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Those opposed to Narendra Modi should make their voices heard: Anish Kapoor

Friday, 2 May 2014 - 6:07pm IST | Place: London | Agency: PTI

Celebrated British Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor has said those opposed to Narendra Modi's brand of politics should make their voices heard.

"For us Indians there is a kind of permeability between the human and the divine. Let me assure you, Modi is no incarnation of Vishnu. I think it is important to remember that because the political campaign in this election has been conducted in a way that presents him as a demi god" 60-year-old Kapoor said.

He made the remarks in a panel discussion titled 'Not in Our Name' organised by the Awaaz Human Rights Network in the House of Commons complex in London on Thursday.

"Our voices need to be heard and I ask everyone to shout out about it. Trade cannot be had at any cost. Lives of the poor have just as much value as the lives of the rich. I say we ask our friends in business in India and the UK to consider the social and environmental price," he said.

The sculptor, who has been knighted by the Queen for his contribution to arts, also spoke of the attacks from Modi supporters following an open letter against the Gujarat chief minister published in the 'Guardian' newspaper which he had co-signed with well-known author Salman Rushdie in April.

The letter had warned that it was "crucial to remember the role played by the Modi government in the horrifying events that took place in Gujarat in 2002."

"Since its publication we have been subject to a barrage of intimidating correspondence. It is clear the Modi camp fears criticism because there is much to hide. Every single person who signed the letter has received a host of emails, tweets, etc" Kapoor said.

The meeting was chaired by Mike Wood, Labour MP for Batley and Spen who lost three of his British Muslim constituents in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Other speakers at the event included Britain's leading lawyer and champion of human rights Baroness Helena Kennedy, India-based human rights activist and lawyer Vrinda Grover and Professor Gautam Appa, professor emertius at the London School of Economics (LSE).

"This is one of the most significant meetings I have chaired during my career as an MP" Wood said.


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