Stop ‘Financial Times’ award to Narendra Modi

images Sharing here an email from Shabnam Hashmi in New Delhi. Please write to Financial  Times and the British High Commission in Delhi to  protest the FT award to the ‘butcher of Gujarat’, and ask your friends to also do this. Thank you.

From: shabnam hashmi <shabnamhashmi@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 11:17 PM
Subject: stop the award

The Financial Times group in London has decided to confer the ‘FDI Asian Personality of the Year 2009’ on Narendra Modi.

It is well known and documented by over 30 human rights fact finding reports that he was complicit in and personally responsible for the communal carnage that occurred in Gujarat in 2002, seen as India’s worst instance of violence against minorities.

Even today over 5000 families of Internally Displaced Muslims, the victims of 2002 communal carnage live in rehabilitation colonies built by NGOs as they have not been allowed to return to the villages which bear the sign of the Hindu Rashtra.

It will be a matter of great shame if this award is given to him.

The FT Group, is part of Pearson PLC, a London headquartered media conglomerate. The current CEO is Marjorie Scardino, she serves on the board of MacArthur Foundation, which ironically gives out peace grants.

The award in question has been instituted by the FDI Magazine [glossy, 15,000 circulation], which is part of the FT Group. It is a fortnightly and focuses on the business of globalisation.

The panel which chose Modi includes the editor at FDI Mag — Courtney Fingar, [E-mail: courtney.fingar@ft.com/ Tel: +44 (0) 20 7775 6365].

I am sending a letter of protest to the British High Commissioner tomorrow. Please write to the British High Commissioner (Email: web.newdelhi@fco.gov.uk) and send copies to courtney.fingar@ft.com or write to her directly.

shabnam hashmi

Here’s the email I just sent:

Subject: Re: ‘FDI Asian Personality of the Year 2009’ for Narendra Modi.
To: Courtney Fingar <courtney.fingar@ft.com>
Cc: “British High Commission New Delhi” <web.newdelhi@fco.gov.uk>

Dear Courtney Fingar,

Please pardon this intrusion into your mailbox, which I felt necessary since you were on the panel which decided to confer the ‘FDI Asian Personality of the Year 2009’ on Narendra Modi, an award instituted by the FDI Magazine that you edit.

I would like to bring to your attention the over 30 human rights fact-finding reports that found Mr Modi complicit in and personally responsible for the communal carnage that occurred in Gujarat in 2002, India’s worst instance of violence against minorities. Even today over 5,000 families of Internally Displaced Muslims, the victims of 2002 communal carnage live in rehabilitation colonies built by NGOs as they have not been allowed to return to the villages which bear the sign of the Hindu Rashtra that Mr Modi is part of.

It will be a matter of great shame if the FDI award is given to a person who has such a huge scourge on him.

Sincerely

beena sarwar

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22 Responses

  1. From Vijay Prashad:

    Dear Friends,

    As you can see from the letter below, we are writing to Marjorie Scardino, CEO of the Pearson Group, which owns the FT group, which owns FDI magazine. As some of you may know from media coverage, FDI just anointed Narendra Modi “Asian Personality of the Year 2009.” So much for that.

    Please join us by signing the letter below. The louder the reaction to this, the more chance this outrageous action will be sanctioned.

    Please email either Mira or Vijay, or both. The deadline to collect signatures is September 1, New York Time 6am. Please circulate this widely. Remember to let us know how you wish to be identified after your name.
    Best Wishes,
    Mira Kamdar (mirakamdar@gmail.com)
    Vijay Prashad (vijay.prashad@trincoll.edu)

    Dear Marjorie Scardino,

    We are writing to inform you of what we consider a shocking action taken by one of the publications under the Pearson Group umbrella, an action that begs for your attention. The magazine FDI, of the Financial Times Group, has selected Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat as its Asian Personality of the Year (2009). This award gives Mr. Modi, whose human rights’ reputation is most troubling, a huge boost of legitimacy where he deserves none. We thought it important that you, as Chief Executive Officer of Pearson Group and as someone associated with organizations that work hard to promote peace and security, including the MacArthur Foundation, know of the damage to FDI’s credibility, and thus to the Pearson Group, this award has caused.

