say that we are not going away. We are not going to stop protesting and exposing what is happening in India.
We know that the elections were held in an environment of hate and terror, and that Modi’s election campaign this time was all about hate speech, Islamophobia and warmongering, without even the pretence of being about development which we had last time.
We can see that the media, the judiciary, the Election Commission, all the institutions which are meant to sustain a democracy, have been completely undermined. We know that the BJP got funding from transnational corporations on a previously unheard of scale.
We know about the huge number of manipulations, and intimidation which took place in the actual voting process.
And just as people’s movements in India won’t stop resisting, movements of Dalits, Adivasis, farmers, students, youth and of citizens who believe in democracy won’t give up, we will also not give up in supporting them, in amplifying their voices and showing our solidarity with their courageous resistance against this fascist, Hindu supremacist regime.
Every time Modi tries to claim that he has the full support of the diaspora in his murderous mission to turn India in to a Hindu state, we will be here proving that this is a lie.
And we will continue to confront the representatives of Hindu fascism here in Britain – those who are opposing the legislation outlawing caste discrimination, the British MPs like Bob Blackman who are inviting Hindu fascists to speak in Parliament and denying the repression in Kashmir, the representatives of ISKCON who are amassing money here while refusing to supply children nourishing food in their mid-day meals. We will continue to challenge the British corporates who want Modi in power so that they can continue to plunder the country as they have done since colonial times.
We have a programme of events planned in the next few months. Please speak to people here about what will be happening, and above all don’t give in to the Hindutva fascists who want us to be silent, continue to make your voice heard.