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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Channon protest at India’s ‘growing intolerance’

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Sunday's (July 9) protest against the erosion of democracy in India at The Channon Market. Photo Harsha Prabhu
Sunday’s (July 9) protest against the erosion of democracy in India at The Channon Market. Photo Harsha Prabhu

A ‘pop-up demonstration’ was held at The Channon Market on Sunday to highlight what protesters described as ‘the growing intolerance in India which has seen attacks on minorities, including Muslims, Dalits, Christians and tribals.’

‘These attacks include lynchings, mob violence, arson, the spreading of fake news, propaganda and hate speech and had already resulted in several deaths,’ according to activist Harsha Prabhu.

Speaking at the rally Mr Prabhu pointed out the BJP government of Narendra Modi seemed ‘incapable of dealing with the crisis.’

‘Indeed, Modi and the BJP are part of the problem, with their project of turning India – a secular democracy – into a Hindu nation ruled by a fascist ideology called Hindutva, whose heroes are Hitler and Mussolini,’ he said.

Mr Prabhu and other activists reminded passers-by that ‘intolerance and narrow nationalism are not just an Indian problem but a trans-national phenomenon,’ adding  ‘fascism knows no geographical boundaries’.

‘While in the US Trump was building walls to keep Mexicans out, Adani, one of the main backers of the Modi government, was  bent on destroying the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef by building a coal port, in collusion with the Australian government,’ Mr Prabhu said.

‘Just like the Indian government, which is fighting a resource war against its own first people, the Australian government too was busy mining for coal and uranium against the wishes of the traditional custodians and environmental best practice.

‘Instead of addressing critical issues like climate change the Australian and NSW governments were more intent on harassing grandmothers for growing pot.

‘Similarly, unrepresentative and unelected bodies like the G20 were deciding the fate of the earth.

‘Australia is one of the most culturally diverse countries on the planet and people of the Rainbow Region – who have a history of  fighting for sustainability and grassroots democracy – wished to send a clear message to fascists, environmental vandals and governments everywhere that such activities are not in our name.’


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