    India’s National Commission on Human Rights as well as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have demonstrated the responsibility of Mr. Modi and the government he continues to head for a pogrom against Muslim citizens in his state in 2002 that left some 2,000 men, women and children dead and several hundred thousand citizens homeless. (See the Human Rights Watch report “We Have No Orders to Save You” http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2002/04/30/we-have-no-orders-save-you). On the basis of these and other reports, the U. S. government denied Mr. Modi a visa to visit the United States in 2005. The United States Commission on Religious Freedom subsequently recommended that he be denied a visa when he applied for one again in 2008, at which point Mr. Modi withdrew his application.

    In terms of Mr. Modi’s financial leadership, FDI magazine seems to have missed the many stories that show how despite the consistently high claims about foreign direct investment into Gujarat, the economy has failed to deliver any significant improvement in the lives of the majority of the people who live there. From 1996 to 2006, despite all the hullabaloo about the economic miracle Modi engineered, Gujarat’s position in India’s human development index actually fell in the categories of education, health, child mortality, infant mortality and in the weight of children. Moreover, and this is relevant to the award, the 2002 pogrom led by Modi had a direct effect on investment in Gujarat, which fell from 14.45% of all investment capital in 1995 to 8.78% in 2002, and by 2005 to 7.67%. In addition, one should bear in mind that less than 21% of the memoranda of understanding signed by the Modi government have been acted upon. There is a lot of unexamined fraud involved in the way the MOUs have been taken at face value. Writing in Mint, the Wall Street Journal’s publication in India, Salil Tripathi notes: “It is odd, therefore, to credit Modi with Gujarat’s vibrancy. And it is hard not to blame his government for the colossal failure to protect civilians during the anti-Muslim violence in 2002.” The entire piece bears reading: http://www.livemint.com/2009/01/21220308/The-real-Modi-story.html

    Given the above, we are naturally stunned with FDI’s decision to confer upon Narendra Modi, of all people, the Asian Personality of Award of 2009.

    We are fully confident that you had no role in this decision. But we hope that you will, in your capacity as CEO of the Pearson Group and as someone whose presence on the board of the MacArthur Foundation indicates you to be someone dedicated to high ethical standards, take immediate action to insure that this award is rescinded and a public statement of regret is made by the responsible publication.

    Sincerely,

    Mira Kamdar
    Vijay Prashad.

    cc. Robert Galluchi, President, MacArthur Foundation.

    Like

  2. How can anyone of any faith or belief, see Narendra Modi of doing any good for mankind. He is the butcher of not only muslims but also of those peaceful people who belief in non-violence and wish to make the world a better place to live.

    Like

  3. Be humble to give credit were it is due, all these hate campaigns will only further his publicity and chances are it will rebounce back at you since this world is a round place.
    Grow up and stop stooping so low and being so petty and narrow minded.
    Thanx

    Like

    • Standing up against criminality may be timidity and narrow mindedness for you….believe me, for millions of law abiding citizens out there, such protests are very essential for a burden free existence.

      Like

  4. I have gone through the all relevent story with reference to this Award. I felt shame doing all these non-scense because this award has nothing to do with Human rights subject.

    For kind information and my understanding this AWARD is given for the Economic Development, Investment Achievment & relevant activities.

    We must be proud & happy as a true INDIAN; such a global & prestegious AWARD is given to an INDIAN CHIEF MINISTER, first time in the history.

    Prof. M. Sultan
    Email: professormsultan@yahoo.in
    From: Jammu & Kashmir

    Like

  5. Hello, I would like to ask you something on this topic – everybody knows what happened in Gujraat was shocking but I dont blame Mr.Modi for it wasnt Mr.Modi who ordered for the killings, it was the anger of the hindu community which made all of this happen. The Hindus were attacked first by the muslims. It was the muslim community who initiated this horror, after this the Hindu’s were bound to take revenge very normal Indian human behaviour.
    The most Important point is that instead of discussing about such small issues we Indians should start thinking about being humans first it is not from today or yesterday that Hindu’s and Muslims are fighting its centuries old and it is high time that we instead of being Hindu’s or Muslim’s we start being Humans. There are many more issues which need to be taken care of like Poverty, Unemployment and Population.
    Population is the most important thing that we Indians need to take care about and we should think really intensely about it coz if we dont then I am sure that 10 years down the line Death would be in the air of India as people will be fighting everyday for water food and electricity, everyday more than 20 Godhra kind of incidents will take place so people start thinking about being human first.
    I have no intentions of hurting anybody’s sentiments it is my thought

