Alliance For Justice And Accountability (AJA) Launches #MODIFAIL: A Campaign to Protest Narendra Modi’s Silicon Valley Visit

September 16, 2015

San Jose, CA: In anticipation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the Bay Area on September 27, 2015, the Alliance for Justice And Accountability (AJA) – a broad coalition of progressive organizations – has launched a campaign to hold him accountable for past and present attacks on the freedoms and human rights of Indian communities.

AJA will hold a protest at the SAP Center on September 27, 2015 under the banner #ModiFail, to expose the realities behind Modi’s alleged “accomplishments.” The Alliance will also reach out to elected officials and corporate leaders in the US to inform them about Modi’s failed and regressive policies that negatively impact human rights, religious freedoms, the environment, and overall: shrink the space for civil liberties under his rule.

Modi, who was banned by successive US administrations from entering the United States, for his role in the 2002 Gujarat massacres, will now be travelling here under “diplomatic immunity.” The Gujarat genocide, in which nearly 2,000 people were killed, is considered one of the worst incidents of anti-minority violence in Independent India. Modi is widely held responsible for it by national and international rights groups. With his Silicon Valley visit, Modi’s supporters plan to hold a “rock star” reception aimed at rehabilitating his image as a pogrom-tainted politician. According to news reports, Silicon Valley corporations wanting to do business in India have been asked to contribute towards an $800,000 fund for the event at the SAP Center.

Narendra Modi was elected as Prime Minister in May 2014 with his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) receiving only 31 per cent of the popular vote. Since his election:


In fact, as the New York Times recently said in an editorial, it is ironic that while Narendra Modi “trumpet[s] India’s open society and vibrant democracy” when speaking to heads of state and business leaders, his government is “seeking to restrict freedom of expression.”

The Alliance for Justice and Accountability agrees. “Narendra Modi is visiting Silicon Valley to talk about ‘Digital India,’” says Anirvan Chatterjee of AJA, “but we’re worried by his record. Digital Indians deserve strong privacy and free speech protection.”

Pieter Friedrich with the Sikh Information Center at the Alliance, concludes: “Silicon Valley leaders and the general American public need to recognize how dangerous Modi’s record in office is. Rather than offering Modi and his supporters an opportunity to whitewash his past crimes and gloss over his present policies, we ask them to hold Modi and his government accountable for the severe threat to the freedoms and rights of all Indians.”