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Press release

Indian Americans honor Rep. Keith Ellison as “Champion of Human Rights”
Event to mark India’s Republic Day held on first weekend after January 26th 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 03, 2016
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, honored Congressman Keith Ellision (D-MN) as a “Champion of Human Rights,” at an India Republic Day celebration held in Minneapolis. Although Republic Day is on January 26th, the celebrations were held over the weekend, to enable optimal participation from the community.
Among the speakers was Ms. Robin Phillips, of Advocates for Human Rights, a prominent organization that has done commendable work in highlighting issues related to human rights and religious freedom of minorities in India.
The highlight of the event was the “Champion of Human Rights,” award given to Congressman Keith Ellison, in recognition of his work to advance human rights, both in the United States and around the world. Mike Siebenaler, Constituents Services Director in Rep. Ellison’s office, accepted the award on behalf of the Congressman.

Award


Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International
, both leading global human rights groups, recently expressed grave concern over the situation of minorities and the clampdown on dissent in India. Prime Minister Modi’s government, “failed to address increasing attacks on free expression and against religious minorities,”  Human Rights Watch stated in its 659-page World Report. Amnesty International sought to bring international attention to the Modi government’s targeting of activists and protest groups for political ends.

“Speaking out against the violations of human rights and civil liberties of minorities in India, is an obligation of entire Indian diaspora and not just the privilege of a few,” said Mr. Robin Phillips, Executive Director of Advocates for Human Rights. “AHR, whose mission is to promote civil society and to reinforce the rule of law, feels almost obligated to work with IAMC whose main goal is freedom, justice, and peace for all in India,” added Ms. Phillips.
Attendees and speakers noted the continued assault on minorities and lower castes. Delegates also expressed profound respect for Mr. Rohith Vemula, a Dalit research scholar who was driven to commit suicide as a result of the harassment and intimidation at the University of Hyderabad, in which even Union ministers were involved. Outrage over Mr. Vemula’s treatment and subsequent death has been expressed in the form of mass protests to erupt at major universities and cities across US and around the world.
“This year’s Republic Day celebrations are marked by a grim reminder that the struggle to uphold justice and equality before the law for all people, regardless of caste and creed, is now more urgent than ever,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of IAMC.
Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our website at: http://www.iamc.com
CONTACT:

Indian American Muslim Council

Phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270

Email:info@iamc.com 

Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

REFERENCES:
1. Indian government failed to address attacks on minorities: Human Rights groups
2. Rohith Vemula’s death spark outrage within Indian diaspora

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Charges against Union Minister and Vice-Chancellor indicative of administration’s anti-Dalit and anti-minority focus rooted in Hindutva

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 19, 2016

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed  shock and outrage over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University. Mr. Vemula and four other members of Ambedkar Students Association were victimized and subjected to relentless harassment by the University officials. Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the Vice-Chancellor  of the University Appa Rao Podile along with a BJP legislator and two student leaders face charges of abetting Rohith’s suicide, under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Rohith Vemula and his associates were clearly targeted for raising issues that were inconvenient not only for upper caste outfits and University officials, but also for the blatantly anti-Dalit and sectarian BJP administration at the Centre. Their harassment by the University on flimsy grounds included discontinuation of the monthly stipend since July and suspension from the University since September last year.

This incident also exposes the role of Smriti Irani’s Human Resource and Development (HRD) Ministry. This is the second instance where Smriti Irani’s Ministry is found exerting overbearing political pressure and interference in University affairs. The IIT Madras decision to ban the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) followed the receipt of a letter from Smriti Irani’s HRD Ministry. In this case, Smriti Irani’s HRD Ministry sent five letters to the Hyderabad university for action on Labour Minister Bandaru Dattareya’s complaint regarding “anti national activities” on the campus and the alleged “violent attack” on an ABVP leader. The involvement of a Union Minister in ensuring University officials remained hostile to Rohith and his fellow ASA members, and the Vice-Chancellor’s role in the tragedy has been called out in the charges brought against the minister and the Vice-Chancellor by the police.

