November 14, 2021

Britain’s Indian Community Protests against Indian Govt’s Growing Autocracy

INDIAN community gathered in their scores in Glasgow Scotland.  They came from remote parts of England, Scotland and Wales deeply concerned about planet Earth and the shameful developments in India.

People of all faiths and of no faith expressed their unhappiness with the RSS led BJP government. They feel ashamed by the autocratic behaviour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, whose policies have increased poverty and hunger coupled with erosion of human rights.

On the way to the protests, stories circulating in the media of revoking overseas citizenship and deporting NRI’s for supporting the farmers, only helped to temper their resolve to stand up to the intimidation shedding all fear. The reason for the deportations to prevent the distribution of langar (common kitchen and free food distribution, a tradition of Hindu’s, Sikh’s and Muslims and most other faiths) further exacerbated their pent-up annoyance. Indians abroad in solidarity with farmers have been pressing for the complete repeal of the three unwanted farm laws for over a year.

Young people shared their experience of sleeping out in streets across Britain to raise awareness of the farmers just demands.   This is in recognition of the 700 plus farmers who have died since the protests began and saluting their commitment, dedication and determination to win or die while facing all the extremities of the harsh weather in Delhi.

Every speaker demanded the repeal of the three acts and to ensure that the minimum support price is paid for all the listed commodities without any further delay so that farmers may return home.

There was widespread condemnation of the spine-chilling incident of Lakhimpur UP, where SUVs mowed down innocent protestors. 

George Square, the epicentre of peoples protests in Glasgow reverberated with slogans praising the unity of workers and peasants, the right to protest, raising demands for justice and against the BJP/RSS government led by PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

Kiranjit Kaur reminded the participants that it was the RSS that gave inspiration and provided a model for Adolf Hitler and the SS of Nazi Germany. A call was given to build an alliance of anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-caste forces to challenge the rise of fascism in India.

A representative of the Indian Workers’ Association GB, one of the organisers of the Kisan Morcha Support Group expressed concern about climate change. The impact on the environment is present and real. He said, “just look at northern India, where the depletion of water tables with unstable weather conditions are adding to the existing distress of farmers in India”. We need the developed countries to do their share by providing the necessary funds which allow the state and centre administrations in the developing countries to deliver a genuine reduction in the carbon print. We all have to play our part in saving our beautiful planet. A simple measure for improving air quality which is 2 in Glasgow and 318 in Delhi, could be the provision of infrastructure that eliminates the need for burning paddy stubble instead of the current ineffective punitive measures.

Leaders of faith groups called for support with the people of India. We need to stand with the Hindus, Dalits, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and all the citizens of India who continue to be divided and exploited as majority and minorities after 75 years of independence. They condemned the appalling reprehensible attacks on minorities and the linguistic marginalisation by the BJP government. “The restriction of freedoms to speak Urdu or Pharsi or support a particular team being treated as crimes of sedition are a stark reminder of the ideology of the RSS driven hindutva. India, was, is and will always be a land where we celebrate our rich diversity of cultures and civilisations.”

In response to the nonsensical descriptions of protestors as anti-national, there was a very moving appeal as overseas citizens of the republic for maintaining constitutional democracy. As patriots and the heirs of freedom fighters, they solemnly pledged to maintain the integrity and unity of India.

The protestors endorsed the demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has presided over the tearing of the constitution, the rise in hunger and poverty and the decline in human rights listens to the people of India and immediately meets their demands for social justice.