    Like

    • In response to the the comment by Pt. Subudh Shankar Shukla, that the Gujarat carnage was caused by Hindu anger because “The Hindus were attacked first by the muslims. It was the muslim community who initiated this horror.”
      Please note that:
      1) Muslim communities along the route of the Sabarmati Express had been harassed by kar sevaks at a number of stops before reaching Godhra
      2) In response to a rumour that a Muslim tea vendor’s daughter from the Godhra platform had been taken on the train, local Muslims threw stones at the train
      3) Both the state government forensics reports and the report of the Banerjee Commission (which was withdrawn) found that the fire in S-6 which killed 59 people had been set from INSIDE the coach. Conclusion: Local Muslims could not have been responsible for the fire on the train. And even if they had been, it is a constitutional democracy obligated to find the culprits and punish to the full extent of the law. One massacre does not justify another

      Modi, as CM instead of appealing for calm, removed the charred bodies from the train and paraded them from Godhra to Gandhinagar with loudspeakers saying the “Muslim terrorists” had killed Hindu pilgrims; he then supported a VHP state bandh.

      For more details, please see the report of the Citizen’s Tribunal, the Press Guild, PUDR, HRW, links for which are provided the press release at Vijay Prashad’s Press Release .

      Like

  6. I can keep this short, by writing that i’m against the award been given to Narendra Modi, for all the same reasons as mentioned in earlier replies.
    Cheers

    Like

  7. In response to the letter signed by hundreds of concerned citizens from around the world, expressing outrage at the FDI magazine’s decision to award Narendra Modi, CM of Gujarat, as Asian Personality of the Year 2009, FDI’s Courtney Fingar has announced a withdrawal of the award to Modi, but given it to Gujarat. Below, the email received by Vijay Prashad:

    Thank you for your email and for sharing your views with us — please know that they have been taken onboard.

    Following a review prompted by the ongoing investigation into the 2002 Gujarat riots, fDi has decided to present its award to Gujarat state, rather than Mr Narendra Modi, the state’s chief minister.

    fDi would like to clarify that the criteria of the award has always remained focused on rewarding the success of a region in attracting foreign investment.

    The award is in recognition of Gujarat state’s ability to attract an outstanding volume of inward foreign investment. Gujarat increased that volume by more than 50% over the past year for a total of 10.3% of all foreign investment into India.

    Mr Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time of the riots. Mr Modi’s alleged role in connection to the riots is under investigation but he denies any responsibility.

    fDi has also decided to highlight the geographic regions of all the other winners. The magazine is keen to maintain its primary focus on reporting on the effectiveness of different economic regions and rewarding innovative and effective promotional strategies.

    Courtney Fingar
    Editor
    fDi – Foreign Direct Investment
    Financial Times Business
    http://www.fdimagazine.com

    Like

    • p.s. This was a form reply sent to everyone who wrote in and protested. I got one too and so did Vijay Prashad who compiled hundreds of signatures. So did Shaheryar Azhar who moderates an e-group called the Forum and pointed out that although the award is being given to the State of Gujrat, as CM, Modi would probably receive it.
      Still, at least a loud protest has been registered and maybe they’ll think twice next time…. even as the machine cranks on

      Like

  8. Awards are given as a mark of appreciation to any man or animal (like in dog sports), agreed this is an economic award being considered for Narendra Modi in capacity of a happening Chief Minister of Gujrat for taking his states to new heights. Very well but someone tell me when do we shortlist Hitler and Moussolini for their terrific contribution to their states?…Come on even if a dog shows aggressive behaviour inside the showring (for whatever reason) all his medals are stripped immaterial how gracefully he walked, how pedigreed he is, and how economically worthy (in terms of sales and breeding) he is.

