Bill Gates on Row Over Awarding Modi: People ‘Rightly’ Questioning
Amid objections and appeals to rescind the ‘Global Goalkeeper Award’ being conferred upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Gates Foundation, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has referred to India as a “big, complex case”.
In an interview to the Washington Post, when asked about the differing views on the award, Gates said, “India’s a big, complex case, and some of the recent things, I think, people are really questioning, rightly”.
Gates, however, said that the award from the foundation is about India’s work on sanitation. “We think the head of government that took these moves on sanitation, that’s worthy of note,” he said.
WHAT IS THE AWARD ABOUT?
According to the Gates Foundation, the ‘Global Goalkeeper Award', which will be presented to Modi on 24 September, is a "special recognition" that celebrates a political leader who has “demonstrated their commitment to the Global Goals through impactful work in their country and/or globally.”
WHO IS OBJECTING?
Guests, including rapper Riz Ahmed and actress and radio presenter Jameela Jamil, have decided to pull out of the event organised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive the 'Global Goalkeeper Award' for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
Apart from Ahmed and Jamil, a foundation called South Asian Americans and Allies in Philanthropy has sent an open letter to the Gates Foundation, asking it to rescind the award for Modi.
An open letter, signed by 43 people said:
“These gross human rights violations must not be diminished, denied, or compartmentalized, and especially not by philanthropic entities such as the Gates Foundation which seeks to address global inequality. Given the Gates Foundation’s global influence and impact on the needs of vulnerable communities, the decision to honor PM Modi sends the message that the lives of Kashmiris, Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits, Christians, and other minority populations in India who are under siege are of less value.”
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