An Indian American scheduled to speak at the Wharton India Economic Forum has withdrawn in protest of the school’s decision to rescind its invitation to Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gajarat (pictured here).
The Times of India reports physician and publisher Sudhir Parikh cited first amendment grounds for his decision.
“The manner in which the committee has been pressured to rescind its invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on entirely suspicious grounds, I feel the intellectual integrity of the forum has been compromised,” Dr Parikh said in his letter.
“It is for this reason; I have no choice but to withdraw my name from the panel of speakers of this year’s forum,” said Parik.
Modi is a controversial figure in the Indian American community. Many blame him for the killing of thousands of people during anti-Muslim rioting in 2002 in Gujarat. A group of Indian American professors at the University of Pennsylvania organized a petition drive credited with getting Wharton to pull its invitation for Modi to be the keynote speaker.