Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under fire over award for Narendra Modi

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is facing a barrage of criticism from prominent lawyers, human rights activists and philanthropists after it announced that it would honour India’s controversial Hindu nationalist prime minister with an award later this month.

The Global Goalkeeper award recognises Narendra Modi’s flagship Clean India programme, through which the government has built millions of toilets and publicised the benefits of sanitation and hygiene.

The award comes amid growing criticism of the disenfranchisement, detention and deportation of Muslims in Assam and Kashmir. Alleged human rights violations in the two states under the governing Bharatiya Janata party have made front pages around the world.

On Tuesday, a group of south Asian Americans working in philanthropy wrote an open letter to the Gates Foundation alleging that Modi had effectively confined millions to their communities, and urging the organisation to rescind the award.

SOURCEThe Guardian