Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International to screen BBC film on Modi before White House visit
World-renowned human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have invited policymakers, journalists and analysts to a screening in Washington of the BBC’s documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which exposes his role in facilitating the 2002 Gujarat violence, ahead of his state visit to the White House.
The human rights groups have scheduled a private screening for June 20, two days ahead of Modi’s official state visit, during which he is set to attend a state dinner and address a joint session of Congress.
In announcing the screening on Monday, Human Rights Watch said it wanted it to serve as a reminder that the documentary had been banned in India.
The two-part documentary, India: The Modi Question, focused on Modi’s leadership as chief minister of Gujarat state during one of the worst cases of Hindu militant violence against Muslims. The majority of the roughly 1,000 victims were Muslim women, children, and men.
Meanwhile, a coalition of 17 civil rights organizations has released an open letter urging President Joe Biden to reconsider his decision to extend a state dinner invitation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “due to the steep decline of democratic values and the continuous violation of human rights against minority communities under his rule.”
Muslim family singled out, served food pulled from garbage by Islamophobic railway staff
A Muslim family traveling on a train were subjected to humiliating Islamophobic treatment by railway staff. Hindu supremacist staff members of the Rajdhani Express refused to provide them with a change of blanket, and served them with stale and unsanitary food.
A woman, who wishes to remain anonymous due to fear of backlash, said that the trouble began when two members of railway staff asked her about her religion. After she confirmed that she was Muslim, the staff’s behavior towards her and her family became visibly different.
She said that the rest of the passengers she was traveling with had received their breakfast except for them. Upon inquiry, the staff responded by stating that their breakfast was delayed as it was “being specially prepared for them.” The breakfast they eventually received was stale and unfit for consumption.
It was when they got their lunch, which was also delayed, that confirmed their doubts that they were singled out. The food they received confirmed that it was seriously unclean. A video captured by the Muslim woman during the incident reveals the unsanitary condition of the food provided, along with an informal interrogation of the railway staff conducted by the railway police. The staff member responsible for distributing the food admitted that it had been retrieved from the garbage.
Dalit man tonsured, beaten in broad daylight for inter-caste marriage
Hindu supremacists belonging to a dominant caste in a village in Telangana state tied up a 21-year-old Dalit man, forcefully shaved his head, and then proceeded to beat him for nearly three hours.
The victim, Nandu, was attacked because he married a woman from a different caste. Family members of the woman forced her to get married to another man on May 30, and Nandu was warned by her family to stay away from the festivities. That night, in a state of drunken stupor, Nandu accidentally set fire to a haystack.
He was taken to the village square the next morning by nine villagers, including one Village Revenue Assistant, and beaten up. He is now hospitalized with injuries on his legs and forehead.