|Wembley awaits Modi Photo: Francis Henry|
Today Wembley Stadium will play host to Narendra Modi, the current PM of India, in an extravaganza that has been welcomed by Muhammed Butt, the leader of Brent Council.
Narendra Modi is a former worker for the RSS, a violent, fascist, Hindu supremacist group who openly admire Hitler. His party, the BJP, retains strong links with the RSS and the two are umbilically connected. Both are responsible for what has been termed a "growing mood of intolerance" towards minorities in India but as Arundhati Roy has observed, "'Intolerance' is the wrong word to use for the lynching, shooting, burning and mass murder of fellow human beings."
Modi himself is accused of personally orchestrating the Gujarat violence in 2002 during which around 2000 people, mainly Muslims, died in what has been termed a modern genocide - some of the worst communal violence India has seen. As chief minister it is thought that Modi allowed the charred bodies of 54 Hindu victims of the Godhra train fire to be paraded in the streets of Ahmedabad, directed senior police officers not to interfere if Hindus sought revenge and placed cabinet colleagues in the police control rooms to ensure compliance with his directives.
Contrary to what Modi's supporters say, Modi has not been given a "clean chit" by India's Supreme Court for his role in the violence - in fact the case has never been heard in the Supreme Court and legal action by the families of some of the victims (including three victims from Britain) is still ongoing.
That Muhammed Butt and some of his councillor colleagues think it appropriate to welcome such a person to Brent is a shameful stain on the name of what was once regarded as a tolerant borough. There is still time for them to change their minds and join the many Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Dalit groups who stand against the politics of religious hatred and communalism, and say Narendra Modi is not welcome here.