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“Art is a matter of survival”: A glimpse inside the artists’ revolt in Greece

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"Squat". Banner hanging outside Ziller building. Photograph: Aris Dimitrakopoulos

A passerby walking outside the Ziller building, the main stage of the National Theatre of Greece, would notice a giant banner writing “Squat.” The banner is not an eccentric poster of some play but aims to inform the public that the building has been under the occupation of drama students since February 4th.   

Ziller has been transformed from the “heart” of the national theater into the “heart” of the art students’ occupation movement that has swarmed Greece since January, when drama and art students all over Greece began occupying their schools and theaters. At the moment, at least 17 buildings are under occupation.

 The students are demanding that the government amend a controversial presidential decree on public sector salaries passed last December that downgraded drama school degrees, equating them with high school diplomas.

At the occupied Ziller, there are present students from various drama schools. I met Nadia, Nick, and Chrysanthi, who attend private acting schools and are members of the Drama Schools Students Coordination Body. As I walked into the building, I was surprised to find a student thoroughly cleaning a rehearsal room.

“It is the first priority for us, even before the general assembly, we have cleaning groups, and we treat the building like we are visitors,” explained Nick.

“The respect for the building came naturally to all of us; I have cleaned Ziller more times than I have cleaned my own house,” added Chrysanthi.

“The cleaning personnel are still coming so as not to lose their wages; they come one or two times a day; however, we do not let them clean, although they insist. The guards of the building are also here,” stated Nadia.

In fact, the squat is full of lists with rules and reminders. “We make sure no damage is caused to the building, everyone is responsible for cleaning,” reads a list on a bright pink piece of paper.

The only sign inside the building which indicates that it is indeed under occupation is a mattress on the stairs, used by students to sleep or rest during the night.

“Throughout the day there is a steady group of 100–120 students that is constantly renewed, depending on what activities are taking place. At night, it is not possible for the building to accommodate so many people, but it still has a large number of people in it, a few dozens for sure,” stated Nick.

For drama students, the presidential decree was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as it made an already bad situation even worse. Effectively, it means that if they ever find work in the public sector, they will be placed on the same salary scale as high school graduates. However, even before the presidential decree, drama school degrees were effectively not recognized by the state and graduates could not use them to pursue further studies or find a job outside of theater.

“It just gave us a very good reason to act. Things were already pretty bad; our degrees were not recognized, and our salary prospects were very grim,” said Chrysanthi.

“It was like putting a stamp on the problem, like a tombstone. With the degrees we will receive from our drama schools, we cannot pursue any postgraduate studies,” stated Nadia.

“However, this is not only a problem of the current government; it is a problem that has gone on for decades. The way culture is treated and the main problems regarding our sector did not appear with the current government,” she added.

Mattress inside the squat. Photograph: Aris Dimitrakopoulos

It seems that the students have already scored a small victory, as the Prime Minister met with their representatives last week and proceeded to pass some minor legislation, which did not solve the main problem.

“He did not solve the main thing, which is the amendment of the presidential decree,” highlighted Nadia. 

“I feel that the government wants to listen, but I doubt it is willing to act,” added Chrysanthi.

Furthermore, Nick explained that occupying their schools was the only way to make the government take them seriously. “There were a lot of protests before the squats, but this dialogue was constantly discontinued, so we had to try to make our voices heard,” he said.

“But I also want to stress that all the squats, from their beginning, were very peaceful, as were the protests,” he added.

“The squats were started by the National Theatre students; however, the word got out to the other drama schools and we started to gather at the National Theatre squat and coordinate together. It took time; we started to gather and hold assemblies for many hours with many people,” explained Nadia.

According to the students, decisions at the squat are made by a general assembly that takes place every day and lasts several hours with over 100 participants.

“The longest assembly lasted for 12 hours and had a steady body of 100 people, but I don’t know how many people participated in total; we do assemblies every day,” stated Nick.

“Most of the time, we make our decisions with a majority vote when there is not a major disagreement. If there are 100 people and 55 vote for something and 45 vote against it, then you have to discuss it again because the difference is very small. The procedures are very democratic,” concluded Chrysanthi.

Throughout its term, the right-wing Mitsotakis government has had a zero-tolerance policy against squats, sending heavily armed police forces to raid them and arrest their occupants. In some raids, there have been incidents of police brutality. However, it has until now kept a relatively moderate stance towards the artists and students, with the police not intervening.