    Like

  9. Should we not wait for the judgment of supreme court before we give our own (which are mostly based on wrong facts and propaganda)? Have a look at the *true* facts here -> http://newsx.com/story/50245.
    Gujarat under Narendra Modi has become the most developed state in this country. Farmers (of all religion) get 24 hours of electricity and water. The kind of infrastructure that Gujarat has is unmatchable by any state.
    And remember, Gujarat riot *was not* the most gruesome communal carnage that happened in this country. The gruesome riots that India faced was Bhagalpur riot, Meeruth riot, and anti-sikh riot. Why the so called secularists are silent about this.
    During anti-sikh riot, P.V. Singhmha Rao was cabinet home minister. Why not any human right activists seen protesting when he became prime minister?
    Gujarat riot was the only riot where army was deployed in its very initial stage.
    If I look at the facts I think it is very unfair to blame Modi.
    If I look at his works I think he truly deserves many awards.
    Please don’t get me wrong, I am not ant-Muslim. I am anti pseudo-secularism and pseudo-intellectuals.
    And please do not quarantine this reply, just because this one talks against wrong facts. 😉

    Like

    • Badri Raina in New Delhi responds to Satya’s comment:

      What are these ‘wrong facts’ that are alluded to? What we adduce is only that which investigations, sting operations, and his own erstwhile colleagues have revealed. As to ‘development’: no one developed Germany as much as the Reich; and that is a fact. So, what do we mean by the word “development”? Wasn’t America the most developed country while African Americans still could not vote till mid-sixties?
      I would invite the gentleman to read the Mander article as well (in Closure, yet so far, Hindustan Times, Sept 1–.
      He is right that there have been umpteen communal riots in post-independent india, and under all sorts of governmental dispensations; what sets Gujarat 2002 apart is that this was no riot (a riot usually is two-sided); this was a classic state-directed and state-supported pogrom; the details here have been recorded voluminously;
      Babu Bajrangi, the culprit in main charge, is on record (Tehelka sting) to say, among many other horrendous things, how Modi changed one judge after another till one was found who would grant anticipatory bail to him!
      Why do you think the Supreme Court was compelled to take the best-known cases away from Gujarat, and then to appoint the SIT to investigate all others?

      Like

      • p.s. Badri Raina adds:
        Yet another fact: Modi’s erstwhile cabinet colleague, Hiren Pandiya, who Modi thought had leaked details of the Feb.,27 closed door meeting where Modi disallowed the police to interfere with Hindu retaliation, was sure enough murdered a short while after; his father continues to this day to publicly accuse Modi of the murder.

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      • So your source of knowledge is Teesta Setalvad. Bad luck to you on your path of utter ignorance.

        If all this are really true then why Teesta Setalvad had to forge the facts? Read -> http://newsx.com/story/50245.
        This is not media created story but the SIT headed by former CBI chief and appointed by supreme court has found Teesta Setalvad guilty in cooking up false stories?
        If she had to do all this, I will presume all charges against Modi are false.

        Like

  10. Do people require more evidences of Modi’s involvement in the Gujrat Carnage’02 ?
    MLAs & other leaders accepted this heinous crime on the camera.
    The apex court (SC) thrashed Modi for being a mute spectator during the butchery.
    Do people have nerves to get up and say ‘STOP MODI’.
    He is a threat to Indian National Development as such massacre put people generations back.

    Like

  11. If the Gujarat region has been so successful, why are the people made homeless still living in rehabiltation colonies?

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  12. I am surprised that some people are against Modi and for Modi; based on the perceptions created by media. I think as fair minded citizens we need to be sure of the facts instead of being fed by whatever the media thinks is appropriate. Is anybody here aware that in 1990 in Hyderahbad during congress rule there were major riots in the city and more than 200 people were killed . Was any furhjer publicity given to those riots (it was instigated by Muslims on Hindus) ; also the Kandhamal riots- were the murderers of Swamiji caught , but the rioters are punished. Take Bengal where the riots took place. Does it matter which religion or groups were involved? What matters in all the above the cases that the State administration was not able yto control the riots in time to avoid death of so many people. So why is it that everybody issingling out only Modi.None of the other state CMS have done anything remarkable after that for the development of the people . Only corruptiuon exists in most States . If a common man is economically uplifted by the acts of gujarat State admin, why shd they not get the credit for it?

