Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that potential Hajj pilgrims from Australia, Europe, and the US would need to apply for visas via a government portal called Motawif. In place would be automotive lottery system through which pilgrims can book and purchase their trip for Hajj.
A Dubai-based company, Traveazy, that has been contracted to process these applications has ties to Modi and the BJP.
Middle East Eye reports, “Prashant Prakash, vice-president and partner at venture capital firm Accel India, has served on India’s National Startup Advisory Council since 2020, and in 2021 became a policy and strategy adviser to Basavaraj Bommai, the chief minister of the BJP-run government in Karnataka and a key Modi ally. According to Accel, it was Prakash who led the venture capital firm into partnering with two other operations when they collectively invested $7m in Traveazy in 2016, as the Indian-owned company began to build its Holidayme subsidiary, and, later in 2018, Umrahme, a company run by Mohammed MS bin Mahfouz. In 2018, Accel was part of a consortium of five partners who invested a further $16m into Traveazy, which was co-founded by Indian nationals Geet Bhalla and Digvijay Pratap.”
There is evidence of Prakash being invited to Modi’s residence, and video clips of him hailing Modi.
This news is startling, as the Indian government, BJP and other Hindutva parties, are engaging in state sponsored genocidal rhetoric, where Indian Muslims are being targeted, harassed, and killed.
On the other hand, it is not surprising when the UAE and Saudi Arabia have collaborated extensively with the Modi regime. The UAE has even normalized relations with Israel, meaning that these states are hypocritical in their existence as “Muslim countries.” It is disappointing, and fervently frustrating.
As Muslims, we must fight injustices that include data privacy violations. We must fight against these subtle attempts to normalize genocidal regimes, and call for action.