“Of course it exists at the back of your head,” said Chrysanthi about the possibility of a police raid against the squat.

“It would be wrong to attack and suppress young people that do not harm anyone; they are not creating problems; they protect the building and just stand up for their rights,” she added.

“At first, this thought was more intense as we did not know how the whole thing would play out; however, from the moment the Board of Directors took a (favorable) position, as it should, the fear of suppression has somewhat subsided,” said Nick.

“The National Theatre’s Board of Directors has announced that they support us, but this remains to be seen,” explained Nadia.

“There hasn’t been any incidence with the police at the squat but there have been incidents in protests. A few days ago, there was an incident during the teachers and artists protest at the Athens Concert Hall, where they (the police) used tear gas against a very peaceful protest,” added Nick.

Students sitting outside Ziller. Photograph: Aris Dimitrakopoulos

It should be noted that, besides drama schools, other art schools have also been occupied by students. The Athens School of Fine Arts, the oldest and most prestigious school of fine arts in Greece, is also under occupation since the 13th of February. Even though the presidential decree does not directly affect fine arts students, in their announcement they expressed their solidarity with the drama students and listed a number of demands.

A few hundred meters from the Ziller building is the atelier of Georgia Sagri, a visual artist, author, and Professor of Performance at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Although she is now watching from the sidelines, in 2011, Sagri was the one who did the occupying, albeit on another continent, as she was a founding organizer of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States.

“I’m happy for my students; I was here (at the atelier) when I heard that they decided to have an occupation. They also decided that they did not want any professors at school, which is a great idea. We (the professors) are supporting them emotionally,” said Sagri regarding the occupation of her school.

“There are so many problems in the art sector and in the education of art that this particular law is just the tip of the iceberg; a law always reveals the iceberg,” added Sagri.

“This law basically tells you, ‘You don’t need a paper to do your art’, ‘You don’t need a degree to do your art.” This is a really post-war attitude; it is a moment where art is seen as something that only privileged people can do; there is complete social exclusion, and the thing is that it was already like that. Since the creation of the Greek state, art has been assumed to be something that rich people do, and by degrading the education of art it means that it is not something everyone can do,” she expounded.

Furthermore, Sagri claimed that Greece’s dependence on tourism has further diluted the quality of culture in the country.

“Culture has been given the role of playing the masquerade for tourism; they (the government) want us all to do productions for tourism, and everything is connected to the economy of tourism. How people that their lives are connected to art, not as a hobby or as a special thing, not because they are privileged and they want to express themselves, how they are going to be able to live? They won’t be able to live unless they provide a service,” she said.   

“The tourists do not want only to look at zombies, they want something to happen, this is what they think that culture is, something that is happening, so people can see each other and not look like they are living dead, they want to pretend to be alive,” she added.

However, according to her, the exploitation of art by the Greek state is not a new phenomenon.

“This is not something that is happening now; this has been the cultural policy of Greece since I can remember. The state treats art and artists only as a tool,” she explained.

“Art is a matter of survival, art is not an extra. We try to explain to people that they don’t have the capacity to understand, that people may not have money to pay rent, but they prefer not to pay rent and buy paint instead. If this is not understood, how is it possible to have any conversation? The amount of gap between the elite and the people is huge. There is a humongous gap between whom this government represents and from what background this government comes and the entire population,” concluded Sagri.

At some point the discussion went towards comparing the Occupy movement in the United States and the artist’s movement taking place right now in Greece, with Sagri stressing the importance of “the moment” in politics.

“Because there is oppression, there is the need to feel a sense of togetherness, there is a need, sort of like a treatment that the social intellect formulates to re-establish its strength. There have always been occupations at that level of oppression,” she stated.

“We need to pay very close attention to the gravity of the moment, when there is no gravity, when there is no attention to the moment; something takes it, like fear, shock, anxiety for a supposed future, lethargy, etc.,” explained Sagri.

The occupied Ziller building. Photograph: Aris Dimitrakopoulos

It seems that students are also constantly fighting to retain the “moment” and keep their movement relevant and active.

“We are constantly chasing the momentum, and we are constantly feeling like we have lost it; one moment we feel that we are riding the wave, and the next we feel that it’s gone,” said Nadia. 

