New Delhi: The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (Sahmat) Thursday condemned BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi`s remarks about sending back illegal Bangladeshi migrants if he comes to power, calling it a "fascist" approach.
"We are deeply disturbed by the reported remarks of the prime ministerial candidate of the NDA at an election rally in West Bengal that `infiltrators` from Bangladesh belonging to a particular religious community must be sent back," said Sahmat in a statement.
"We fear that in a country in which every citizen does not possess documentary proof of citizenship, such a move would simply cause a general victimization of persons belonging to that particular religious community," it added.
Modi, at a rally in West Bengal`s Serampore, alleged the Bangladeshi immigrants were welcomed in the state because of vote bank politics. His comments had drawn a stiff retort from the state`s ruling Trinamool Congress.
Sahmat also said the reason he cited to send back these "infiltrators" was that they take away jobs from local youth causing unemployment, and this approach reeked of "fascist" behaviour.
"This is exactly the reason offered by racist, fascist and xenophobic groups all over Europe, such as the Northern League in Italy, the National Front in France, and the Danish People`s Party in Denmark, for their attacks on immigrants," it said.
"Persons of Indian origin have often been targets of such attacks which people in this country have rightly condemned. We must not replicate the same logic and the same attitude with regard to immigrants into this country which we condemn when they are directed against Indian immigrants abroad," it added.
The Delhi-based Sahmat also said such statement reflects bad economics.
"Blaming a hapless minority of immigrants for the flaws of an economic system that does not generate enough jobs for our youth is not just bad economics, but precisely what those who wield power within the current economic system would like everyone to believe," it said.
"We appeal to the people to reject this invitation to target a particular religious minority. We urge them to spurn those who are aiming to capture power by spreading communal hatred," it added.