Among the highest points of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US tour was his meeting on Sunday with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. At the end of the mutually congratulatory encounter, Modi wrote on the real wall at the Facebook headquarters. “Ahimsa is the greatest Dharma,” declared the message, written in Gujarati.
Ironically, Modi’s alleged refusal to adhere to the precept of Ahimsa, has motivated a group of activists called the Alliance for Justice and Accountability, to start a campaign called Zuck, Wash Your Hands! In response to the Modi-Zuckerberg meet, they aim to send hundreds of bottles of hand sanitiser to the Facebook founder to help wash the blood off his hands – reference to Modi’s failure to halt religious riots that left nearly 1,000 people dead in Gujarat in 2002 when he was chief minister.
“The American public – and in particular, the leaders of Silicon Valley – must remember that Modi is not simply a prime minister making a trade visit, he is a man responsible for genocide,” said a spokesperson for the collective.
The campaign invites people to fill out a form and have a bottle of sanitizer sent to Zuckerberg on their behalf. A total of 250 bottles have been sent out so far, the website reports. Each bottle bears the name of one of the victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Modi’s message at Facebook would almost seem to be a response to allegations against his complicity in the riots. Modi frequently invoked Gandhi’s legacy of non-violence on his tours abroad. He has so far unveiled Mahatma Gandhi busts in Australia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and a Centre for Gandhian studies in China.