The mayor of Edison, a New Jersey town in the United States of America, denounced the inclusion of a bulldozer at the Indian Independence Day parade, following pressure from civil groups.
Mayor’s statement, shared by Indian American Muslim Council, says, “the India Day parade is independently run and not a Township sponsored event. my office was made aware that a bulldozer was used as a symbol of division and discrimination”.
Bulldozers have become a symbol of the anti-Muslim policies of the Hindu nationalist government in India.
Joshi had been present at the August 14 rally, and he told IAMC members on August 19 that he was not aware that a bulldozer will be used in the rally.
Responding to the statement, IAMC demanded “immediate investigative & legal action” from the Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security against the organizers of the “anti-Muslim hate parade in Edison and Woodbridge, New Jersey”.
According to IAMC, Sam Joshi called for an apology from the Indian Business Association, which had organised the rally.
“I understand a bulldozer is a symbol of division and is absolutely unacceptable,” Joshi told the delegation made up of local residents and activists from the Indian American Muslim Council, Council on American-Islamic Relations and Hindus for Human Rights.
IAMC also wrote to the US Secretary of State urging for immediate cancellation of the visa to Sambit Patra, BJP national spokesperson, who led the hate parade in Edison and Woodbridge as its “grand marshal.”
IAMC members have also filed charges with the Edison Police Department against the Indian Business Association which organized the parade.