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'Ferocious animosity against minorities under Trump and Modi,' says Martin Luther King III

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Civil rights activist Martin Luther King III who inaugurated the international conference on Ambedkar drew parallels between Donald Trump and Narendra Modi and how minorities had been targetted under their leadership.

Social Reformer Martin Luthar King III with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi during the inauguration of the Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference 2017 in Bengaluru

"Like Donald Trump's campaign and the election of Modi has unleashed a ferocious animosity against minorities," King III said. He added that parallels were many between alt-right in the US and the Hindu-extreme right in India. "In India cow vigilantism is present. A Dalit or minority is killed by cow vigilantes and the police just stand and watch," Martin Luther King III said. Making specific references to Dalit lynching incidents in Una, the civic activist called for people to act against the same.

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    "Has anything changed for the blacks in America now? After all the struggle my father went through? Economic instability continues and here in India caste bias continues," King reiterated. He spoke about how incidents of hate crime had been on the rise in America after Donald Trump's election as president and drew parallels with India.

    "Cow vigilantes attack Muslims while police remain spectators. Assaulting a Dalit, Muslim, a woman or anyone weak has become the new normal. People who believe that India should be a Hindu nation are being placed in powerful positions of democracy," the activist added.

    "Caste system is a prison without walls. Just like my father spoke of 'black life matters, Dalit life matters. Untouchability was outlawed 60 years ago, yet upper caste men do not eat with Dalits or sit with Dalits," he added. Drawing parallels between life, principles and works of Dr B R Ambedkar and his father Martin Luther King Jr, King III said that it was time for India to be through racism, casteism and sexism.

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