One year on REMEMBER GUJARAT
2000 lives lost
200,000 made homeless
Still no justice!
Monday 3 March 2003
4.30 pm to 6.30 pm
Outside the Charity Commission, Harmsworth House, Bouverie Street EC4. Underground: Blackfriars
The Charity Commission is at the corner of Bouverie Street (off Fleet Street) and Tudor Street (off New Bridge Street).
One year after the Gujarat genocide, we are holding this vigil outside the offices of the British Charity Commission, because the organisations which financed the massacres and the continuing communal violence are still enjoying charity status in Britain.
STOP FUNDING HATE
Gujarat Genocide Never Again !
In February and March 2002 Gujarat state in India witnessed state sponsored attacks on the minority Muslim community in which at least 2,000 people – the majority women and children – were horrifically tortured and killed. Many thousands more have seen their families, homes and livelihoods destroyed.
Not a single member of Gujarat’s BJP government which collaborated in, and sometimes orchestrated, these attacks, or of the allied killer gangs of the VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal, was brought to justice despite calls to do so from all over India. Instead in an election held barely ten months after these genocidal attacks the same government has been returned to power.
Meanwhile in Britain, a network of Hindu supremacist organisations, the VHP, HSS and others – collectively known as the Sangh Parivar – stand accused of diverting funds collected in the name of welfare to wage a campaign of hatred and violence against minority communities in India. At the same time, through branches all over Britain, these organisations are instigating communal conflict among the Asian communities in this country, a process which has been facilitated and intensified by the policies of the British state.
Over the last few months, South Asia Solidarity Group has been carrying out a concerted campaign to expose the activities of Hindu fascist groups in Britain.
STOP THE FLOW OF FUNDS FOR HINDUTVA FASCISTS
These organisations enjoy the official status of charities and are registered here with Britain’s Charity Commission (a major factor enabling them to raise funds on a large scale). The biggest Indian charity Sewa International (whose gross income rose from 748,355 pounds in 2000 to 2,175,971 pounds this year) and the HSS, a sister charity under whose name it is registered, were exposed in a Channel 4 television news report on December 12. The programme revealed how one organisation funded by Sewa International, the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram in Gujarat, is directly implicated in the February-March 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom. Forensic evidence implicates a leading member of the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, who is currently \”on the run from the police,\” as \”leading a mob of 2,000 tribal people\” in an attack on Muslim minorities. The programme also reported that a Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram leader \”threatened the villagers saying that if they didn\’t join in provoking the Muslims and burning them, they would also be treated like Muslims and burnt.\” And in a chilling aside, a local Hindu activist told of Kalyan Ashram\’s plans for yet more violence \”The Christians have made a church in our village. We have thought several times of destroying it. One day we will definitely break it down.\”
Why have the Charity Commissioners not yet de-registered Sewa International and the HSS? The Channel 4 investigation is not the first time they have been informed about the links between Sewa International, the HSS and the Hindu Fascist outfits. In September 2002, pressurised by Indian Muslim organisations in Britain they agreed to undertake an investigation in to their activities and goals. But currently, the killers are still free to raise money for further violence in the name of charity.
STAND TOGETHER AGAINST COMMUNALISM AND WAR!
South Asia Solidarity Group: 0207 267 0923 , firstname.lastname@example.org