This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Awaaz Network Explains Why They Used The Nazi Swastika To Protest Against PM Modi

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Awaaz Network

Editor’s note: Awaaz Network, which advocates for religious tolerance in South Asia and the UK, projected an image on the Palace of Westminster in protest of P.M. Modi’s visit to the UK. Many publications such as UK Mirror, Scroll, etc criticised their use of ‘Aum’ with the Nazi Swastika. Awaaz has now come out with a response explaining its usage of the symbol and protest against Modi.

Exactly three days ago, on Sunday 8 November at 9pm, we projected an image onto the Palace of Westminster. The image was of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi wielding a sword. It also suggested how religious symbols revered by many Hindus, such as Aum, are being used by the political Hindutva movement, to which Mr Modi belongs, towards fascist ends, such as attacks on minorities, rationalists, Dalits and political opponents.

modi-not-welcome-british-parliamentSuresh Grover from Awaaz Network said, “Pulling off the visual protest took weeks of planning and liaising with professional technicians. The protest was timed to coincide with the Bihar election results, UK’s Remembrance Day that commemorates the fight against Nazism and Fascism during the Second World War, and Mr. Modi’s visit. The day after, 9 November, is the day when in 1938 the first large-scale systematic pogroms began against Jewish citizens in Germany – Kristallnacht.” The banner was projected from halfway across Westminster Bridge and went up right next to the Remembrance Day poppies on Big Ben.

The image was chosen carefully and deliberately. Millions of people, including Indians, died in the battle against Nazism. Nazism was defeated shortly after the end of the Second World War. But movements it inspired remained scattered in different parts of the world, including India. Narendra Modi’s movement, the RSS, admired Hitler and Mussolini. It directly drew its inspiration from European Fascism and National Socialism, not any Indian traditions. Its founders glorified Nazism. They believed India should emulate Hitler and Aryanism. The RSS is responsible for trying to turn one of the world’s great religions, Hinduism, into their version of fascism. They abuse Hindu symbols every day, turning them into weapons of hatred and violence. The RSS in its daily branch meetings for its members does not allow images of Hindu Gods or Goddesses, only images of their Nazi-loving founders. That great apostle of peace and non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, was murdered by an RSS member. This was the point of the image we used: the struggle against fascism continues today and it has a powerful tradition and history. The RSS’s aims to supplant Hinduism with a deeply violent, racist ideology directly inspired by Nazism.

Bob Blackman, the Tory MP who has complained about Awaaz, has been a long-term supporter of the RSS, the VHP and BJP. He has attended an RSS camp in the UK as an honored guest and openly supported the RSS. He has lost any moral authority on this issue.

We wanted to project the image on Parliament because Mr. Modi seeks its legitimacy, just as he craves legitimacy on the world stage. “He has been invited to parliament by the Speaker of the House and Mr David Cameron,” said Suresh Grover, adding: “I think it sends a clear message that a large part of the Indian community here reject the politics of hate and intolerance, wherever it takes place – in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar any country in south Asia or in this country.”

Awaaz Network’s aim is to monitor and combat religious hatred in South Asia and the UK. The Network is a large alliance of community groups and individuals. Its participants come from all backgrounds, Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and non-believers. Its members are opposed to the violence, intolerance and hate that Hindutva represents, just as it is opposed to religious hatred, intolerance and violence in any form. Awaaz is not affiliated to any political party nor does Awaaz subscribe to any single political ideology, or receive any funding. Awaaz Network has a strong tradition and history of combating hatred and intolerance from Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other fundamentalists.

You must be to comment.
  1. Shreehari

    If you want to criticize Modi for political millage, do it we have no objections. But by projecting India’s standing PM with Nazi Swastika not only alienates your movement from majority of the Indians but turn them hostile towards your cause. Swastika has specific religious significance and is deeply rooted in Hinduism. Using it for your perverted political campaign will make you enemies of Majority peace loving and tolerant Indians. Kindly stop such nonsensical Behavior. By insulting Indian PM, you are insulting India pride and the decision of people of India. This will cost you your credibility. India is perfectly capable of handling its problems. We don’t need advice from British organization about conducting statecraft.

    1. Vipu

      Get your hindutva perverts sorted out in your country by your so called peace loving Indians

    2. Srinivas

      Who are you, oh lost one? “Your so called peace loving Indians”? By the way, the ones who allegedly projected this
      Swastika symbols, they were also “peace loving people of Indian origin”, or were they “peace loving people of
      Indo-Pak joint heritage”?

  2. lilknaap

    Swastika is a sign of good fortune in Indian mythology. Nothing to worry about. And looks like this awaaz is a pak based group. Hope Mr. Doval is looking into this matter.

    1. Srinivas

      Awaaz is being funded from Dubai, apparently has Saudi backers as well. It’s alleged Retard Raoul Vinci is also
      involved, though he doesn’t use his personal funds, which are tied up in Switzerland and Columbia.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Uday Che

By Krishna Kumar

By Charkha Features

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below