Top Indian Ministers Skip World Hindu Congress Amid Calls for Boycott by Indian Diaspora Organizations
The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA),
an umbrella organization of progressive groups across the United States that is
spearheading the call for a boycott of the World Hindu Congress (WHC)
has welcomed the withdrawal of top Indian ministers of the BJP from the
event. The WHC has been organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America,
the American branch of India-based Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), as
well as other Hindu American groups such as the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS),
that are tied to Hindu ethnonationalist organizations in
AJA believes every individual or corporation that cares about human life and the rule of law, should publicly dissociate themselves from this event, for the following reasons:
The World Hindu Congress is organized by the same forces
that have incited and condoned the brutal suppression of human rights and
religious freedom in
Speakers at the gathering include violent figures like Mohan Rao Bhagwat, the head of the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS), a paramilitary organization and the fountainhead of the virulent Hindutva ideology. The RSS has been banned by the Indian government numerous times for its activities. Its founding principles draw from Nazism and Fascism and its current leadership maintains ties with the American and European alt-right movements. In the same vein, many of the other speakers are famous for their extremist views and activities.
The World Hindu Congress will be a platform for Hindu
fascist hatemongers such as Rajiv Malhotra who has made an industry of
attacking Indian religious and cultural minorities. He has even accused the US
Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a well-respected body
monitoring religious freedom around the world, of "creating atrocity
literature for the
Even the current government of India, itself run by a party that espouses Hindu nationalism, is keen to distance itself internationally from the radicals within the Hindutva supremacist movement, albeit being hand in glove with them locally.
"We launched the #StopHinduFascism campaign
because this is a very intense time for
AJA urges all speakers who do not believe in Hindu Fascism to not only pull out of the event, but to also condemn the gathering. Legislators Raja Krishnmoorthy, Tulsi Gabbard, Ash Kalra, and Jay Chaudhuri had aligned themselves with the event. Due to pressure from their constituents, Tulsi Gabbard, Ash Kalra and Jay Chaudhuri have decided to drop their participation. However, none have made public statements about the reasons or called out the event or its organizers for their promotion of religious bigotry and fascist violence. Apart from politicians, AJA is urging representatives from Fedex and Walmart who are scheduled to speak at this event, to withdraw their participation immediately.
"Whether its lawmakers or corporations, attending this event is profiteering at the expense of every Muslim, Dalit, Sikh, and Christian that has faced loss of their loved ones through religious violence, lynchings and severe discrimination at the hand of Hindu Fascists," said Ashwin Khobragade, another constituent member of the AJA. "Any participation in this event shows the disregard these lawmakers and corporations have for their larger constituencies. Americans of all faiths are appalled that American brands and officials would attach themselves to such an intolerant event. They must be held accountable. People of Conscience demand it! " added Mr. Khobragade.
With the World Hindu Congress only a week a way AJA is committed to continuing the #StopHinduFascism campaign to hold accountable all who participate in mainstreaming Hindu Fascism in India as well as internationally.
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