A Candlelit March by South Asians in UK on India’s Republic Day

The progressive section of South Asians in UK came together on the evening of India’s Republic Day, in a moving candlelit protest in remembrance of victims of Hindu supremacist forces in mob lynchings, murders and assassinations, with protesters holding large photographs including those of Junaid Khan, Pehlu Khan, Pastor Sultan Masih, Zafar Hussein, Otara Bibi Afrazul Khan. They also highlighted the assassination of Gauri Lankesh for courageously exposing the Hindu Right’s activities and the mysterious death of Justice Loya.

Nirmala Rajasingham on behalf of South Asia Solidarity Group said: ‘We stand with the many, many Indians who are rising in grief and rage against the horrific violence choreographed by the Hindu supremacist Modi regime and its openly fascist parent organisation the RSS. Here in the UK too these Hindu organisations are spreading their casteist venom and virulent Islamophobia. We will continue to confront them as we pledge to resist India’s descent into a Republic of Fear’. Rutuja Deshmukh of SOAS India Society said, ‘From the lynchings of Muslims in the name of the cow, to the attack on a school bus over a film, and Justice Loya’ s mysterious death, there are more than enough reasons to conclude that the Indian state is turning into a fascist regime sooner than anyone imagined. It is our duty as responsible citizens to resist this advent of fascism.

Satpal Muman of the Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee of Great Britain which also supported the vigil said: “We are deeply concerned about the horrific attacks on Dalits which have escalated vastly under the Modi regime, about the hatred and violence against minorities and on all those who simply tell the truth. We cannot stand by while the democratic fabric of India is being threatened by the rise of Hindu supremacy”. Also present at the vigil was Imran Dawood who had witnessed the murder of his family members who were visiting Gujarat on holiday from the UK, during the Gujarat massacres of 2002, while Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.