British-Indian groups on Pro-Pakistan protestors: Kashmir protest on Diwali is hinduphobia

Updated: Oct 28, 2019, 08:45 IST | Agencies | London

"This request was refused. The Pakistani demonstration is trying to divide people in the UK, especially on religious grounds

Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates Diwali with jawans of the Indian Army, in Rajouri district on Sunday.  Pic/PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates Diwali with jawans of the Indian Army, in Rajouri district on Sunday. Pic/PTI

London: An umbrella group representing over 100 British Indian organisations on Sunday condemned the "Free Kashmir" demonstration by pro-Pakistani groups, planned to coincide with Diwali, as an act of Hinduphobia and racism.

As part of a counter-campaign, the group said it had hired a digital billboard vehicle to traverse London streets to spread the "inclusive and universal" message of the festival. "The fact that this protest is occurring on the same day as Diwali is an act of Hinduphobia and racism," notes a collective statement issued by the groups. "It is equivalent to an antisemitic group demonstrating on the holy day of Hannukkah or an anti-Muslim group demonstrating on Eid. This is why many British Indian individuals and community groups are upset," it notes, welcoming Mayor Sadiq Khan's call for the protesters to cancel their plans.

"This request was refused. The Pakistani demonstration is trying to divide people in the UK, especially on religious grounds. Instead of the nuanced debate needed on Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, they are inciting religious and ethnic hatred on the streets of London by hijacking the festival of Diwali," it adds. The message hit social media as pro-Pakistani and separatist groups planned to march for the so-called "Free Kashmir" protest held annually on October 27, as a 'Black Day' when Indian troops allegedly entered the then princely kingdom of Kashmir in 1947.

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