State violence & crackdowns against dissent existed before. However, the Modi regime took it to whole new levels.
We set out to help in the best way we knew how: to appeal to our communities outside of India, our media, our leaders and the world to watch what was happening in India.
Our hope was that if enough people paid attention, if many eyes turned towards the subcontinent, the government would find it more difficult to enact violence without the cover of darkness.
We put together a simple strategy, and then we began convening meetings online. We put the word out through our networks of friends and colleagues. At a time when people seemed to be more interested in car rallies and live protest, we were hoping to cobble together a coalition of 20 or so people from different parts of the world. By January 10th, 2021, approximately 80 people showed up on a Zoom call, spanning Australia, Canada, Denmark, Malaysia, Netherlands, UK and USA. Some of the members thought we should only be focusing our attention on the farmers protest, but the vast majority liked the idea of focusing on India's human rights violations and the headlong rush into fascism under the Modi regime. All of these issues were related. All of this suffering was compounding.
We agreed that it was time people understood the realities of the Indian state — that this country is about more than yoga and chai, it was also about silencing, brutalizing and murdering its own to squash dissent.