According to Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, a Spanish member of the European parliament (MEP), Modi has a “highly problematic history of racism”, and that following the 2002 Gujarat massacre of Muslims.
LONDON – A Spanish member of the European parliament (MEP) has raised many eyebrows by tabling a written question about Prime Minister Narendra Modi that says the new Indian PM is a racist.
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, who is part of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats of Europe (ALDE), addressed the question to the European Commission vice-president, and called on the EU to address the “issue of inequality” in India.
According to her, Modi has a “highly problematic history of racism”, and that following the 2002 Gujarat massacre of Muslims, the United Kingdom had “announced a 10-year boycott”.
The MEP claimed that “During his electoral campaign, Modi reiterated his rhetoric on immigration, calling for all non-Hindus to leave India and go back to their own countries”.
Prominent London-based industrialist Lord Paul told HT: “The Indian voters have made a decision after knowing all facts. They are very mature in making their decisions. As the election has proved, India is quite capable of managing its own affairs without gratuitous suggestions cloaked in the guise of western wisdom”.
Barandica, who hails from the Basque region of Spain, wrote: “India’s population includes a large number of minority groups who typically live in extremely poor conditions”.
She goes on to ask three questions under Rule 30:
“What steps will the EU take, in cooperation with the Indian Government, to address the issue of inequality in India?”
“Is this issue of social, racial and religious discrimination part of the ongoing EU-India Free Trade Agreement negotiations?”
“Considering the fact that national policies on minorities could potentially pose a threat to peace and security in South Asia, is the EU pursuing a collective agreement with countries in the region to address such concerns?”
arene|�o ����our community but also in the community at large. It has been quite an experience for all of us. Now we need to take the next step and lobby the provincial and federal governments to incorporate the tragic saga of Komagata Maru into school curriculum. Once the authorities agree to this, well respected local historians like Sohan Singh Pooni, Dr.Hugh Johnston and many others should be requested to take on the task. In a sense, the Komagata Maru episode is a landmark for our community. Thus, it is only appropriate to make it a part of our children’s school curriculum.
Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist.