|Letter to AAHOA|
February 19, 2005
The President and Board
Asian American Hotel Owners Association
66 Lenox Pointe N.E, Atlanta, Georgia 30324.
We represent a coalition of national and local organizations in the U.S. and are writing to express our moral outrage at your invitation to Narendra Modi to speak at your convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on March 24-26, 2005.
As you must know, Mr.Modi has been indicted by all reputable Indian and International human rights organizations for his role in the ethnic cleansing and pogroms against the Muslim community in Gujarat, India in 2002, in addition to having two cases lodged against him in the state of Gujarat.
In the state-sponsored pogrom in Gujarat, thousands of people were killed and made refugees, hundreds of women and young girls were brutally raped and tortured, religious places of worship were defiled and destroyed, and property loss and damage ran to millions of dollars. These heinous crimes were not only committed under Gujarat Chief Minister Modi's watch, but also condoned by him. The Supreme Court of India has rebuked the State Government of Gujarat for its faulty and discriminatory handling of more than 2000 cases that were never even properly investigated let alone tried. The Gujarat State government under Mr. Modi continues to discriminate against Muslim and Christian minorities to this day.
By honoring Mr. Modi at the AAHOA Meeting, you dishonor the victims of the Gujarat pogrom, and insult the moral dignity of all Indians and world citizens. Your decision to invite Mr. Modi brings shame to the Indian-American community, which takes pride in upholding secular principles.
Apart from the fact that your decision to invite Mr. Modi is morally repugnant, it is also economically unwise as it will negatively influence the patronage of AAHOA member hotels by a vast majority of peace loving (Indian and non-Indian alike) residents of the US.
We are perturbed that a service-based industry such as the hotel industry would put its reputation and financial well-being on the line by endorsing a man like Mr. Modi who is being tried for his complicity in crimes against humanity in India.
We demand that you rescind your invitation to Mr. Modi so as to repair the damage done by your association. If the invitation is not rescinded by 5PM Monday, February 21st we will be forced to launch a public campaign on this issue.
Mr. George Abraham, Dr. Angana Chatterjee, Ms. Sapna Gupta, Dr. Ashwini Rao, Dr. Shaik Ubaid
On behalf of Coalition Against Genocide