IAMC Weekly News Digest, 30th July 2021
….The friendly collaboration between NSO and India appears to have begun in Israel in 2017, during what the Indian media called the Modi-Netanyahu “bromance” – the time they rolled up their trousers and paddled together on Dor beach. They left more than just their own footprints in the sand. It was around then that phone numbers in India began to appear on the list…. The Pegasus scandal has now created an uproar in the monsoon session of parliament. The opposition has demanded that the home minister step down. Modi’s ruling party, comfortable in its brute majority, fielded Ashwini Vaishnaw – newly sworn in as the minister for railways, for communications and for information technology – to defend the government in parliament. Humiliatingly for him, his number was on the leaked list as well…. Over the years some of us have become scholars of the sinister lengths to which Modi’s government will go to entrap those it considers enemies – and it’s more than simply surveillance….
In a Congressional Briefing cosponsored by a group of 17 human rights and interfaith organizations, including the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC),Amnesty International and Hindus for Human Rights, a panel of eminent speakers raised awareness on the escalating persecution of Christians in India, and urged the US government to take definitive action in this regard…. India is home to 30 million Christians, who have peacefully coexisted alongside other faith groups for centuries. With the rise of Hindu nationalism, however, attacks against Christians have increased at an alarming rate, taking the form of physical violence, disruptions of church services, restrictions on access to food and water, and false accusations of forced conversions. According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), the first half of 2021 saw 145 cases of violence against Christians nationwide. As EFI General Secretary Reverend Vijayesh Lal stated, “These incidents are all verified… this is only the tip of the iceberg.”…
The president of Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, who was arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots, told a Delhi court on Monday that he was held for filing a complaint against a BJP minister. The police have accused Rehman of collecting money to fund various sit-in protests, and providing logistical support and daily wages to women protesting against CAA and NRC. Rehman had complained against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra to the Delhi Police. He accused them of making inflammatory speeches during the Delhi Assembly elections which led to a firing incident at Jamia Millia Islamia University….