Riz Ahmed and Jameela Jamil opt out of ceremony awarding Modi

Riz Ahmed and Jameela Jamil opt out of ceremony awarding Modi

The Gates Foundation is sticking by their decision to award the Indian PM despite receiving sharp criticism.
Updated 17 Sep, 2019

British-Pakistani actors Riz Ahmed and Jameela Jamil have pulled out of the Gates Foundation ceremony where Indian PM Narendra Modi will be receiving the Global Goalkeeper Award.

"Jameela Jamil and Riz Ahmed are no longer participating in Goalkeepers," the foundation revealed to the Huffington Post.

While it's being speculated that the two actors have opted out of the ceremony in response to the ongoing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, they have not made any statements of their own.

Wile Riz hasn't made any public statement, Jameela did take to Twitter to make it known that she will not "be commenting on any of this".

The Gates Foundation has already been receiving criticism for their decision to award Modi by peers and critics alike, with the South Asian Americans and Allies in Philanthropy writing an open letter regarding the matter.

"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."

The Gates Foundation, however, is sticking by their decision, saying the Indian PM is receiving the award for "the progress India is making in improving sanitation, as part of its drive toward achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals."

According to their statement, "Before the Swachh Bharat mission, over 500 million people in India did not have access to safe sanitation, and now, the majority do. There is still a long way to go, but the impacts of access to sanitation in India are already being realized. The Swachh Bharat Mission can serve as a model for other countries around the world that urgently need to improve access to sanitation for the world’s poorest."