Obama says Biden should speak to Modi about protection of Muslims in India
Former US President Barack Obama said in an interview with CNN that President Joe Biden should address “troubling” anti-democratic trends and protection of Indian Muslims with Hindu supremacist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“If the president meets with Prime Minister Modi, then the protection of the Muslim minority in a majority-Hindu India, that’s something worth mentioning,” Obama said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour.
“Part of my argument would be that if you do not protect the rights of ethnic minorities in India, then there is a strong possibility India at some point starts pulling apart. And we’ve seen what happens when you start getting those kinds of large internal conflicts,” he said.
“I do think that it is appropriate for the president of the United States, where he or she can, to uphold those principles and to challenge –whether behind closed doors or in public – trends that are troubling. And so I’m less concerned about labels than I’m concerned about specific practices,” he added.
Hundreds gather outside White House to protest minority persecution in India
Hundreds of Indian Americans and their allies gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C. to stage a demonstration against Modi’s assault on democratic values and ongoing human rights violations.
The protest, attended by people from the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Dalit, and Indian tribal communities, was held hours before Modi’s address to a joint session of Congress and a state dinner at the White House.
The protest was organized by the Coalition for Reclaiming Indian Democracy, a collective of civil rights and interfaith organizations. Speaking at the event were activists as well as victims of the Modi regime’s human rights abuses.
“Democracy as we know it has ceased to exist in India,” said Dr. Aakashi Bhatt, daughter of jailed whistleblower Sanjiv Bhatt, who provided testimony on Modi’s involvement in the 2002 anti-Muslim Gujarat pogrom.
“Shame on the Biden administration for claiming to care about democracy and human rights, but shamelessly rolling out the red carpet for the Hindu supremacist leader who is dividing India along fault lines of hate,” said Sunita Vishwanath, Executive Director of the advocacy group Hindus for Human Rights.
“A Holocaust is happening right now in the world’s largest democracy, and the United States has chosen to honor its leader,” said Roja Singh, President of Dalit Solidarity Forum.
“We ask that President Biden declare that the United States does not support the violence-based policies enacted by the Modi government,” she added.
Hindu militant leader back on social media bragging about assaulting cattle traders
Hindu militant leader Monu Manesar, an accused in the gruesome murder of two Muslim men, Nasir and Junaid, continues to brag about his criminal activities by posting videos of assault.
A violent mob of 20 men beat the two men to death and set their bodies ablaze after accusing them of smuggling cows.
Manesar has reactivated his Instagram account with 51,000 followers and started sharing videos with guns and violence. The video shows a smiling Manesar, with a gun by his side, posing along with a group of people holding a person hostage.
In the past, Manesar posted several videos of violence and assaults on his social media accounts. These videos show him leading a mob, and chasing and attacking Muslim cattle traders. The videos also show Manesar opening fire at the victims and assaulting them with sticks.
Police in Rajasthan state have been looking for him in the murder case related to Junaid and Nasir. After the latest video was posted by Manesar, social media users, and activists slammed the government for failing to arrest him.