THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED
JOIN US AT: Committee Room 14, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Sir Anish Kapoor, CBE RA Sculptor
Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC FRSA Barrister, human rights defender and peer
Vrinda Grover, Lawyer, Researcher and Human Rights activist
Mike Wood, MP
Professor Gautam Appa, Academic and Human Rights activist
Advance booking & confirmation required, please book HERE
“Without questioning the validity of India’s democratic election process, it is crucial to remember the role played by the Modi government in the horrifying events that took place in Gujarat in 2002. The Muslim minority were overwhelmingly the victims of pillage, murder and terror, resulting in the deaths of more than 2,000 men, women and children. Women, in particular, were subjected to brutal acts of violence and were left largely unprotected by the security forces. Although some members of Narendra Modi’s government are now facing trial, Modi himself repeatedly refuses to accept any responsibility or to render an apology. Such a failure of moral character and political ethics on the part of Modi is incompatible with India’s secular constitution, which, in advance of many constitutions across the world, is founded on pluralist principles and seeks fair and full representation for minorities. Were he to be elected prime minister, it would bode ill for India’s future as a country that cherishes the ideals of inclusion and protection for all its peoples and communities”.
The above statement is the full text of a letter written by Anish Kapoor and supported by prominent artists, academics, MP’s and human right activists. It was published by The Guardian newspaper (UK) on Thursday 10 April 2014 and has received global coverage, including in India and the UK, prompting passionate debate, analysis and commentary on the dangers posed by a Modi/RSS victory in the Indian Elections
Sir Anish Kapoor, CBE RA is a world-famous sculptor who was born in India but now lives in Britain. He has won numerous awards and received a knighthood in 2013 for services to the visual arts. (http://anishkapoor.com)
Helena Kennedy (Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws) QC FRSA is one of Britain’s most distinguished lawyers, and known internationally as a champion of human rights. She is chair of the council of Justice, the UK section of the International Commission of Jurists, and was formerly president of the School of Oriental and African Studies. (http://www.helenakennedy.co.uk).
Vrinda Grover is a lawyer, researcher and human rights activist, based in New Delhi, India. She practices in the Indian Supreme Court. Her work probes impunity of the State for human rights violations. She has been involved in the drafting of laws relating to human rights, women’s rights and social justice. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Last year, the Time magazine’s ranked her as one of 100 most influential figures in the world (http://time100.time.com/2013/04/18/time-100/slide/vrinda-grover/).
Her legal clients and high profile cases include:
The mother of Ishrat Jahan – a young muslim woman murdered in a “fake-encounter” in Gujarat. Despite Ishrat’s innocence, the Gujarat State Government had falsely labelled her as a “terrorist” and even though the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) had concluded that it was a cold blooded murder in police custody.
Seven Muslim women gang-raped in the recent Muzaffarnagar communal riots in November 2013, that was ignited by Amit Shah, Narendra Modi’s trusted Lieutenant.
A Sikh widow whose husband was killed in the November 1984 communal violence by a mob incited by Congress leader JD Tytler.
Forty three Muslim families whose young men were shot dead and thrown into the canal by the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) – usually referred to as the Hashmimpura massacre. She is prosecuting nineteen UP PAC officers for custodial-communal killings.
Since 2004, Grover has been actively engaged with the campaign for a law against communal violence and she is one of the main drafters of the Bill. Her current research involves examining the legal after math of 1984 (anti-sikh riots) and the jursiprudence post Gujarat 2002.
Mike Wood is a Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen (west Yorkshire). Elected in 1997, he has consistently taken a stand against Government’s policies on Human Rights & Civil Liberties as well as military intervention in Iraq. His constituents include three British nationals who were murdered in Gujarat in 2002. (http://www.mikewood.org.uk)
Gautam Appa born in Ahmedabad, India, joined the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1963. He is now an Emeritus Professor in the department of Management of the London School of Economics (LSE). Throughout his stay in London he has been active politically in the anti-racist movement and in the Indian diaspora’s struggles for a better India. He was a founder member of the Alliance Against Communalism in the 1990s and of the Awaaz South Asia Watch, now renamed as the Awaaz Network, established in 2002 after the pogrom in Gujarat, which he witnessed at first hand.
Organised by Awaaz Human Rights Defenders Network
The Awaaz Network and The Monitoring Group have recently published a series of essays ‘Narenda Modi Exposed : challenging the myths surrounding the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate‘, available to download here (pdf)
For more information on these organisations go to www.awaaz-uk.org and www.tmg-uk.org or call 020 7430 2869.