How suburban influence defeated a resolution to condemn the Indian government

Chicago Reader

The first public comment at February’s City Council meeting wasn’t about vaccine access, or the Office of Inspector General report on the Chicago Police Department’s brutality during last summer’s protests, or even the mayor’s decision to ease business capacity and social distancing restrictions while the pandemic raged.First was Nirmala Reddy, who spoke against Resolution R2020-583, which would recognize India’s Independence Day and condemn human rights abuses in the country. The next speaker, Cyrus Rabb, spoke in support of the resolution, noting that India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi, “presided over a pogrom where over a thousand Indians were killed, mostly Muslims,” saying that, “this is not some outlier for him—Modi belongs to a militant, xenophobic organization called the RSS, which explicitly draws inspiration from Adolf Hitler.” Then actor Michael Shannon, best known for roles in Boardwalk Empire and The Shape of Water, testified in support of the resolution, quoting Martin Luther King Jr.’s “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.” None of this was an anomaly. The previous month’s meeting was also dominated by debate on the resolution…


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