Intolerance on the rise in Modi, Trump regimes, says Martin Luther King III

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Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, human rights activists Kailash Satyarthi and Martin Luther King-III, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, former MP Prakash Ambedkar and minister H C Mahadevappa at the inauguration of Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference 2017 in the city, on Friday. dh photo
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, human rights activists Kailash Satyarthi and Martin Luther King-III, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, former MP Prakash Ambedkar and minister H C Mahadevappa at the inauguration of Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference 2017 in the city, on Friday. dh photo
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Human rights activist Martin Luther King III on Friday said intolerance has been on the rise in India and the United States after the election of Narendra Modi and Donald Trump respectively.

Speaking after inaugurating ‘Quest for Equity: Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar’ conference organised to commemorate the 126th birth anniversary of the architect of the Indian Constitution B R Ambedkar, King III the oldest son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, said animosity against minorities in India has increased after Modi came to power.

King said that in the Modi regime, people in favour of a Hindu nation are placed in positions of power in all institutions of democracy.

“Cow vigilantism is happening. Muslims and Dalits are being lynched, while police stand by... we must resist,” he said. King said there were several similarities between his father and Ambedkar. “Both were selfless, fought for equality and for fundamental rights. Both were highly educated and could have led a luxurious life but worked for the upliftment of the downtrodden,” he said.

All India Congress Committee vice president Rahul Gandhi charged the Modi government and the RSS of strangulating reality with an aim to mutilate the Constitution. He accused Modi and the RSS of systematical capturing India’s democratic institutions to keep alive the “lie” that all is well in the country.

“Do not forget that every single Indian will be robbed of his voice, every single Indian will be robbed of his future. We must firstly keep the firm grip on reality. We must never ever allow them to strangle it,” he said.

He accused Modi of running a totalitarian regime. “They said Rohit Vemula committed suicide. I say he was murdered. He was killed only because he was a Dalit. Akhlaq is butchered because they said he stole a calf,” Rahul said.

Farmers’ suicides
The Congress leader said thousands of farmers were committing suicide but the Centre looked the other way. He appreciated Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was on the dais, for waiving crop loans taken by farmers in Karnataka.

Rahul said Modi was lying when he said India had a glorious past. “The Modi government wants to take the country back to a forgotten age where untouchability was rampant and people lived in abject poverty,” he said.

Nobel laurate and child right activist Kailash Satyarthi said the time had come to introspect whether Ambedkar’s dreams had been realised.

“Today millions of our children are not in school, millions of children are in the fields, millions of girls are into prostitution. These are Ambedkar’s children,” he said implying that still a lot needs to be done to achieve social equality
.DH News Service, Bengaluru, Jul 22 2017,