Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Resisting the Rise of Modi

WHILE Modi's friends in West like his dedication to business, BJP posters in Mumbai show the other side.

COMMUNIST PARTY of India (Marxist) General Secretary General Secretary Prakash Karat has warned that inter-communal violence in different parts of India is a part of an orchestrated campaign to create communal polarisation to help the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the coming elections.

Opening his party's conference at Palakkad,  in Kerala, southern India, Karat criticised the policies of both the ruling UPA and BJP as having nothing to offer people beyond rising prices and unemployment, and said that only the CPI (M) and Left democratic parties could bring a change by rallying the secular forces and creating alternative policies.

In selecting Narendra Modi as its choice for Prime Minister, the BJP has picked the man who most people know at Chief Minister of Gujarat, western India, where 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in 2002 in supposed "riots" that were more like organised pogroms. Police were ordered not to interfere with the violence, and though Modi and his supporters have denied responsibility, he is on record comparing the deaths to running over a "puppy" in your car.

There was a reminder of the link between the BJP and communal violence this year, in another state, Uttar Pradesh.  As an All India News report tells us:
 Three men accused of inciting deadly riots in Uttar Pradesh were treated as guests of honour today at election rallies in the western part of the state, where nearly 60 people were killed in communal violence in Muzaffarnagar three months ago.

BJP legislators Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana were garlanded by the party's state leaders at Narendra Modi's rally in Agra. Both men spent over a month in jail for instigating that Hindu-Muslim violence.

They were removed from the stage before Mr Modi arrived, an attempt by the party to allow its main man some distance from the controversial legislators.

Referring to the hardline Hindu supremacist RSS movement from which Modi came, CPI(M) leader
Karat told his party members "The BJP and RSS have decided to promote hardcore communal agenda by projecting Modi as prime ministerial candidate,"

He said that the UPA government is associated with high price rise, unemployment and massive corruption while the BJP is trying to project itself as the change in the next Lok Sabha elections but in effect the policies of both are same.

Karat said, "Narendra Modi is projected as BJP's prime ministerial candidate. He is one political leader who has the support of the all the big corporate and business house. The BJP and RSS have decided to promote hardcore communal agenda by projecting Modi as prime ministerial candidate."

He added that the credibility of the Congress is fast eroding among the people and only the CPI (M) or other Left democratic forces have the credibility and the confidence of the people.

While inciting inter-communal hatreds to divert discontents in India, the BJP is still looking to business interests there and in the West for backing. A petition from Modi supporters is trying to get the United States to lift its visa ban on the man from Gujarat, while Time magazine is considering featuring him as its "Person of  the Year". Some have unkindly recalled that in 1938 Time's  Man of the Year was one Adolf Hitler.  

Still, Modi has also been praised for his economic policies by none other than Goldman, Sachs.

In Britain, David Cameron says he is willing to meet Narendra Modi as a potential prime minister of India. But the running for Modi fan club member number one has been made by Labour MP Barry Gardiner(Brent North), who wanted to bring Modi over to address parliament this year.

This led to an angry demonstration outside Brent Civic Centre when Gardiner held his surgery there this Autumn, and at the weekend the annual conference of the left-wing Labour Representation Committee adopted the following resolution: 

This conference of the Labour Representation Committee condemns attempts to bring the right-wing Indian politician Narendra Modi to Britain, and urges the Labour Party and the Labour Friends of India to dissociate themselves from the Labour MP Barry Gardiner (Brent North) who has invited Modi to address parliament.

Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, is held responsible for the organised pogroms in that state in 2002, when as many as 2,000 people, mainly Muslims, were killed. A veteran'of the RSS movement inspired by Hitler, the BJP leader is campaigning as a 'Hindu nationalist' to become India's next prime minister. Already his supporters have been linked with communal violence in other parts of India, and attacks on socialists.

Yet because of his encouragement of Western investment in Gujarat, Modi hopes to be rehabilitated by Western governments. He recently had meetings with the British High Commissioner in Ahmedabad, promising advantages for British companies. Modi's past visits to Britain were used to raise funds here and his prestige back home. A visit now would fit his election campaign.

It is regrettable, to say the least, that his invitation came from a Labour MP, and it can only discredit the Labour Party. Narendra Modi is opposed by socialists in India, notably trade unionists in the state of Gujarat. His visit to this country is opposed by British Asians of all backgrounds, and by several Labour MPs. The LRC must add its voice to the opposition.

 Workers movement and Left in India should get our support.



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