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Under attack in Gujarat (* )
Source: South Asia Citizens Web, June 24, 2002

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    From Basant Rawat, The Telegraph India, June 25, 2002

    These genocidal events must not be passed over in silence by the international community.
    June 19, 2002

    We are scholars of South Asia and human rights advocates in the U. K. who are deeply perturbed by the genocidal violence unleashed against Muslim citizens in the Indian state of Gujarat.

    A systematic and brutal targeting of the minority Muslim community has been under way in Gujarat since March this year, claiming over a thousand Muslim lives including those of women and children. The nature and extent of the violence in the state have been horrific, as attested to by the eye-witness accounts recorded by the National Human Rights Commission, citizens' groups as well as the internal report of the British High Commission in India. The attacks on the community have not stopped and the fate of over a hundred thousand refugees in temporary camps, now threatened with closure, hangs in the balance. The Central Government, in flagrant disregard of all norms of governance, continues to support the Gujarat administration and its Chief Minister Narendra Modi despite their culpable role in the events.

    We believe that a strong commitment to the protection of the lives of minorities and the defence of their rights is urgently called for. To this end, we have joined efforts with those working in India to bring

    about the following:

    - the dismissal and legal indictment of the Chief Minister of Gujarat;

    - the identification and initiation of criminal proceedings against the perpetrators of crimes;

    - the safety of the survivors living in the camps as well as those who return to their homes, and their adequate rehabilitation;

    - the monitoring of the situation in Gujarat, upto and including the coming elections, by international human rights observers.

    These genocidal events must not be passed over in silence by the international community. We ask that the initiatives for the defence of human rights be supported worldwide. We urge the British government to consider declaring Mr. Modi and his cabinet members persona non grata, and to send a strong signal by refusing to host Indian Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, now or in the future.

    To contribute to relief operations, please visit:

    Signed by:

    1. Mr. Burjor Avari MBE
    Multicultural Studies Co-ordinator
    Academic Division
    Manchester Metropolitan University
    All Saints
    Manchester M15 6BH

    2. Dr. Mukulika Banerjee
    Dept. of Anthropology
    University College London
    Gower Street
    London WC1E 6BT

    3. Professor Upendra Baxi,
    School of Law
    Warwick University

    4. Dr. Shailendra Bhandare,
    Asst. Keeper, South Asian Numismatics
    Heberden Coin Room
    Ashmolean Museum
    Oxford University

    5. Dr. Chetan Bhatt
    Senior Lecturer
    Department of Sociology
    Goldsmiths College
    University of London

    6. Dr. Anuj.Dawar,
    Robinson College, Cambridge

    7. Lord Meghnad Desai,
    London School of Economics,

    8. Dr. Meena Dhanda,
    University of Wolverhampton

    9. Dr. Priyamvada Gopal,
    English faculty,
    University of Cambridge

    10. Dr. Sudeshna Guha
    Research Associate
    Photographic Collections
    Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
    University of Cambridge

    11. Dr. Suman Gupta
    Senior Lecturer in Literature, The Open University U.K.
    Charter Fellow, Wolfson College Oxford

    12. Dr. David Hardiman
    Senior Research Fellow,
    Department of History,
    University of Warwick

    13. Professor Barbara Harriss-White
    Queen Elizabeth House
    University of Oxford,

    14. Dr. Ananya Jahanara Kabir
    Centre for History and Economics, King's College, Cambridge CB2 1ST
    Clare Hall, Cambridge

    15. Dr. Eivind Kahrs,
    Faculty of Oriental Studies,
    University of Cambridge

    16. Dr. Sudipta Kaviraj,
    Professor, Political Science,

    17. Professor Sunil Khilnani
    Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London
    and Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC

    18. Dr. Amala Mahadevan
    University of Cambridge

    19. Dr. Perveez Mody
    King's College

    20. Dr. Subha Mukherji
    Fellow and Director of Studies in English
    Fitzwilliam College

    21. Dr. Parita Mukta,
    Senior Lecturer,
    Dept. of Sociology,
    University of Warwick

    22. Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan,
    Research Fellow,
    Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
    Trinity College,

    23. Dr. Uttara Natarajan,
    Lecturer, English Dept.
    Goldsmiths' College, U. of London.

    24. Dr. Fransesca Orsini,
    Faculty of Oriental Studies,
    University of Cambridge

    25. Professor Tapan K Raychaudhuri'
    Professor Emeritus of History,
    St.Anthony's College,
    Oxford University

    26. Dr. S. S. Saxena,
    Low Temperature Physics
    Cavendish Laboratory
    University of Cambridge

    27. Dr. Ursula Sharma
    Department of Anthropology,
    University of Manchester

    28. Pritam Singh
    Oxford Brookes University

    29. Professor Sanjay Subrahmanyam,
    Professor-elect, Chair of Indian History and Culture,
    University of Oxford.

    30. Dr. Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
    Reader, English faculty, and
    Professorial Fellow, Wolfson College,
    Oxford University

    31. Dr. David Anthony Washbrook (MA, Ph.d. Cantab.);
    Reader in Modern South Asian History at Oxford University
    Professorial Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford.

    32. Professor Robert J.C. Young
    Professor of English and Critical Theory
    University of Oxford

    * Slightly shorter version of the above letter was published in the Guardian - UK on June 21, 2002.