There is a major protest being planned with speakers across US Cross sections on Free Speech at the same time the event being held on the Wharton campus close to Penn Museum where this event is to take place
We are group of Indian American activists who are concerned with the recent developments in relation to Wharton India Economic Forum and their disinvitation of Narendra Modi. Among us there is NIAC ( http://niac.co ) that recently took high ranking US congress members such Peter Roskam to India to meet leaders such as Modi, our group worked with Indian teams and won recent battle on Electronic Voting Machines to provide paper receipt ( http://SaveIndianDemocracy.org ) by bringing in international experts from Germany, Denmark and US, we initiated a major conference on India Corruption with representatives from UN, Eurodad , Tax Justice Network and elite in India, Dr. Swamy, Kejriwal, Baba Ramadev, Supreme Court Justices (retd) etc ( http://SaveIndiaFromCorruption.org ). Our group includes Wharton alumni, academicians from US.
We are not here to go over the merits of Modi invitation or who is responsible for 2002 riots which is an ongoing debate, but the manner in which Wharton decided to invite a Chief Minister of 50 million people who was elected four times to give key note speech and then dis-invite him based on some petition or even possible pressure from India’s groups. America and its institutions pride itself on free speech, freedom of expression and open to voices of dissent. What kind of example Wharton is setting for its students who are going to be future leaders and entrepreneurs in the nation? This is insult to position of democratically elected Chief Minister of India and to 50 million people from his state who voted him four times to power. The unfortunate irony of all this is even the highest ranking Muslims in India praise Modi’s inclusive growth. Business leaders from all over the world make a beeline to invest in Gujarat state and Wharton being a business school, what kind of relations it is building with it? At a time when India is reeling with massive corruption scandals and India’s corruption ranking is among the lowest in Transparency International rankings, Mr. Modi has shown to the world what India is capable of. Would he not be the best person to speak to Wharton business students and learn from him?
Here is Wall Street Journal poll where out of 5875 polled, 5394 said Wharton made a wrong decision.
Here are links below on what US Congressmen, Ron Somers and many other leaders are saying about this unfortunate incident.
US lawmaker, Congressman, and Ranking member of Subcommittee on Asia Mr. Eni Faleomavaega chides Wharton – http://news.oneindia.in/2013/03/06/support-for-modi-grows-us-lawmaker-chides-wharton-1164907.html
The Economic Times and several Indian mainstream media, Marc 6, 2013, Wharton-Modi controversy unfortunate and disrespectful: USIBC Ron Somers
Huffington Post, The Hijacking of Wharton, Rajeev Malhotra, March 7, 2012 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajiv-malhotra/the-hijacking-of-wharton_b_2814421.html
Sunday Guardian, Ram Jethmalini, Let truth be known about Modi, March 8, 2012
How Wharton Scored a Huge Self-Goal – Sandeep B
ITBL, Wharton MODIfied…!, March 4, 2013,
Wharton and Modi: Political gamesmanship won over business savvy – Dr Aseem Shukla, Hindu American Foundation http://www.rediff.com/news/column/wharton-and-modi-how-political-gamesmanship-beat-business-savvy/20130306.htm
Fiasco of Modi at Wharton – Rajeev Srinivasan
B-School basics: Why Wharton is wrong in disinviting Narendra Modi – Manish Sabharwal, Wharton Alumni http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-05/news/37469757_1_wharton-india-responsible-student-body-wharton-school
Wall Street Journal poll, March 5th, 2013, Out of 5875 polled, 5394 said Wharton made a wrong decision. http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/03/05/poll-was-wharton-right-or-wrong-to-revoke-modis-invitation/
News about dropping from the forum by keynote speaker (former Union Minister) and a major sponsor