Sep 1, 2008

Three Cheers for the U.S. State Dept: Modi Denied Visa

Well, this is what happens when the government actually does what it's supposed to do. Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the butcher of Gujarat, whose anti-Muslim (and anti-Christian, which I'm sure is most relevant here) positions and actions are legion, was denied his visa request by the U.S. State Dept. Modi was going to come to the U.S. to speak at the World Gujarati Conference, to be held this weekend in NJ. 

Here's a link to the letter confirming their position on his "severe violations of religious freedom." Again, the reasoning is connected to the Religious Conversion legislation in Gujarat that required people to register with the state before they could convert their religion, which was largely seen by the media/West as a strong anti-Christian move.

I think the legislation was a hindutva move to address a history of conversion or perceived forced conversion in India (Hindus in India sometimes "Muslims in India used to be Hindu and were forceably converted en masse" instead of recognizing that people convert, it's part of human history). I wish the letter and the State Dept.'s stance reflected the genocide that Modi oversaw in Gujarat in 2002, when more than 2,000 Muslims were slaughtered and more than 50,000 displaced from their homes while the military and police stood idly by (or helped out). But we take what we can get, I suppose.

Flash forward to tons of hate mail to the government (this is what they choose to get upset about) and angry letters to the Indian American media by capitalist Gujaratis who don't care about hindutva (though they benefit from it) but see Modi as the chief architect of the economic boom that the area has witnessed in the last 5-10 years.

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