In an earlier letter to the Vice-Chancellor, Rohith had written, “Please give us poison at the time of admission itself instead of humiliating us like this.” Rohith’s suicide note also points to the psychological trauma he was going through on account of the continued harassment and intimidation.

“Rohith Vemula’s suicide is a chilling example of the deeply entrenched caste-based oppression in India,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of Indian American Muslim Council. “His death is not only an occasion for profound sorrow but also a call to action for all who care about human rights and religious freedom. Continuing caste-based oppression in modern India and anti-minority repression are the bitter fruits of Hindutva,” added Mr. Malick.

While the charges against Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the Vice-Chancellor of the University are a step in the right direction, justice could be elusive unless there is mass outrage over Rohith’s suicide, as well as sustained action by civil society institutions. IAMC has urged all people of conscience, in India and across the world, to recognize caste-based oppression as a form of racism.

Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our website at: http://www.iamc.com

CONTACT:

Indian American Muslim Council

Phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270

Email:info@iamc.com

Facebook: Indian American Muslim Council

Twitter: @IAMCouncil

Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

REFERENCES:

  1. Rohith Vemula: The student who died for Dalit rights

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35349790

  1. Rohith Vemula suicide: Why did HRD ministry write 4 letters on the ‘matter’ to Hyderabad Central University?

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/rohith-vemula-suicide-why-did-hrd-ministry-write-4-letters-on-the-matter-to-hyderabad-central-university-2590846.html

  1. IIT Madras and Modi Government Play Big Brother, Ban Student Group

http://thewire.in/2015/05/29/iit-madras-and-modi-government-play-big-brother-ban-student-group-2688/

  1. Trail Of Letters That Prove The Direct Involvement Of MHRD Under Smriti Irani In The Suicide Of Rohith Vemula

http://www.countercurrents.org/rti190116.htm

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Indian Americans express support for VP Rajeena, victimized for speaking up against child abuse

December 22, 2015

Journalist shared her experiences  at a Madrasa (traditional Islamic school) during her childhood FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 29, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed support for journalist VP Rajeena, who described instances of sexual abuse of children that she witnessed in […]

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Reported rape of dead Muslim woman evokes anger, revulsion amongst Indian Americans

October 27, 2015

Calls to rape dead Muslim women had been made at a function presided over by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 27, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has joined in the outrage and revulsion felt by Indian Americans and people of […]

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Horrific lynching in India a planned uptick in Hindu supremacist violence against minorities say Indian Americans

October 3, 2015

Brutal killing over mere suspicion of eating beef intended to terrorize local Muslims and polarize communities along religious lines FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 03, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has strongly condemned the latest episode of anti-minority violence in India, in the […]

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Indian Americans celebrate India Independence Day, call for unified action to secure life, liberty and justice for all

August 16, 2015

IAMC calls the defense of secularism in India a struggle to save the soul of the nation  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, August 15, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has joined millions of people of Indian origin, living in India and across […]

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Continued vendetta against Teesta Setalvad condemned by Indian Americans

July 16, 2015

CBI raids on Teesta’s home and offices are payback for years of fearless advocacy for victims of Gujarat 2002 pogroms July 15, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos,  has condemned the latest episode in the BJP government’s continued vendetta against renowned human […]

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Indian Americans urge India, US to heed USCIRF’s recommendations on safeguarding religious freedom in India

May 1, 2015

USCIRF Report for 2015 documents forced conversions of minorities to Hinduism, rising attacks on their places of worship and other restrictions on religious freedom April 30, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos,  has welcomed the recommendations on India in the report released today by […]

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Fake encounter killings in Telangana are an outrage against the rule of law say Indian Americans

April 10, 2015

Killing of five youth while they were handcuffed on their way to court in a police van warrants a judicial probe April 09, 2015 Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos ethos has called the Telangana police killing of five detainees in a transportation […]

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Shocking reversals in the struggle for justice mark Gujarat pogroms anniversary

March 2, 2015

A season of “clean chits” for the guilty and hounding of activists since the coming to power of Hindu supremacists  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 28, 2015  The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has marked the 13th anniversary of the Gujarat pogroms of […]

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