“We suffer some crises of futility; sometimes it feels like hitting your head on the wall. They ask us what will happen in the future; how are we supposed to know? The reality, the ‘now,’ is very intense,” she added.

“From the moment that none of our demands have been fulfilled, it is very important to persist, as the presidential decree is still there. We have not been tired to a point where the continuation of this thing (the squat) is questioned,” stated Nick.

“The mental fatigue makes you want to find something even bigger, to find another solution. It is not like ‘I am tired, I quit,’ but ‘I am tired, I have to take this thing further.’ We are all thinking that we have to continue, so we did not do all this for nothing. Furthermore, we take strength from the new occupations taking place every day,” explained Chrysanthi.

So how does such a movement maintain its momentum? The students have discussed the idea of trying to expand their movement beyond the narrow realms of theater and art to wider society.

“It’s something we talk about a lot lately, how our struggle has been reshaped, where it is going, and whether it is meaningful to continue. We were discussing that we may now need a more pointed and politicized slogan,” stated Nadia.

“It’s not by accident that, especially during the last days, we approached other sectors of society; we are really trying to broaden our struggle. At the beginning, it was not like this; it was much more narrow,” she added.  

But this will not be an easy task, last Friday, the National Theatre’s Board of Directors publicly called for students to end their occupation. Furthermore, it is always possible that the government will change its stance and send police forces to storm the squats.

Additionally, the longer a grassroots horizontal political movement goes on, the more likely it is for cracks and disagreements to appear amongst its members. “We are tired,” said unenthusiastically a student sitting outside the theater, before adding that he has lost his passion about the general assemblies.

However, the students do not lose hope and state that even if at the end the government does not amend the presidential decree, they will still feel that they have achieved something, as their movement has raised awareness for their cause and will improve the standing of the next generation of actors.

“This will leave awareness, and this is the most important thing. Even if we don’t receive any answer (to our demands), we have won from all this. I have seen even some of my professors change their minds; it is not easy to change the opinion of a 50-year-old person,” said Chrysanthi.

“In my opinion, we will not achieve all of our goals, but at least those coming after us will not start from zero; they will have something to build on,” she explained.

“We have in mind that this struggle is also about those that will come after us,” added Nadia.

“A potential defeat should not scare us; we have to start getting over that because a lot of people may tell us, ‘You lost.’ Of course, at some point this will end, we will not be forever at the Ziller building, but at the same time we will be, because this is the National Theatre and it should not be in the hands of anyone else but the actors,” she concluded.

As I was leaving the Ziller building, I looked across the street and saw dozens of banners from various organizations and groups supporting the drama students. It is true that the future of the movement is uncertain and its accomplishments are debatable; however, in an age of apathy, individualism, and suppression, people taking bold, collective political action to stand up for their rights is sometimes a victory in itself.

Aris Dimitrakopoulos is a Greek journalist and political scientist with an interest in international affairs. His articles have appeared on numerous Greek and international news websites such as Pronews and Al Masdar News. He can be reached on Twitter @ArisDimitrako

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Why Europe Must Do More to Support Ukraine

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Image source: Czech Presidency

As we speak, the Islamic Republic of Iran, who is only weeks away from obtaining a nuclear weapon, is supplying drones on a systematic basis to Russia, who is deploying these indiscriminate weapons against Ukrainian civilians.   In recent days, 500 protesters gathered outside of the European Parliament in Brussels, where they voiced not only their indignation for the world’s silence in the face of Iran’s brutal suppression against its own people, but also their inaction as Iran essentially props up Putin’s war in the Ukraine.  By Iran backing up Putin, the Islamic Republic has become a direct threat not only to the State of Israel but also to Ukraine and all of Europe.   

As a former Israeli Communication Minister, I say that enough is enough.  Over five million people have become internally displaced persons and many more people have fled the Ukraine with little more than the clothing on their back merely because Putin could not accept that the Ukrainians wanted to veer towards the West and away from them.   They have savagely treated the Ukrainians merely for wanting to be part of the West, literally leveling entire buildings to the ground and transforming what used to be another European country into something reminiscent of Syria.    

Human Rights Watch recently reported, “Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and the ensuing war had a disastrous impact on civilians, civilian property and energy infrastructure, and overshadowed all other human rights concerns in the country. Russian forces committed a litany of violations of international humanitarian law, including indiscriminate and disproportionate bombing and shelling of civilian areas that hit homes and healthcare and educational facilities.”

