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2003: Indian Muslim Statements
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Indian Muslim Federation (UK) 

UK’s South Asian Diaspora condemns the Rise of Fascism in the name of Hindu nationalism in Britain and India

London, 12 January, 2003: Leaders of South Asian Organisations unequivocally condemned the rise of fascism in the name of Hindu nationalism in Britain, India and other parts of the world.

The leaders spoke at a seminar organised by the Indian Muslim Federation (UK) in London to follow up the report of “Hindu Nationalism in Britain” shown on Channel 4 TV in December 2002. The report carried out the detailed story of Hindu Swyamsewak Sangh (HSS – the RSS’s Overseas Wing), Sewa International (one of the Sangh’s flagship organisations who collects donations in UK) and its funding to organisations in India such as Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, which has been implicated in organising anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat last year. 

Welcoming the delegates, Mr Shamsuddin Agha, President of Indian Muslim Federation (UK) said that their arrival from all over the Britain in such strength proves their commitment and concern about human rights and democracy for our motherland India.

“Hitler might be the hero for the Saffron Brigade (RSS, VHP, and BJP etc.), but for the rest of the world, a highly dangerous leader who destroyed Germany. Fascism is destructive and can not last as it can only destroy and not build nations” Mr Agha said.

Dr Gautam Appa from the organisation AWAAZ – South Asia Watch spoke on “The Sangh Parivar in UK” and warned that the many organisation with, different names and registered as charity in UK are collecting funds to propagate the political ideology of Hinutava 
(Hindu nationalism) the founding ideology of fascist organisation Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh (RSS) established in India in 1920s. These organisations had been named in Channel 4 programme and details are being provided to UK Charity Commission for further investigations.

Revd Frank J Gelli representing Arkadash network stated that his organisation work for communal harmony and there was no place for fascism or propagation of any communal ideology such as Hindu nationalism in a multi cultural Britain. 

Professor Mohammed Arif, General Secretary of British Afro-Asian Solidarity Organisation (BAASO) said that the RSS, BJP and its affiliated organisations are using the similar philosophy of Nazi Germany to propagate Hindu nationalism by using slogans such as India is only for Hindus. Professor Arif provided a detailed socio-political analysis of Gujarat post Godhra. The BJP has won the recent election on Hindutava card but the state’s economy is in ruins and businesses are moving out of the state of Gujarat. That would affect the whole population of the Gujarat not just 9% Muslims who had been targeted in the last year’s Genocide. 

Dr Maneesha Tikekar, Head of Department of Politics, SIES College Mumbai University who is in Britain on a research project said that she was shocked to find out that South Asian community in Britain were trying to find out a different religious identity for themselves and making trivial issues such as refusal of parking and planning permissions for their religious places as attack on their individual rights. She gave few examples of her research findings and mentioned that some Hindus in Britain do not want to be identified as “Asian” but as Hindus from India. In her view the South Asian community from the sub continent should not import the fundamentalist ideas from back home but export the good practices of multi-culturism in Britain to live in peace and harmony. 

Delegates from Leicester, Mr Abdul Karim Gheewala, representing Indian Muslim community and Councillor Imtiaz Patel of UK peace Mission from Blackburn also spoke for communal harmony in Britain and India and suggested that democratic forces should work together to defeat the agenda of Communal organisation such as RSS and VHP who propagate fascism in the name of Hindu nationalism.

Guest Speaker from Mumbai, India, Mr Majeed Memon, a High Court Lawyer, said that the RSS, VHP and its political wing BJP are propagating the Hindu nationalism for political gains. Gujarat elections had been won by creating an environment of fear for terrorism from neighbouring countries. The secular parties were disunited and had learned their lessons. Mr Memon said that the Indian Constitution and free media were the only hope for a democratic India. The BJP would try to use the experience of Gujarat in other parts of the country but Mr Memon was hopeful that the secular forces would come together in future to defeat the communal forces to save the democracy in India including the protection of the rights of the minorities.

Vipul Kalayani, Editor of ‘OPINION’ said that the BJP has won Gujarat election on less than 48% votes balloted in the recent election and suggested that the secular and democratic forces in India should come together to defeat the Communal forces.

At the end of seminar, it was agreed tat the similar debates should be organised in other part of the country - Leicester, Blackburn, Batley etc. to make people aware of rise of fascism in the name of Hindu nationalism in Britain; urging the secular and democratic forces to work together to defeat their communal ideology in Britain and send a message to our bothers and sisters in India that repeat of Nazi Germany would be disastrous for India and the whole world.

Indian Muslim Federation (UK)
Trinity Close, London E11 4RP; Tel: +44 20 8558 6399; Fax: +44 20 8539 4192


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