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Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.
HSS’ Facebook post cited by HHR co-founder Raju Rajagopal demands “justice for George Floyd” and reform of the US “justice system so that the law is fairly applied and enforced.” FB post continues, “We stand against racism and discrimination”, adding, HSS is “committed to universal (dharmic) values such as vasudhaiva kutumbakam and ahimsa and celebrate diversity. We firmly believe that all lives are equal.”
Wondering how serious is HSS and its brother organizations, HAF (Hindu American Foundation) and HSC (Hindu Students Council) are about ending discrimination, Rajagopalan underlines, “If Hindu nationalists in the US want to be taken seriously on their calls to end anti-Black racism and police brutality, they must also speak out against the surging state-condoned violence against India’s minorities.”
Says the HHR co-founder, no doubt, there are members of HSS who “genuinely wanted to reach out to Black America -- a task that we Indian Americans as a whole have failed to pay much attention to until now.” However, he adds, “A message against anti-Black racism coming from an organization whose parent has normalized anti-Muslim bigotry in India, including mob lynchings, was a bit too much to stomach.”
Wondering how much American-born members of Hindu nationalist organizations know about the ideological roots of their own organizations, Rajgopal, in a detailed article on HHR’s site, asks, “Do they not see the dichotomy between their lives here (in US) as a religious minority in a welcoming multi-ethnic democracy vs their organizations’ active support for the religious bigotry of BJP in India?”
Rajagopal quotes a 1944 interview with Hindutva founder VD Savarkar as stating that as minorities “Mohammedans" would be treated as US “Negroes" in a Hindu Rashtra, though concedes, “I have no doubt that there are members of the HSS who genuinely wanted to reach out to Black America”, wondering, “Do they not understand that BJP and RSS are now working assiduously to bring about Savarkar’s dream of a Hindu majoritarian state?”
Hindutva founder VD Savarkar said in a 1944 interview that Mohammedans would be treated as US Negroes in a Hindu Rashtra
To prove his point further, Rajgopal quotes Savarkar’s “seminal essage” Hindutva, written in 1923, where he “unhesitatingly equated Hindu nationalism with white nationalism”:
“Take the case of America: When the German war broke out she suddenly had to face the danger of desertions of her German citizens; while the Negro citizens there sympathise more with their brethern in Africa than with their white countrymen. American state, in the last resort, must stand or fall with the fortunes of its Anglo-Saxon constituents. So with the Hindus…”
US-based Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh's post opposing racism
Calling the Modi government “a reenergized Hindu Mahasabha” of Savarkar, Rajgopal says, today, it is possible to find amidst BJP those who “openly worships” Nathuram Godse, who murdered Mahatma Gandhi, which takes “anti-Muslim bigotry to a new height in India.”
He continues, “When KB Hedgewar founded the RSS in 1925, Savarkar was his role model and ‘Hindutva’ his roadmap. As its first Sarsanghchalak, he continued to build on Savarkar’s project of portraying Muslims as an existential threat to all Hindus”, adding, “His pejorative stereotypes and conspiracy theories about Muslims are well documented in his 1981 biography and are now finding increasing currency under the BJP rule.”
Rajgopal further says, “If Savarkar and Hedgewar were unclear as to how they would achieve their Hindu Rashtra, MS Golwalkar, the second and the longest-serving sarsanghchalak of the RSS, had a clearer vision. During his long tenure from 1940 to 1973, he relentlessly pushed the envelope of hatred for the minorities and posited that they had no choice but to accept second-class citizenship in a Hindu state.”
Golwalkar is quoted as saying, “…Only a strong and resurgent Hindu Rashtra…can stand guarantee to the free and prosperous life of all so-called minorities…” Rajgopal comments, “Golwalkar had earlier in his life expressed admiration for Germany's national pride and the ‘purging’ of Jews as ‘a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by’,” adding, Golwalkar’s “claim that the RSS does not preach hate, even as he continued to whip up anti-minority feelings, has become the hall-mark of RSS/BJP double-speak to this day.”
Pointing out that “Golwalkar would have surely admired Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh for serving as laboratories for his dream”, Rajgopal asks why Hindutva organizations in US who express “solidarity with African-Americans, and calls to end racism in this country and to reform the police and justice systems in the US” is accompanied by “total silence on the surging anti-Muslim violence being fomented by their BJP/RSS/VHP allies in India.”
He says, “They condemn police excesses and talk about the urgent need for police reform in the US", querying, "Will they join us in condemning wide-spread police brutality against peaceful protesters in places like Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, goaded on by BJP politicians like Kapil Mishra and Yogi Adityanath? Will they call out the Modi/Adityanath governments for encouraging forced entry of police into religious places, universities and homes, leaving a trail of death and destruction?”

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