India: Launch of the Coalition Against Genocide

Coalition Against Genocide
The coalition demands revocation of invitation to Indian politician accused of Gujarat pogrom.
The Asian American Hotel Owner Association's (AAHOA) has created a storm in US by inviting a militant, anti-minority Indian politician to its annual convention.
AAHOA will be honoring Narendra Modi, the Chief executive of the Indian state of Gujarat who is accused of sharing responsibility in the massacres, sexual mutilations and rapes of Muslims and persecution of Christians, indigenous tribes and moderate Hindus.

Narendra Modi has been indicted by various Indian and International human rights organizations for his role in the pogroms directed at the Muslim community in Gujarat in 2002. He was criticized by the Supreme Court of India as a modern day Nero for his actions during the 2002 massacres and has two cases lodged against him in the State of Gujarat.

The AAHOA's membership predominantly consists of immigrants from Modi's home state. Its decision to honor Modi in its convention and trade fair on March 24 - 26 has been controversial in the organization itself. AAHOA's decision to invite Modi raises the speculation that Indian American Professional Organizations are being infiltrated by sectarian ultra-nationalists and have become conduits for their fundraising and political support in US.

In response to these disturbing developments, a wide spectrum of organizations based in US have come together to form a coalition - Coalition Against Genocide (CAG). The member organizations in CAG have diverse backgrounds including community-based groups, developmental groups, human rights groups and academic experts that have been coordinating their efforts against the spread of religious hatred in India. CAG asserts that its stand is a just and moral stand and is in the best interest of the US society, the Indian Diaspora and India.

CAG will adopt a multi pronged strategy to expose and marginalize the extremists and will work towards safeguarding the pluralist ethos of India and the economic well being of the Indian Diaspora in US.

The Coalition has demanded that AAHOA rescind its invitation to Narendra Modi. CAG has brought to attention the fact that Modi's party has been glorifying Hitler and his genocidal policies in the state run schools. Modi is in close alliance with and promotes the extreme right-wing Hindutva movement that is supremacist and anti-minority and whose members were responsible for the assassination of Gandhi. This movement was formed on the model of Mussolini's Fascist party in the 1920s and has been glorifying Hitler since the 1930s.

CAG is hopeful that AAHOA members will take these facts into account and force its Board to rescind the invitation given to Mr. Modi.

Copy of CAG's letter to AAHOA:

February 19, 2005

The President and Board
Asian American Hotel Owners Association
66 Lenox Pointe N.E, Atlanta Georgia 30324.

Dear Sir:

We represent a coalition of national and local organizations in the U.S. and are writing to express our moral outrage at your invitation to Narendra Modi to speak at your convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on March 24-26, 2005.

As you must know, Mr. Modi has been indicted by all reputable Indian and International human rights organizations for his role in the ethnic cleansing and pogroms against the Muslim community in Gujarat, India in 2002, in addition to having two cases lodged against him in the state of Gujarat.

In the state-sponsored pogrom in Gujarat, thousands of people were killed and made refugees, hundreds of women and young girls were brutally raped and tortured, religious places of worship were defiled and destroyed, and property loss and damage ran to millions of dollars. These heinous crimes were not only committed under Gujarat Chief Minister Modi's watch, but also condoned by him. The Supreme Court of India has rebuked the State Government of Gujarat for its faulty and discriminatory handling of more than 2000 cases that were never even properly investigated let alone tried. The Gujarat State government under Mr. Modi continues to discriminate against Muslim and Christian minorities to this day.

By honoring Mr. Modi at the AAHOA Meeting, you dishonor the victims of the Gujarat pogrom, and insult the moral dignity of all Indians and world citizens. Your decision to invite Mr. Modi brings shame to the Indian-American community, which takes pride in upholding secular principles.

Apart from the fact that your decision to invite Mr. Modi is morally repugnant, it is also economically unwise as it will negatively influence the patronage of AAHOA member hotels by a vast majority of peace loving (Indian and non-Indian alike) residents of the US.

We are perturbed that a service-based industry such as the hotel industry would put its reputation and financial well-being on the line by endorsing a man like Mr. Modi who is being tried for his complicity in crimes against humanity in India.

We demand that you rescind your invitation to Mr. Modi so as to repair the damage done by your association. If the invitation is not rescinded by 5PM Monday, February 21st we will be forced to launch a public campaign on this issue.


Mr. George Abraham, Dr. Angana Chatterji, Dr. Sapna Gupta, Dr. Ashwini Rao, Dr. Shaik Ubaid
On behalf of Coalition Against Genocide

Coalition Against Genocide, 8480 Baltimore National Pike #286, Ellicott City, MD 21043