WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visits to the U.S., several Indian American groups have decided to stage protest rallies against him.
Under the banner of Alliance for Justice and Accountability, these organizations will hold a peaceful protest rally outside the SAP Center in San Jose Sept. 27, where Modi would be addressing a full crowd of some 18,500 people with thousands others expected to be watching him live on big screens outside.
"AJA will hold a protest at the SAP Center on Sept. 27, 2015, under the banner #ModiFail, to expose the realities behind Modi's alleged accomplishments," a press statement said.
The alliance, which describes itself as a U.S.-based coalition of a diverse range of Indian-South Asian organizations and individuals, has also launched a Web site www.modifail.com, highlighting the alleged failures of the prime minister.
AJA had held a similar protest rally of about a hundred people when Modi addressed some 20,000 Indian Americans at the Madison Square Garden in New York last year.
"The Alliance will also reach out to elected officials and corporate leaders in the U.S. to inform them about Modi's failed and regressive policies that negatively impact human rights, religious freedoms, the environment and, overall, shrink the space for civil liberties under his rule," it said.
"Narendra Modi is visiting Silicon Valley to talk about ‘Digital India’. But we're worried by his record. Digital Indians deserve strong privacy and free speech protection," said Anirvan Chatterjee of AJA.
Sikhs for Justice's legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that the New York-based outfit would picket Facebook headquarters when Modi visits the complex on Sept. 27.
Meanwhile, supporters of Modi Sept. 17 announced they would gather in large numbers to welcome him outside his hotel when he arrives in New York to attend the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.
An India-West staff reporter adds: In a press release issued Sept. 17, SFJ also announced “a reward of $10K for asking questions to Narendra Modi and Mark Zuckerberg during their upcoming Townhall meeting at Facebook HQ.”
The questions that carry $5K reward each, according to the SFJ release are: For Modi: "Why Indian Constitution labels ‘Sikhs’ as ‘Hindus’ in Article 25(b) and what is your position on Sikhs demand to hold referendum for Khalistan"? and for Zuckerberg: "Ever since Modi became Prime Minister, Christians and Muslims in India are being forcibly converted to Hinduism, how do you justify partnering with Modi"?