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  13. Further to the comment by Owen, there is always room for improvement to make it an ideal place. Even we as individuals need to thrive to become the “perfect” human. Is it easy to practise that? These problems exist everywhere and each place needs to improve. Here we can only compare and then decide that on certain parameters we can emulate what another place has done. It is only after Narendra Modi has introduced so many changes regarding administration – evening courts, electricity, water, roads etc, that all other CMs have woken and realised that it is high time we also do something concrete for the people. The NREGA which is a flagship of Congress is indirect bribery of the poor making them even poorer. It would be better to introduce knowledge enhancement along with stipend which will help them. Money will go but knowledge or skill will remain.

    Like

    • Re Trupti – comment are already covered by what’s been said earlier on this forum.
      The whole case–a disingenuous one–of Modi supporters is to say that what happened in Gujarat was like what has been happeining many times before;
      that is the fallacy, and the weight of evidence by now is overwhelmingly against this reading. We would request subscribers of this view to read back issues of ‘Communalism Combat’, and the Harsh Mander article in the Hindustan Times of September 1 Closure, yet so far: to this day, seven years after the event, clear lines between communities are drawn in Gujarat’s cities that read “way to Hindu rashtra,’ ‘way to Pakistan’, ‘border’ and so on, and the state has no interest in having it any other way; Muslim traders are ostracised by hindus; they no longer find any sort of employ, and any who stir out are always at risk; is that what the state should be perpetuating?

      As Badri Raina has written before, which bears repeating: where the Congress has many times during its rule since 1947 manipulated communal identities for petty gains, there is no Congress document, constitution included, which discriminates between citizens, or which desires the constitution of India to be reformulated; the Modi variety of communalism is theoretically aligned to Nazi/Fascist thought, one that Savarkar articulated as early as 1923 in Hindutva, ‘Who is a Hindu?’ Laying down clearly that only those whose places both of birth and of worship are within the confines of india can be called citizens; the Hindu Mahasabha/RSS version of citizenship and nationhood remains a racial construct and not a democratic/republican one; it is their view that all communities in India must recognize that they are essentially all ‘Iindu’, and, as Golwalker explicitly wrote must learn to honour Hindu gods/godesses, traditions/cultural practices etc., or expect to lose even the right of citizenship; it is to this theoretical/ideological construct that Modi made Gujarat a laboratory experiment, one that he to this day carries on as safely now as he might; one is therefore not talking just about riots etc., but a fundamental challenge to secular democracy and to the constitution of india as by law established. Obviously those supporters of Modi who inwardly subscribe to that construct will never see reason in anything anyone says; end of argument.
      For further reference, see Badri Raina, Mullah Modi – Time to turn a new leaf’, ZMag, May 14, 2007

      Like

  14. he will get the award! just wait and watch!!!

    Like

  15. Amendment to Asia fDi award
    Published: September 02, 2009

    http://www.fdimagazine.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/3028/Amendment_to_Asia_fDi_award.html

    State of Gujarat to be recognised for FDI achievements in lieu of Personality of the Year award

    Following a review prompted by the ongoing investigation into the 2002 Gujarat riots, fDi has decided to present its award to Gujarat state, rather than Mr Narendra Modi, the state’s chief minister.

    fDi would like to clarify that the criteria of the award has always remained focused on rewarding the success of a region in attracting foreign investment.

    The award is in recognition of Gujarat state’s ability to attract an outstanding volume of inward foreign investment. Gujarat increased that volume by more than 50% over the past year for a total of 10.3% of all foreign investment into India.

    Mr Modi was chief minister of Gujarat at the time of the riots. Mr Modi’s alleged role in connection to the riots is under investigation but he denies any responsibility.

    fDi has also decided to highlight the geographic regions of all the other winners. The magazine is keen to maintain its primary focus on reporting on the effectiveness of different economic regions and rewarding innovative and effective promotional strategies.

    Like

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