Autumn’s Anger: Sonia Anwar

This is a guest post by SONIA ANWAR

As everybody knows by now, not everybody was cheering when the Indian PM recently visited the U.K. Some photos and a short write-up sent by a protestor and eyewitness…

Modi bloody finger cartoon
Source: The Independent, U.K.

The pictures didn’t come out very good as I was trying to absorb everything that was happening around me yesterday in front of No: 10 Downing street and later in the Parliament Square and also shout against Modi as loud as I could at the same time. The air was filled with angry slogans coming from different groups. The centre point was behind the barricades right across the gates to No: 10. There were people of all genders, faiths and nationalities. We shouted out as loud as we could; they had to bring in Modi on foot to No: 10 through the Foreign Office building to avoid us and our angry shouts that he is a murderer and has blood on his hands. Later we marched down towards the Parliament square.

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We stood behind the barricades shouting that Modi committed genocide and waited for him. We roared and booed when he came to pay respect in front of Gandhiji’s statue in the Parliament Square. Our loudest shouts were synchronised with the RAF as they flew past. And all Modi could do was stay silent and as they say grin and bear it. This was the protest that took place in front of No: 10, Downing Street on 12th of November. This was the first meeting for Modi in UK, when he was welcomed into the British Prime Minister’s official residence. The protest lasted from 12:00 till 16: oo. There were a series of protests to mark Modi’s visit, which started with the projection of Modi’s image onto the parliament on 8th of November at 21:00 with a clear message that he was not welcome in UK. The protestors followed Modi in all the major venues where he had meetings. Even though the Indian media failed to report these protests, they were covered in all the major visual and print media in England.

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Sonia Anwar lived in Ahmedabad in 2002.

4 thoughts on “Autumn’s Anger: Sonia Anwar

  1. K SHESHU BABU

    The media was busy showering laurels on Modi. All the channels were crying hoarse on the success of the Prime Minister. No one bothered about the protests. Goebels was alive and well!!! Indians are forced to follow foreign media! Electronic media and large print media are behind Modi and co. News too is becoming doctored…a special ‘make in India’.

  2. suresh

    I don’t think the news of the protest was “blacked out” by the Indian press as alleged. It was reported though it was not accorded the same importance that the British newspapers gave it, or the protesters themselves wanted accorded to it (naturally). Anyway, here are a couple of links – and these are just some. You can locate many more.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/modi-in-uk-the-supporter-at-wembley-the-protester-at-10-downing/

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/protests-during-modis-first-day-in-the-uk/article7870365.ece

    http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/protests-in-london-against-modi-visit-115111201259_1.html

    It is known by now that almost every visit by an Indian PM to a Western country will be protested as there are many groups holding a variety of grievances against the Indian state. There were protests against Manmohan Singh too – if not in London, then certainly in New York and Ottawa. The only difference is that the number of groups protesting Modi is larger than the number protesting Manmohan Singh (or any other PM).

    In a scenario where protests against an Indian PM are to be expected, it is perhaps not surprising that the Indian media does not give them that much coverage. Of course, bias and nationalist sentiment are undoubtedly present as well.

    One last point: There were a few hundred protesters against Modi. Yes, they dwarfed the 50 or so pro-Modi protesters at the same venue but there is no point in making the protests bigger than they were. In any case, the justness of a cause (and many of the causes espoused in the protests are completely justified, in my opinion) does not depend on the number of people supporting it. If that were the case, what do we make of the thousands at Wembley stadium?

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