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Gujarat Chief ministers' visit

Reader comment on item: A Neo-Conservative's Caution

Submitted by Ray (United States), Mar 18, 2005 at 23:49

Dear Dr.Pipes,
I too would second the request by another reader to write an article regarding the refusal of the US government to provide him a diplomatic visa and cancelling his existing tourist visa.Mr.Modi,was the democratically elected CM of the state of Gujarat when riots broke out in his state.The rioting against muslims started as a reaction to the killing of 60 Hindu pilgrims who were returning from a pilgrimage.The train car in which they were travelling was set on fire,allegedly by a Muslim mob numbering about 1500 which had assembled there.Inquiry is going on to ascertain the truth but it has become highly politicised and the conclusions will be hard to accept to one of the two groups.This was in early 2002.

Anyway,it is a matter of fact that the riots consumed the lives of an estimated 2000 people(official figures are closer to 1000),majority of whom were muslims.Mr.Modi,as the chief executive failed in his duty to provide protection to the citizens and further investigations are being conducted on which the supreme court of India is keeping an eye on.So,if he is found guilty,he will pay the price.Rest assured that many number of concerned citizens are following the case and will be making sure that justice is done to the victims of the violence.

Mr.Modi,I might add, was elected with a higher percentage of votes in the elections held later and he continues to be the CM of the state.He had been invited by the Asia-American hoteliers association to attend a ceremony in the US.But the state dept. refused to provide him a visa thanks to a pressure campaing mounted by The Indian Muslim Council,CAIR and other such organisations here in the US.CAIR has an announcement regarding this on their website.

What is disturbing is that the US government chose to give in to their pressure tactics.

While his negligence of duties were reprehensible,it still stands that the matter is one that is internal to India alone.One expected greater sensitivity to the problems faced by India by a fellow democratic country in dealing with an especially difficult minority and its various apologists in the west and at home.Perhaps the US is more comfortable issuing visas to Princes from Saudi Arabia and other tin pot dictators from the Islamic world,which presumably in the eyes of CAIR etc,are pastures of religious freedom and models of how human rights must be practised.It is painful to see such biased and intellectually dishonest organisations being given legitimacy by the US government.

Mr.Modi also happens to belong to the political party which is Pro American and had worked in the past 5 years for better relations between the two countries.By denying him entry,US has managed to make opponents of a friendly party.In a world that has increasingly become anti US,some one should remind the policy makers in washington to harness the good will that a large number of Indians have(primarily middle class Hindus,Christians and Sikhs) for it.Pursuing policies based on double standards and flimsy charges and downright will only turn more people against the US.

I hope better sense prevails.

Thank you.

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