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'Fascist Alliance': Open letter by Gujarat activists' against 'Namaste Trump' event

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Ahmedabad, Feb 22: A group of over 160 academicians, activists, and students from Gujarat on Saturday, in an open letter against the "Namaste Trump" event said that the "fascist alliance" between "forces attempting to erode democracy and curb freedom of speech and religion", is dangerous not just for India but the world as a whole.

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The US President Donald Trump will arrive in Ahmedabad on February 24 and will take part along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an event, christened ''Namaste Trump", in the newly-constructed Motera stadium in Ahmedabad.

The 168 signatories have mentioned in the letter, "With a spectacular rise in global fascism today, this alignment between the largest democracy in the world and the most powerful one is dangerous not only for India but for the world as a whole. We cannot in good conscience support this alliance between forces that are attempting to erode democracy and curb freedom of speech and religion."

They have also added that they cannot stand by as families are deprived of their homes in order to make room for those who wish to remove citizens from their countries.

"We unequivocally condemn this fascist alliance, and urge the Indian State to prioritise the needs of its citizens over the greed of the global elite," they said in the letter as per PTI.

The group included activists and danseuse Mallika Sarabhai and also academicians from institutes like the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad and CEPT University.

They claimed India and the USA had seen a rise of "authoritarian politics" in recent years, with PM Modi and Trump at the helm.

According to PTI, the letter claimed Trump was "unreservedly racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and anti-poor," while PM Modi had enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that bars "Muslims from neighbouring Muslim-majority countries from receiving expedited citizenship offered to other minority groups".

It said the Modi government was all set to enact the National Register of Citizens, "which European Union members have warned could precipitate the largest statelessness crisis in the world".

As per PTI the activists alleged in the letter that in the past year alone, an unprecedented 69,550 migrant children were separated from their families and held in government custody.

The list of detained migrants included 52 Indian nationals, one of whom died in US custody in May of last year.

While Trump enacted a ban against refugees and migrants from several Muslim-majority countries, India has enacted the CAA, they said in the letter.

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In the context of "crores" being spent on the ''Namaste Trump'' event, the letter claimed the "privileging of foreign capital over local needs is sadly familiar".

The signatories claimed the Gujarat government had instructed police to deny permissions for protest 15 days prior to Trump's visit, a move that infringes on fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

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