Highlights

  • Boris Johnson faces flak for visit to JCB factory
  • Johnson visit one day after houses, businesses razed by bulldozers in Delhi
  • Johnson is on a two-day visit to India

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'Tone Deaf?': Boris jumps on JCB, triggers uproar in India and UK

British PM Boris Johnson inaugurated a JCB factory in India, a company owned by Conservative Party member Anthony Bamford 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson inaugurated a JCB excavators' factory in Gujarat on Thursday and accompanying him was Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. During a walk through the factory, Johnson also climbed into one of the excavators lined up.

Clips and images of Johnson's visit to the factory have drawn immense flak in the Indian and UK communities online. Users were quick to point out the oddity in Johnson's visit. It came one day after houses, businesses were razed down with JCB bulldozers in Delhi's Jahangirpuri despite the Supreme Court ordering a stay on the demolition.

Media persons, authors in India and UK also pointed out Johnson's connections to JCB, the company. Anthony Paul Bamford, a Conservative Party member is the chairperson of J.C. Bamford. JCB India Limited is an arm of the UK company.

Author Debashish Roy Chowdhury wrote, 'How tone deaf do you have to be to come to India at this time and inaugurate a bulldozer plant? Doesn't #BorisJohnson have a communications team?'

'When Bulldozer has become the symbol of repression of minority Muslims in India by Hindu right wing regime, is the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson by riding a Bulldozer in India trying to legitimize India’s Islamophobia?' questioned Ashok Swain, a professor at Uppsala University.

Amnesty International pointed out that the Prime Minister's visit was not only 'ignorant but his silence on the incident (Jahangirpuri demolition) was deafening.'

Wednesday’s demolition drive in Jahangirpuri came four days after religious riots in the area. On April 16, violent clashes, including stone-pelting and arson, erupted between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession.

Boris Johnson is on a two-day trip to India. On Thursday, he also visited the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat where he spun a charkha as well.

Also Watch| Watch: UK PM Boris Johnson climbs JCB machine at Gujarat factory

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