Join the Centre for the Study of Democracy to examine Hindu nationalism, Narendra Modi and the criminalisation of Muslims in India in the fifteen years since the Gujarat genocide.

Has the ascendancy of the Hindu right-wing party BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi contributed to an unprecedented level of violence and persecution of religious minorities, Dalits, women and those who dissent? Where is the place of religious minorities, especially Muslims, in India? In 2002, Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, presided over the genocidal attacks on Gujarat's Muslim minority community, 2,000 people were systematically killed, and 200,000 displaced.

Fifteen years on, the victims are far from getting justice. Can India’s claim to be the world’s largest democracy square with the lack of justice for minorities discriminated against, dehumanised and brutalised by growing Hindu supremacism? How have these events in India and the rise of Hindu supremacism affected South Asian communities in the UK? What can UK-based scholars, students and activists interested in India do to understand these developments?

Main speaker: Ajit Sahi, veteran investigative journalist and campaigner.

Chair and Organiser: Professor Dibyesh Anand, Head of Politics and International Relations (follow the department on Twitter @DPIRWestminster and on Facebook).

The event is co-organised with South Asia Solidarity Group. Follow them on Twitter @SAsiaSolidarity and on Facebook.

Book your place

This event is open to all students and staff at the University of Westminster, as well as members of the public. Email [email protected] to book a place.

About Ajit Sahi

Ajit Sahi has investigated, written and campaigned about extra-judicial killings and so-called encounter deaths in India for more than three decades. He has exposed the widespread framing of innocent Indian Muslims in cases of terrorism based on fabricated evidence. His groundbreaking series of reports, which were published in Tehelka magazine in 2008, revealed the systematic victimisation of Muslims by the police and the criminal justice system.

He has also written about the genocidal killings of Muslims in Gujarat and, most recently, about the murder of 19-year-old student Ishrat Jahan, a case in which Narendra Modi is deeply implicated. In June 2016, he testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the US Congress on the human rights situation in India. He is also the Advocacy Director of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC). IAMC is the largest political advocacy organisation of Indian Muslims in the US and was set up following the 2002 anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat.

Background

This event is based on the Centre for the Study of Democracy's research theme Post-colonial politics, development and emerging powers. In addition to other issues, this investigates how religion, history, territoriality, political economy, militarisation, democratisation and resistance have contributed to a volatile politics that disconnects states and people. The explicit focus is on engagement with communities and impacting upon public debates around these contentious subjects. The struggle for democracy in India is one such subject.