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Modi’s Brutal Vision: Protests Go Global, ‘As The World Turns’ in Silence

India’s consul general in New York last month suggested that India should imitate Israel’s policy of building settlements in the occupied West Bank.

DESPARDES — This is not the case of fake videos of White Island (in New Zealand) eruption gone viral. It’s for real; just as a Palestinian flag at an Indian anti-Modi protest in New York recently.

A Palestinian teen showed up to support for protesters, calling Indian and Israeli premiers part of ‘wave of authoritarianism’.

Asked why he had brought a Palestinian flag to the protest, Ahmed Khalidi*, 15, of Palestinian and Russian heritage, said he had a different reason for attending.

He said that not only do Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Modi resemble one other, but the fact that they are working together made him feel that he had to get involved.

“They both use religion and ethnicity as a tool to distract from what it is really going on. They are both part of this wave of authoritarianism that is gripping the world,” he said, holding the flag.

INDIA'S ISRAELI MODEL, NOV 2019

India’s consul general in New York last month suggested that India should imitate Israel’s policy of building settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Besides registering their dissent with PM Modi’s government over CAA and over plans for a controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC) another issue being protested was the government’s policies in Kashmir.

According to reports, hundreds of protesters, covered in beanies, draped in scarves and many dwarfed by their oversized jackets, assemble under a scaffolding outside the Indian Consulate-General office on the corner of 64th Street in Manhattan to protest against recent developments in India and Kashmir.

The level of brutality has sent tremors across India and around the globe, just as against Palestinians in Gaza and Israeli settlements — all on world watch amid global ‘group silence’ after Kashmir was locked down — it has entered 150th day.

“We organized this protest as a way to channel the anger and frustration we felt as the successive waves of news hit us,” Sayantani Mukherjee, one of the organizers of the protest, told the Middle East Eye (MEE).

According to the report, Mukherjee also compared attacks by security forces on student protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University to the 1938 ‘Kristallnacht’ Nazi attacks on Jewish businesses and shops in Germany.

“All of us organizers grew up in India and went to Indian universities. We felt helpless that we weren’t back there fighting in the trenches with our fellow students and comrades,” said Mukherjee.

“This government has long been testing the elastic bounds of public morality since 2014, but it seems as though the recent passing of the CAA and the attacks on Jamiaa and AMU have finally woken people up to the reality of the Hindu Rashtra,” she added, using the Hindu word for nation.

On Wednesday, similar protests also took place in London, where some 1,000 students from the South Asian diaspora turned up to show their solidarity with students in India.

In NYC, protesters like Fahiz Abdul, 26, from the Indian state of Kerala, said he had come to say that the actions of the Modi government would not be accepted by the country’s people.

“What Modi has done, has hurt my soul,” Abdul said. “It is a second partition.”

Another protester, 23-year-old Ashabul Khan from Bangladesh, said that though he was not from India, it was impossible not to be disturbed by the images of libraries and universities being stormed by police officers.

“Besides, what happens in India will impact Bangladesh and the rest of the region. We cannot stand idle,” he said.

“WASHINGTON DC, TORONTO, CHICAGO, AUSTIN, PHILADELPHIA, LOS ANGELES, SEATTLE, NYC, SAN FRANCISCO, HAGUE are all turning out,” tweeted Equity Labs (@EquityLabs)

Organizers in New York City told MEE the work to challenge Modi’s policies has only just begun. They, too, agree that the struggle is more than merely Modi — an observation we recently reported citing Fareed Zakaria.

“If the right-wing has been able to achieve internationalism in this sense, then we as subjects of fascist regimes must build deeper and stronger international alliances,” said Mukherjee, the student activist.

FLASH BACK AUG 2019: Kashmir Moment: ‘I’ve a Dream’, Not Palestine or Bosnia

“Modi and Netanyahu are reading from the same playbook. They are borrowing from each other when it comes to economic and social control”, the student activist said.

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