According to them, “In areas they occupied, Russian or Russian-affiliated forces committed apparent war crimes, including torture, summary executions, sexual violence, and enforced disappearances. Those who attempted to flee areas of fighting faced terrifying ordeals and numerous obstacles; in some cases, Russian forces forcibly transferred significant numbers of Ukrainians to Russia or Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine and subjected many to abusive security screenings.”

For all of these reasons, the sanctions against Russia must be much stronger than the presently are today.  After all, it was recently reported that Russia’s diesel exports have reached a record high this month despite the EU sanctions in place.   This is because these sanctions, although curtailing Russia’s energy exports, hardly put a halt to them, as China, India, the United Arab Emirates and many other countries still utilize Russian oil.      

Recently, Bloomberg News published the top six companies who continue to purchase Russian oil despite the imposition of sanctions by the West.  These include the Hong Kong based Noad Axis Ltd., which purchased 521,000 barrels of Russian oil till December; Dubai based Tejarinaft FZCO, which bought 244,000 barrels a day till December; QR trading, which purchased 199,000 barrels a day till December; Hong Kong based Concept Oil Services LTD., which purchased 152,000 barrels per day till December; Hong Kong based Belerix Energy LTD., which purchased 151,000 barrels per day till December; and Coral Energy DMCC, which purchased 121,000 barrels per day till December, although they stopped dealing with Russian oil from January 1.  

According to the Times of Israel, Tahir Karaev and Azim Novruzov are standing behind Coral: “What’s really funny, if you can call it funny, is that Mathieu Philippe appears as UBO for some of the vessels they operate after he was kicked out of UML because he was Coral’s man.”  

All of this makes a mockery of human rights and the desire for the Ukrainian people to obtain justice, after Russia essentially destroyed their lovely country.     The time has come for the world to sanction Putin harder.  The time has come to force China, India and other countries to stop trading in Russian oil.   The time has come for Putin to face the wrath of the international community due to the crimes against humanity he has committed.    The time has come for Putin to become truly persona non-grata in Europe.  

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If Paris sneezes, will Europe catch cold?

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Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 15, 2022. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

The Austrian Chancellor Metternich once said “Quand Paris s’enrhume, l’Europe prend froid” (“When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold”). With the French President Emmanuel Macron all set to visit Beijing in early April, can France lead the rapprochement between the European Union and China?

“Une voix européenne”

Set to be accompanied by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the French President plans to “carry a European voice” on his state visit to China, the details of which were revealed by L’Élysée on Friday. On top of his list is the agenda to end the Ukraine War. Macron has called China’s engagement in resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict that came in the form of a 12 point plan a “good thing“. Beijing’s position paper urges all parties to support Russia and Ukraine in negotiating a way out of the conflict while upholding the UN Charter and values such as respect for territorial sovereignty, abandoning Cold War mentality, non-interference in internal affairs among others.

The French President has further urged China not to militarily aid Moscow, an accusation made by the Western powers that Beijing has consistently denied. He plans to push China to use its influence over Russia so as to prevent the latter from using chemical or nuclear weapons. Macron noted  that the War would only come to an end if “Russian aggression was halted, troops withdrawn, and the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its people was respected”. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has also expressed a similar willingness and is ready to visit China in April. Luxembourg too resonates the opinion of engaging closely with Beijing.

Both Chinese and Western media reports note that this “competition to book flights to China” among EU leaders stems from their realisation that they “cannot lose China” owing to the latter’s increasing international significance. While many have voiced support for engaging with Beijing, not all are on the same boat.

A House Divided

The European Council meeting earlier this week, which remained focussed on Germany’s tussle with EU leaders on its decision to end the use of traditional combustion engine cars, did discuss China albeit in an inconclusive manner. While France, Germany, Spain and Luxembourg have signalled their intentions to engage with Beijing; Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Poland have expressed concerns over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent high profile visit to Moscow which is being seen as “cementing of a dangerous alliance”.  The concern is not just suspected military aid to Moscow but also the growing threat of a war between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan where Europe finds itself caught in the middle. Apprehensions too remain over increasing economic reliance on China.

While there has been no consensus on how the EU as a bloc must shape its China policy, Macron has clarified– although France values EU’s coordination, it follows an “independent foreign policy” thus highlighting that he would push to negotiate with China, with or without his regional allies.

