Silicon Valley’s Googleplex to fete Indian Prime Minister as South Asian Americans question his human rights record
Mountain View, CA: Sept. 16, 2015 — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to meet with executives at Google’s Mountain View headquarters when he tours California’s Silicon Valley later this month are stirring dissent among local South Asian American communities.
Organization for Minorities of India, an affiliate of the Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), plans to question Modi’s human rights records outside the Googleplex on September 18. “We will hold a press conference in conjunction with a truck protest,” says Bhajan Singh, who plans to speak at the event. He asks: “Did Google ‘google’ Modi before inviting him to sit down for a chat? Will Google CEO Sundar Pichai ask why Modi’s hands are covered in blood before he shakes them?”
When: Friday, September 18, 11am
What: Press Conference and Truck Protest on Indian PM Modi’s visit to CA
Where: Charleston Park, 1500 Charleston Rd, Mountain View, CA 94043 (directly across from the Googleplex)
Modi became Prime Minister of India in 2014 after serving as Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat since 2001. In 2002, a multi-day massacre of Muslims and Christians centered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, claimed the lives of thousands. The event is one of many violent incidents haunting Modi’s political record. In 2005, Modi was denied a visa to visit the United States and listed by the State Department as banned for “egregious religious freedom violations.” Although he is only person ever banned under the U.S.’s International Religious Freedom Act, his blacklisting was lifted after he became Prime Minister.
“There are a lot of questions we want to ask Prime Minister Modi,” comments Pieter Friedrich. Noting that he will also be at Friday’s press conference, he asks: “Why is Modi slipping a noose around Lady Liberty’s neck? He passes anticonversion laws criminalizing religious freedom, his political associates routinely assault religious minorities to beat, rape, or kill them, and the security forces under his command stand by and watch — if they don’t jump in to participate.”
Mohan Ram Paul says he will question Modi on Friday, asking: “Why is caste legal in India? Why is torture legal in India? And why does India’s government crush Dalit civil rights movements? In asking all these questions, we are also asking Google to shun Modi. Google, will you officially disinvite Modi?”
ABOUT: Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI) was founded in 2006 to advance individual liberties of Christians, Buddhists, Dalits, Muslims, Sikhs, and all Mulnivasi people of South Asia. OFMI is affiliated with the the Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), a coalition working to hold Narendra Modi accountable for his attacks on Indian communities by shining a light on his “accomplishments” during his visits to the United States. The AJA coalition includes representatives from Buddhist, Christian, Dalit, Muslim, Sikh, Tamil, and other South Asian American communities.