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protest against the violence in Gujarat

8 Mar 2002

Tuesday March 8:  In protest against the violence in Gujarat, and the Indian government's complicity in that violence, over thirty members of the Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis, joined the United for Justice with Peace (UJP) Coalition for a peace vigil held at Copley Square in Boston.

The UJP Coalition has tirelessly held peace vigils every Tuesday evening since September 11 to protest the retaliatory war in Afghanistan and the threat of the United States extending the war to other nations. Together with the UJP Coalition, members of the Alliance held colorful posters and banners. We condemned the violence in Gujarat, called for peace, and demanded that the VHP stop its murderous incitement against Muslims in India. A poster held high by one Alliance member declared "that the VHP was a charitable organization in the USA- a terrorist organization in India." Another read "Proud to be Desi -ashamed of VHP."

Famed performer, Aparna Sindhoor of Navrasa Dance Academy, and Nikhil Aziz sang a song celebrating peace and humanity (Ruke na jo -hum vo inqalab hain). Abha Sur read out a statement expressing "deep anguish and grief" at the loss of all life and the violence in Gujarat, condemning the VHP's murderous actions, and calling for an end to communal tensions in India. Despite the bitter-cold weather in Boston, the vigil was highly charged yet peaceful and attracted many commuters on their way home. It lasted about an hour.

The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia was formed in 1993 to combat rising religious intolerance in South Asia and to campaign for peace and justice in the region. We are committed to working towards a just, non-violent resolution of the crisis we are currently living through. If you are interested in joining us in this work, please call 617-983-3934 or e-mail

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