Paris et Pékin

Beijing is not only France’s 7th largest customer and 2nd largest supplier (with a 9% market share in France) but also presents an opportunity for the French President who idealises Former leader General Charles de Gaulle to challenge what the French call hyperpuissance or unchallenged “hyperpower” of the United States. For Macron, relating himself to General de Gaulle is equivalent to “claiming to own a piece of the true cross”. Afterall, it was the General who defied Western allies to establish ambassadorial relations with Beijing in 1964, a period of simmering Cold War tensions that brought Paris seething criticism. Though Macron has no serious qualms with Washington, he does seek a voice that crafts his role as a major leader on the international stage.

On the domestic front, Monsieur le Président finds himself in trouble. The highly unpopular Pension Reform Bill that raises retirement age from 62 to 64 was passed without a Parliamentary vote, resulting in nationwide protests. Opponents suggest other measures such as increasing taxes for the rich and the corporates, a move refuted by Macron for the possibile harm it might bring to the financial system. Amidst a scenario where things have gotten as serious as nationwide halts in services and a no-confidence motion against the President, enhanced ties that bring more investments from China can help, an opportunity Macron will try hard to clinch. But the political environment certainly makes things difficult.

Worsening ties and a Confident China

The “Balloongate” controversy was yet to cool off when a new crisis in Sino-US relations erupted in the form of calls to ban the TikTok app over alleged illegal data collection which many in the US Congress suspect land in the Chinese Communist Party’s records. Parallely can be seen a change in Chinese attitudes towards Washington.

Amidst the recent session of the National People’s Congress, President Xi criticised  “Washington-led attempts” to “contain, encircle and suppress” China which pose  “serious challenges to Beijing’s  development” (“以美国为首的西方国家对我实施了全方位的遏制、围堵、打压,给我国发展带来前所未有的严峻挑战。”), a rare moment when the Chinese leadership has clearly named the United States in its criticism.

A policy shift too seems to be on the cards. Xi’s new 24 Character Foreign Policy, which Dr. Hemant Adlakha believes, marks “China’s new foreign policy mantra in the ‘New Era’ ” acting as its “ideological map to attain national rejuvenation by 2049”, has replaced Deng Xiaoping’s 24 Character Strategy  focussed on never seeking leadership and assuming a low profile. The characters “沉着冷静;保持定力;稳中求进;积极作为;团结一致;敢于斗争 ” which translate as “Be calm; Keep determined; Seek progress and stability; Be proactive and go for achievements; Unite under the Communist Party; Dare to fight” clearly demonstrate a more pronounced international role that China envisages for itself.

China’s confidence is further elevated by its success in brokering  peace between staunch rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. With the handshake that brought the Sunni Arab Kingdom and the Shiite Persian theocracy together, Beijing has not only garnered accolades from nations across the region but has also succeeded in pulling American allies such as Riyadh to its side to some extent. Xi’s Moscow visit shows how he is determined to craft Beijing as an alternative negotiator to Washington, no matter how much criticism comes his way.

How much can France influence the EU?

As the political climate between US and China heatens, those trying to balance between the two would find the alley narrowing. But considering the stakes, Macron will try. The question however arises, how much of an influence could France exert on the EU?

Being the only Permanent seat holder of the United Nations Security Council post-Brexit, France certainly has a heavy weightage when it comes to policy making in the European Union. Macron too is a leader with a vision. His “grand plan” includes uniting the regional body as a strong political, economic and social bloc by shedding off the influence of the United States. However, there have being many tussles and Paris has found itself at loggerheads with many in the bloc including Turkey and Germany.

Macron has also raised eyebrows over his stance on Russia. After attempts to charm Putin failed, the French President assumed an ambiguous position which included criticising the war but not commiting to defend Ukraine. As expected, it did not fare well with the allies in Europe.

The air has finally cleared and a “defeat Russia but don’t crush it” stance has appeared. Monsieur le Président certainly wants to chart a pragmatic path that inflicts  minimum harm and that’s what would be a priority when he lands in Beijing to talk about the war. Would he receive the support of EU allies? Seems difficult, given his past misjudgements and the regional organisation’s recent tussles with Beijing ranging from trade negotiations to the issue of human rights violation.

