Prime Minister Narendra Modi Greeted by Protestors in London
The protests were over the recent rape cases in India as the protesters called the Modi regime in India a “fascist regime”.
Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi was greeted by protests as he arrived for talks with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on April 18 in London with vans bearing digital posters that said “#ModiNotWelcome” over his lack of explicit censure over recent incidents of rape in India.
One of the protest groups, South Asia Solidarity Group, carried posters saying “Why are Indians in Britain protesting PM Narendra Modi’s visit?” and answered in points: “Protector of rapists”, “Proud Fascist and admirer of Hitler” and “patron of lynch mobs killing Muslims and a supporter of caste and murders of Dalits”, reported National Herald.
While another poster bore the name of the Kathua rape victim and gave details of the case. The poster said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party leaders have been protesting in defense of the rapists. “
Protest vans could be seen in many parts of London including the Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square and Downing Street. Amrit Wilson of South Asia Solidarity Group, who organized the demonstration said that there were very serious questions that the prime minister hadn’t answered. “We want to spread awareness about the horrific Kathua rape and murder case. We want to tell the world as to why PM Modi and the Indian leadership must be held accountable,” Wilson was quoted as saying by National Herald.
“We as people of Indian origin in Britain are appalled at the scale of violence Modi’s regime has unleashed. We feel that the rape and murder in Kathua is an example of this. What we are seeing is our country being transformed into a fascistic Hindu supremacist place – something we are not willing to tolerate.” Wilson said, reported Evening Standard.
Many organizations in the United Kingdom rallied together in central London chanting “Modi go back”, “Modi out out” and “Justice for Asifa”, leading to counter protests as well, Evening Standard reported. The counter protesters gathered at Westminster Abbey chanting “We love Modi,” and “Modi, saviour of India”, as police officers separated these groups.
Sikh and Kashmiri diaspora were also part of the protests and called for an end to “religious persecution”. Apart from these demonstrators, 55 women writers from India as well as from Indian origin and activists wrote to the prime minister about the rise of rapes in the country recently, according to The Guardian.
Later, PM Modi addressed the rape case at the Indian diaspora event “Bharat Ki Baat Sabke Saath” at the Central Hall Westminster in London on Apr. 18. “Rape is rape, it shouldn’t be politicized,” he said at the event. “This is a matter of great concern for the country and these sinners are somebody’s sons. The rape of a (daughter) is a matter of worry, a shame for the country,” PM Modi said, NDTV reported.
PM Modi took to the social media thanking people who saw the event.
I thank all those who saw the programme, be it in person in London or on TV and social media. It is amazing to see high levels of enthusiasm towards India all over the world.
This interest towards India is due to the skills and strengths of 125 crore Indians! pic.twitter.com/LnGwYvqdUv
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 18, 2018
PM Modi, who arrived in the United Kingdom late on April 17 for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM), added that he always welcomes criticism. “People sometimes ask me why don’t I speak up against them. But my job is not to shut the mouth of people who are criticizing me, it’s my job to think where I am going wrong,” the Prime Minister explained.
Meanwhile, National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU) said it was denied permission to attend the event as per Hindustan Times report. NISAU stated on social media that its delegates were not sent their tickets.
NISAU, made up of Indian and Asian students from 20 British universities in the group, had written to PM Modi last week asking that swift justice and extraordinary measures be taken in light of the rape cases in Kathua, Unnao and Surat. They had asked for improvement in safety for women in India and PM Modi was expected to respond to the letter at the event.