A section of the Indian diaspora submitted a memorandum to the daily’s Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner
Unhappy with the apparent biased coverage of the Leicester incidents in which the Hindu community was allegedly portrayed negatively by The Guardian newspaper, a section of the Indian diaspora submitted a memorandum to the daily’s Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner.
The memo handed to the newspaper on September 28, reported by the India Narrative, reads:
Dear Katharine Viner
Almost every other day your paper publishes articles on India and Hindus which depict them as intolerant and extremists. There is no way for us to challenge this false narrative as you do not publish our letters.
There are tens of thousands of minorities living in India and they practice their religion freely without any fear. Let me give you some examples. The Zoroastrians fled from Iran because they were being persecuted for their religion. A Hindu king welcomed them and they have been in India for 1,300 years. They have practiced their faith freely and they have made a unique contribution to India. There is not a single case of conflict with the majority Hindus. You must have heard the name Tata. He is a Zoroastrian.
During the Second World War women and children from Poland fled in a ship. Many countries refused to take them until they reached the shores of India where a Hindu king from Gujarat welcomed them. They were provided with every facility and care was taken to ensure they could practice their Christian faith. The people of Poland remember this act of kindness by a Hindu king with gratitude.
The Tibetan Buddhists have found a safe home in India. The Indian government has given them land so that they can keep their culture and traditions alive.
The Bahai people fled religious persecution in Iran and have found a safe home in India. In the centre of Delhi there is a beautiful Bahai temple. Hindus go there and pay their respects to a place of worship.
More recently thousands of people from Afghanistan have settled in India.
There has been a Jewish presence in India for over 2,000 years. There is not a single case of any conflict. Jewish people admit that India is one place where they have never faced any persecution.
There are tens of millions of Christians living happily in India. Sometimes there is a conflict when the over-zealous evangelical missionaries try to convert by insulting Hindu gods and Hindu traditions.
Minorities everywhere have rights as well as responsibilities. You will be surprised to know that minorities can also be bullies, confrontational and unreasonable. A majority is not always at fault just because it is a majority. And a minority is not always innocent just because it is a minority.
The Guardian has labelled the democratically elected government of India as Hindu nationalist government where minorities are not safe. Almost all the articles on India in The Guardian use emotive words like demonisation of minorities.
There is scant respect for journalistic standards.
This hate is now spilling over in the UK and Hindus and their places of worship are being targeted.
In desperation we have organised a vigil outside your offices. We urge you to tone down the anti-India, anti-Hindu rhetoric. We are willing to meet you and find a way out of this situation.
We will continue our vigil until we get some respite from the targeting of our people and our faith by The Guardian.
Nitin Mehta MBE
Darshan Singh Nagi
For the Indian Diaspora
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