How successful Macron gets in making EU negotiate with China also depends on how successful Beijing gets in getting Moscow on board, which after all is more difficult than dealing with Tehran and Riyadh. While Russia seems agreeable to China’s plan of ending the war, Putin has bigger ambitions and far lower stakes in launching an all-out war with Washington and allies than Beijing does. The deepening  “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for new era” between China and Russia remains unclear and so is how much dependence on Beijing would dictate any change in Putin’s plans. Even if China’s actions embolden Russia as claimed, Beijing knows it is in its favour to tone down Moscow’s belligerence considering the economic costs and military harm that Washington is capable of lashing. Macron too is unsure about how tightly he would like to embrace China. For now, better ties is what he eyes. The question arises –  If Paris sneezes in favour of resetting ties with Beijing, would the rest of Europe catch the cold? Only time will tell.

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Powerful Protest in Geneva Indicates India’s Human Rights Abuses

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Screengrab of the video shared by an Indian student. (Twitter/@MeghUpdates)

On March 3, 2022, a unique protest was held in front of the UN Headquarters in Geneva. This peaceful protest was made by placing standees, 4D view tents, posters and banners bearing details of Indian human rights abuses. The protest depicted pictorial messages regarding the treatment of women in India, child marriages, Indian Christian persecution, religious extremism, state of minorities, state-sponsored terror attacks on minorities, treatment of Dalits, and burning of Christian churches and religious preachers.

The protest was organized by several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists. The aim of this protest was to highlight the human rights abuses that are taking place in India and to draw attention to the plight of the victims of these abuses.

One of the most significant issues highlighted in this protest was the treatment of women in India. India has a poor record when it comes to women’s rights, with high rates of sexual violence, domestic violence, and child marriages. According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 88 rape cases reported every day in India in 2019. The protest aimed to draw attention to this issue and to put pressure on the Indian government to take action to protect women’s rights.

Another issue highlighted in the protest was Indian Christian persecution and religious extremism. India is a secular country with a diverse population, but there have been numerous incidents of violence against religious minorities, particularly Christians and Muslims. The protest aimed to draw attention to the growing intolerance and extremism in India and to call on the Indian government to take action to protect religious minorities.

The protest also highlighted the treatment of Dalits, who are considered to be the lowest caste in India’s caste system. Dalits face discrimination and violence on a daily basis, and their rights are often ignored by the Indian government. The protest aimed to draw attention to this issue and to call on the Indian government to take action to protect the rights of Dalits.

Another issue highlighted in the protest was the burning of Christian churches and religious preachers. There have been numerous incidents of violence against Christians in India, including the burning of churches and attacks on religious preachers. The protest aimed to draw attention to these incidents and to call on the Indian government to take action to protect the rights of religious minorities.

The protest in front of the UN Headquarters in Geneva was a significant event, as it drew attention to the human rights abuses taking place in India. The Indian government has been facing criticism from human rights organizations for its poor record on human rights, and this protest added to the pressure on the government to take action to protect the rights of all its citizens.

Reports suggest that there has been an increase in incidents of Christian persecution and religious extremism in India in recent years. There has been an increase in attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India. According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), there were 366 incidents of violence against Christians in 2019, including 40 incidents of violence against churches. Christians in India are often accused of forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity. However, Christian leaders deny the allegations and claim that they are baseless.

Moreover, human rights organizations and activists have accused the Indian government of being involved in state-sponsored terror attacks on minorities, including Christians. The government has denied the allegations. Some Indian states have enacted anti-conversion laws, which make it illegal to convert someone to a different religion through force, fraud or inducement. Critics say the laws are often used to target Christians and other religious minorities. Religious minorities in India, including Christians, face discrimination in various aspects of life, including education and employment. Some reports suggest that Christians are often denied access to government benefits and services.

Overall, the issue of Christian persecution and religious extremism in India is a complex and sensitive one, with various factors contributing to the problem. It is important for the Indian government and society to address the issue and work towards creating a more tolerant and inclusive societyTop of Form

Bottom of Form

Indian claims to have a rich culture and history, but its obsession with Pakistan has brought criticism in international diplomatic circles. It is time for the Indian government to take action to protect the rights of all its citizens, regardless of their caste, religion, or gender. The protest in front of the UN Headquarters in Geneva was a reminder that the world is watching, and the Indian government must take action to address the human rights abuses taking place in the country.

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