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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

‘Modi’s election, like Trump’s, has unleashed violence against minorities’

American human rights advocate Martin Luther King III was unflattering in his comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concern for the poor and the rule of law.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2017 10:34 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Martin Luther King III , son of Martin Luther King with actor Nandita Das during Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference  in Bengaluru  on Friday.
Martin Luther King III , son of Martin Luther King with actor Nandita Das during Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference in Bengaluru on Friday. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

Drawing parallels between US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Martin Luther King III, the son of American civil rights movement icon Martin Luther King Jr, said here on Friday that both have limited regard for the poor and for law and order.

King III, a human rights advocate and community activist was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day conference “Quest for equity - Reclaiming social justice, revisiting Ambedkar”, in which around 300 scholars, activists and policymakers will discuss the ideas of Dr BR Ambedkar.

“Like Donald Trump’s campaign, the election of Narendra Modi has unleashed a ferocious animosity against minorities,” King said drawing unflattering parallel between the two leaders. The government has consistently denied that there is any intolerance in the country.

“We must find a way to bring together the best minds in the world to find solutions,” he stressed.

Speaking about the similarities between Dr Ambedkar and his father, King said there were many ideals the two shared. “It is unfortunate that Dr Ambedkar is not well known outside India,” he said.

Nobel laureate Kailash Sathyarthi said it was not enough to just remember Dr Ambedkar from time to time. “We must live with Babasaheb inside each of us,” Sathyarthi said.

Sathyarthi said it was a great testament to the continuing power of Dr Ambedkar that India’s presidential elections was a contest between two Dalits, Ramnath Kovind and Meira Kumar.

Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr Ambedkar took on the current dispensation at the Centre, saying that it was needed to reclaim Ambedkar because some ground on the social justice front had been lost over the past three years.

“Dr Ambedkar had warned that every revolution will have a counter revolution, and we are seeing that counter revolution take shape,” Ambedkar said. There is a need to rethink the concept of social justice, Ambedkar said, “because the very idea implies a giver and receiver of social justice, thereby cementing two classes.”