DESPARDES NEWS MONITOR — HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES DELIVERED 100,000 SIGNATURES TO BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION OPPOSING UPCOMING HONOR OF INDIA PM NARENDRA MODI
Crowds of human rights supporters descended on foundation’s HQ, citing ethnic violence and abuses under PM Modi, and demanded upcoming award be rescinded.
The award is slated to be delivered on September 24 in New York City during Modi’s trip to the United States, amid reports of ethnic violence, oppression of religious minorities, and human rights abuses throughout India and the occupied Kashmir region under PM Modi.
Launched by interfaith coalition Justice For All as part of their Stop Genocide project earlier this month, the petition quickly gained national and international attention. Shortly after the effort began, three Nobel Peace Laureates sent a letter directly to Mr. and Mrs. Gates highlighting the fact that Modi has taken India into a dangerous and deadly place for Muslims through mob violence, stripped citizenship, and militarized isolation – all signs for state-sponsored violence.
The Kashmiri Diaspora in an open letter has also asked speakers at Gates Goalkeepers Event to not sanitize Modi’s violent agenda.
These pressures on the Gates Foundation come at a time when India is already facing scrutiny and condemnation across the international community because of Modi’s aggressive policies. Recently, the Genocide Watch issued a “genocide warning” for India-held Kashmir and the Indian state of Assam.
Despite this, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is set to give the award to Modi next week during his upcoming trip to the United States. Until then, Justice For All said it will continue putting pressure on the foundation to consider their responsibility to advance human rights against the rise of nationalism and state-sponsored violence across the world.
“This award, if delivered next week, would send a terrible signal to dangerous leaders around the world. Bill and Melinda Gates can still do the right thing, but time is running short,” said Javed Sikander, who helped deliver the 100,000 petition signatures to the foundation’s headquarters.