Monday March 19, 2012
Indian American Muslim Council (http://www.iamc.com) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos is calling on all people of conscience to protest TIME magazine’s cover story as well as the article by Brookings Institution Managing Director praising Mr. Narendra Modi, for distorting the truth by omitting details of Mr. Modi’s dismal human rights record.
The TIME cover story (Asia Edition) comes on the heels of a blog article by the Managing Director of the Brookings Institution that appears to be along the same lines, projecting Mr. Modi as India’s “most admired and most feared politician,” even eulogizing his apparent concern for the environment, while glossing over the details of Mr. Modi’s role in the murderous carnage of 2002.
Although TIME’s cover story is not an endorsement, it contains inaccuracies, half-truths and glaring omissions of pertinent details on Mr. Modi’s tenure as Chief Minister. These betray its real objective – an attempt by APCO Worldwide, Modi’s PR firm in Washington DC – to combat negative coverage of their client’s documented connivance in gross human rights violations, in order to project him as a Prime Ministerial candidate.
A Tehelka news report highlights the fact that the Gujarat government has been paying Rupees 1.5 million per month to APCO since 2009 to bring about the image makeover. The report also mentions that the firm is managing “Modi’s own behavior and projection for which the cost has been $25,000 per month since 2007.”
Action Requested (CALL & EMAIL)
Contact TIME and the Brookings Institution and ask them to correct the misperceptions created by the stories they ran on Mr. Narendra Modi, by follow-up articles that are balanced. Please see talking points below when contacting Brookings and TIME.
Phone 202.797.6105 (Media) or 202-797-6200 (President’s Office)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Web : http://ideas.time.com/submit-a-letter-to-the-editor/
When you write or make a phone call, make some of the following points, in addition to points from the references below:
1. On the 10th anniversary of Gujarat massacres, your article is projecting its perpetrator as a PM candidate rather than focusing on 10 years of injustice and violence at his hand. It is an insult to the thousands of victims of the Gujarat violence that are still suffering from Modi’s discriminatory policies.
2. Instead of rehabilitating the victims of the Gujarat pogrom, Modi is busy rehabilitating his own blood stained image using public money meant to serve the people. Your article is a contribution to his misguided campaign that comes at the expense of justice and reparation for the Gujarat 2002 victims. 10 years after the violence, a recent survey shows that there are still 16,000 victims from the 2002 violence languishing in squalid refugee camps which do not receive any support from the government.
3. Gujarat under Mr. Modi has one of the highest levels of hunger and malnutrition in India, according to an NCAER study from 2011. The falling human development indices, rampant corruption and multi-million dollar scams, and entrenched discrimination against minorities belie Mr. Modi’s claim of a “Vibrant Gujarat.”
4. The Indian courts are censuring Mr. Modi for contempt of court and assessing the evidence collected by human rights organizations and investigative journalists to determine whether Mr. Modi can be prosecuted for his direct responsibility in the Gujarat massacres of 2002
5. Human rights organizations have repeatedly pointed out that the victims of the Gujarat carnage of 2002 have not only been denied justice, but also basic amenities in the many refugee camps that continue to shelter them
6. The complicity of the state government in allowing the killing of over 2,000 people, brutal sexual violence against 800 women, and the displacement of over 150,000 people has been well documented by human rights organizations and investigative journalists
7. In 2005, the US State Department, in an unprecedented move, placed a ban on Mr. Modi from entering the US on the grounds of egregious religious freedom violations under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998
After writing or making the call, please do the following:
1. Report your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Pass on this action alert to all your friends
REFERENCES TO TIME & BROOKINGS ARTICLES
India’s Most Admired and Most Feared Politician: Narendra Modi
Why Narendra Modi is India’s Most Loved and Loathed Politician
MODI’S PR FIRM HAS HISTORY OF WORKING FOR DICTATORS
Modi gets PR firm Apco Worldwide to hardsell Vibrant Gujarat
APCO Worldwide: Modi’s image builders have dictators on client list
What lies on the other side of US’ praise of Modi
THE MYTH OF VIBRANT GUJARAT
Marketing a Myth (of Gujarat’s Economic Prosperity) by Lyla Bavadam, Frontline Magazine, May. 07-20, 2011
Relative Development of Gujarat and Socio-Economic Differentials By Dr. Abusaleh Shariff
High income, yet high hunger levels in Gujarat
By VIDYA SUBRAHMANIAM, THE HINDU, February 13, 2011
Myth of Vibrant Gujarat
A Decade of Shame
Muslims are Gujarat’s new outcastes: Survey – DNA, March 2, 2012
2002 riots not spontaneous: Study
No entry for Modi into US: visa denied – Times of India, March 18, 2005
Congressional Resolution H.RES 569: Recognizing the tenth anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat, India
India: A Decade on, Gujarat Justice Incomplete – Human RIghts Watch, Feb 24, 2012