Human rights activists have criticised international silence on the alleged human rights violations and mass atrocities in India against religious minorities.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a warm and colourful welcome in Berlin, where hundreds of people of Indian origin gathered on the streets, danced, sang and chanted.
However, many Indian and other international activists protested Modi’s visit. The protesters were holding banners and placards with slogans such as ‘Modi Not Welcome’, ‘India is close to genocide’ and ‘We don’t let you forget Gujarat 2002.’
Human rights activists associated with the think tank The London Story placed empty shoes in front of the Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen, where Modi attended a formal dinner with the Danish Royal Family in the palace.
The empty shoes, which symbolise the lack of people speaking out against Modi in Europe, were framed by printed quotes from Indian human rights activists calling for urgent international support.
“India’s Prime Minister Modi is meeting our political leaders right now. India is close to a genocide. But they are discussing trade and green energy. Where are the dissenting voices against Modi in Europe? These shoes need to be filled. Will you take a stand with India?” signs next to the empty shoes read.
“The Nordic governments are happily turning a blind eye to atrocities in India. Their meeting agenda is only about trade and clean energy partnerships. How much worse does it have to get? This is unacceptable: Silence means complicity,” says Alena, who was among the activists organizing the action and works with Dutch think tank The London Story.
The action called on the international community to take atrocities in India seriously, such as the recent bulldozing of Muslim homes. According to international commentators such as Genocide Watch, which predicted the Rwandan genocide, the former UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, these incidents put India at immediate risk of genocide.
Alena added, “During the Holocaust, the international community did too little. The same during the Rwandan Genocide and in Myanmar, where warning calls were just plainly ignored. We cannot afford to do the same with India, where the lives of tens of millions are at stake.”
On May 2, 2022, India and Germany signed a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on Forest Landscape Restoration between India and Germany. The Declaration, signed virtually, is one of the deliverables of the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presently on a three-nation visit to Germany, Denmark, and France.