Nobel Prize Laureates Condemn PM Modi for Human Rights Abuses

Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB
Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB

Today, nearly 2 billion Muslims of the world expect the global community – including the U.S. – to save the Muslims of Kashmir who are being treated as slaves by the Modi government.

By Rakesh Raman

As India’s Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi is planning to attend an extravaganza under the banner “Howdy Modi” in Texas today (September 22), at least three Nobel Prize winners have expressed their anger over Modi’s deplorable human rights record.

In a letter written to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1976; Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman, Nobel Peace Laureate, 2011; and Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate, 2003; have detailed human rights violations committed by Modi.

They have also asked the Gates Foundation not to honor Modi with the Goalkeepers Global Goals Award that the Foundation has planned to do at a ceremony in New York on Tuesday (September 24).

While the award is supposed to honor an elected official who has promoted sustainable development goals, Gates Foundation is awarding Modi for Clean India campaign.

[ Also Read: Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) Fails in India ]

In their letter, the Nobel Prize Laureates have stated that they are deeply disturbed to discover that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be giving an award to Modi under whose leadership India has descended into dangerous and deadly chaos that has consistently undermined human rights and democracy.

The letter adds that the situation in the state of Assam and Indian-administered Kashmir is cause for grave concern. In Assam, 1.9 million Indians have been stripped of citizenship; and in Kashmir, since August 4, 800,000 Indian armed forces have kept 8 million Kashmiris (nearly 80% of them are Muslims) without phone or internet service.

[ Also Read: Why Trump Won’t Help Muslims of Indian Occupied Kashmir ]

Because of these human rights abuses, the Nobel Prize winners said, children in Kashmir – from Kindergarten to college – are unable to attend school. In 2016 (the year the most recent data has been available), schools were open for only four months out of the year because of extreme unrest in Kashmir.

Finally, according to the letter, scholars inside and outside of India have never cleared Modi of his involvement in the horrific 2002 massacre of Gujarat. As a result, Modi was banned from entering the United States, the UK, and Canada for 10 years until he acquired diplomatic immunity by becoming India’s Prime Minister. To be sure, the letter adds, his role in that crisis as the then Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat cannot be ignored.

Human Rights Violations in Kashmir

Currently, Kashmir is facing extreme human rights violations being committed by the Indian security forces, as the Modi government has abrogated Article 370 which gave special privileges to the people of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).

Expecting backlash from the Kashmiris, Modi government had imposed curfew in Kashmir and millions of people have been locked in their homes since August 4, a day before revoking Article 370 for J&K. The Modi government is also not allowing the press to cover the burning situation in Kashmir, and did not allow opposition leaders to visit the troubled valley.

[ Also Read: U.S. May Again Cancel Modi’s Visa for Gujarat Riots and Mob Violence ]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on September 9 that India should restore human rights of the people of Kashmir. Ms. Bachelet said she is deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the Government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris, including restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists.

And Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has urged the UN General Assembly to bring peace to Kashmir, which is currently under the occupation of Indian security forces. Malala said she is deeply concerned about reports of 4,000 people, including children, arbitrarily arrested and jailed, about students who haven’t been able to attend school for more than 40 days, and about girls who are afraid to leave their homes.

Meanwhile, Members of the European Union (EU) Parliament have demanded sanctions on India including trade and travel ban over human rights violations by the Modi government in Kashmir.

It is stated that India has deployed nearly 900,000 security people to control unarmed Kashmiris, and nearly 80,000 civilians have been killed in the conflicts during the past 7 decades.

The Modi government’s annexation of Kashmir is a unilateral, authoritarian move, which is expected to make Kashmir a veritable inferno because most people of Kashmir do not want to live under the Indian rule where Modi is the ruler.

Today, nearly 2 billion Muslims of the world expect the global community – including the U.S. – to save the Muslims of Kashmir who are being treated as slaves by the Modi government.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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