Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, London WC1,
(nearest tube Kings Cross)
Tuesday 16th July 2002
Asiya Sareshwala, Indian Council of Muslims
Bina Fernandez, Forum Against Oppression of Women, India
Zubaida Motala, South Asia Solidarity Group
Gita Sahgal, Women Against Fundamentalism
Evil Stalks the Land´ a new documentary film about events in Gujarat directed by Gauhar Raza (subtitled in English)
Why are women singled out for such horrific violence during communal attacks?
What does the 'Hindutva' ideology of India's ruling BJP and the internationally active VHP mean for women?
What are the implications of what is happening in Gujarat for South Asian women in Britain?
How can we support the demands of women's organisations working with those affected in Gujarat?
Gujarat has moved out of media focus. But the toll of death and destruction there is still mounting. Violence has not yet ceased . The attacks on the Muslim community in March have left more than 2,000 dead, more than 100,000 homeless and property worth millions of rupees destroyed. Now. relief camps are being closed down and Muslim survivors are being forcibly and systematically prevented from returning to their homes and resuming their occupations .
It is now clear that what happened in Gujarat was planned, premeditated and cold blooded . As in the case of the killings of Jews in Nazi Germany, in Gujarat, for months before these attacks, lists of intended victims identified on the basis of religion were being collected. In other words this was genocide. And it happened with the complicity of the state government. The fact that the Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others like him who implicitly or openly supported these attacks and police officers who participated in killings have not been dismissed underlines the role of the central government.
In these genocidal attacks women and children were the main targets. As the Citizen's Initiative report, The Survivors Speak, put it "Among the women surviving in relief camps are many who have suffered the most bestial forms of sexual violence - including rape, gang rape, mass rape, stripping, insertion of objects into their body, and molestations. A majority of rape victims have been burnt alive". The extent of sexual violence and brutality witnessed during the carnage in Gujarat since the 28th of February is likened by many to the horrors of the post-Partition riots in 1947. We must speak out against this violence.
Further details from South Asia Solidarity Group email: firstname.lastname@example.org
c/o 293-299 Kentish Town Road London NW5 2TJ. (Venue booked with assistance from Unison)