WHAT: MANDELA’S VISIT TO GUJARAT
The government of the Indian state of Gujarat, has invited Mr. Nelson Mandela to visit the state and be part of the celebrations on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, 2nd October. Gujarat is the state Gandhi was born in, but also the one that has seen the ugliest manifestation of the Hindutva-fascist ideology in recent times. Human rights groups and media have consistently held the hard-line Hindutva government in Gujarat, led by chief minister Narendra Modi, guilty of collusion in the religious violence last year that claimed hundreds of innocent lives. Today, while hardly anyone has been brought to justice for the crimes in Gujarat, the administration is busy trying to whitewash its own culpability by building legitimacy through events such as the planned visit by Mr. Mandela. Far from being close to Gandhi’s vision, elements of the present administration in Gujarat are associated with extremist groups that were responsible for Gandhi’s assassination and that celebrate the birthday of the assassin to this day.
Request Mr. Nelson Mandela, a revered leader who has always lived up to Gandhian ideals, to condemn the Gujarat administration for its role in last year’s violence, and refuse to share a platform with them.
1. Mr. Mandela directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. THE SOUTH AFRICAN HIGH COMMISSIONER
B-18 Vasant Marg, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi 110 057
Tel: 011-26149411 to 20 / Fax: 011-26143605
3. The grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi Ms. Ela Gandhi, a Member of Parliament in South Africa: email@example.com
Respected Mr. Mandela,
You are a source of strength and example of hope to the oppressed throughout the world. I have learnt that the present government of the Indian state of Gujarat, headed by chief minister Narendra Modi, has invited you to be a chief guest at the birthday celebration of Gandhi this October.
You may be already aware of the pogroms that were perpetrated in Gujarat, India in 2002 under the tutelage and incitement of Modi’s administration. The pre-meditated nature of this genocide is well documented by human rights groups, international and Indian media (Please see for example, the report by Human Rights Watch:http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/)
Modi and his ilk are trying to whitewash their actions and gain legitimacy for their regime by celebrating Gandhi, while in reality they have nothing but contempt for him. Modi is a member of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), whose followers conspired and killed Gandhi.
As one with utmost concern for the people of India, and for its pluralistic and tolerant ethos that Gandhi worked so hard to preserve, I strongly urge you to reject the invitation and give a befitting reply so as to make sure that these culprits do not gain any legitimacy through your esteemed presence.
I do hope that you visit India, but as one on the side of Gandhi and his real followers, not those follow an ideology that resulted in Gandhi’s murder.