Skip to main content

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?”

Comments

TRENDING

Tracing roots of Hindutva Zionism: cannon fodder for 'warped' nationalist pretensions

By Shamsul Islam*  Those who believe in a world free of hegemonic ethno-nationalism, racism, religious bigotry and hatred have rightly taken note of Zionism and its ally Christian Zionism, major perpetrators of ethnic cleansing of ‘Others’. However, the civilized world with its core belief in multi-culturalism and peaceful co-existence is oblivious to a no less dangerous threat to the present human civilization: the Hindutva Zionism. As the term reads it is part of the Hindutva world-view which stands for an exclusive Hindu India minus Muslims and Christians. The other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism will have no independent status but treated as part of Hinduism. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS; National Volunteer Organization) is the most prominent flag-bearer of the Hindutva politics whose cadres presently rule India, the largest democracy in the world. RSS was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940) in 1925 who was disillusioned with the Indian freedom st

Regional parties, anti-Congress progressives, civil society groups 'joining' Bharat Jodo

By Harshavardhan Purandare, Sandeep Pandey*  The Congress party declared Bharat Chhodo (Quit India) movement against the British regime in 1942. The Congress party has now launched a movement Bharat Jodo (Connecting and Uniting India) against the Modi regime in 2022. Indian people have had a journey of 80 years since Mahatma Gandhi gave that Quit India call to the British and we have to agree that we stand most divided in our modern history when Rahul Gandhi is giving this Bharat Jodo call to the nation. And back then, Congress was a thriving idealistic political movement against the British rulers and now it is an ever weakening political organization electorally defeated several times. However, it is India at stake, not just the Congress party. That is why so many regional political parties, civil society organizations, traditional anti-Congress progressive forces like socialists and communists, intellectuals and civil servants have declared their support and are proactively partici

Shocking? No Covid vaccine trials conducted on pregnant, lactating women: RTI reply

By Rosamma Thomas*  A Right to Information applicant who sought details of safety trials conducted in India on pregnant and lactating women for three Covid vaccines in use in India – Covishield, Covaxin and ZyCov-D -- was shocked to learn from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) that Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, and Cadila Healthcare, manufacturer of the ZyCov-D vaccine, had not sought permission for such trials.  Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, had sought permission for trial on pregnant women and later withdrawn its application. This response , provided after the applicant was initially unsatisfied with the response and went in appeal, is from the joint drugs controller, CDSCO. It was dated September 13, 2022. One researcher closely following the vaccine rollout, however, is of the opinion that the lack of a trial on pregnant and lactating women is a blessing; potential trial participants and their unborn babies thus escaped harm. Aruna Ro

Grave error? Scholar blames ex-Gujarat babu for anti-Christian riots 'citing fake report'

By Rajiv Shah  A few days back, I received a message from one of the finest former Gujarat government bureaucrats, PG Ramrakhiani, a 1964 batch IAS official, who retired in November 2000. I would often interact with him in 1997-99, even later, after I was sent to Gandhinagar as a Times of India man to cover Sachivalaya. Those were turbulent times. Shankarsinh Vaghela was the Gujarat chief minister, under attack from two sides – from the BJP, which he had left to form a separate breakaway party, Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), one one hand, and the Congress, which was supporting him from outside, on the other. Ramrakhiani, in his message, referred to the book authored by Ghanshyam Shah and Jan Breman, both top-notch scholars who have known Gujarat in and out. Called “Gujarat, Cradle and Harbinger of Identity Politics: India’s Injurious Frame of Communalism”, I reviewed the book in January 2022.  It claims that Muslims in Gujarat have been turned into “new untouchables”, thanks to the Hin

Excess to cheetah in Kuno to increase 'woes' of local people, 'disturb' wildlife balance

Bharat Dogra*  The release of eight cheetahs into the Kuno National Park ( Madhya Pradesh) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, although accompanied by a media blitz, has raised several questions. The animals were flown from Namibia to Gwalior and from there they were taken to the release site in a helicopter. Official sources have stated that this is the first time a large carnivorous species has been moved across continents for establishing a new population. This first release will be followed by others under this project. However, precisely for this reason, it is important to be cautious because if such translocations have been generally avoided in the past, there may have been reasons for this and at the same time we do not have much learning experiences from the past. The Cheetah became extinct in India in 1952, although this very fast moving animal is still remembered in the folklore of many areas. Hence the first impulse is to say that trying to introduce and revive

Rajasthan cops 'halt' Gujarat Dalit women's rally: homage to untouchability victim boy

By Our Representative  In a surprise move, the Rajasthan police stopped a Dalit women's rally from Gujarat on the borders after it crossed Gujarat alleging that it would "disturb peace" in village Surana, Jalore district, where the gruesome incident of death of a Dalit boy took place on August 13 after he was brutally beaten up by his teacher on touching the drinking water pot. Sources said, while the Gujarat government had "no objection" in allowing the rally, which originated from the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), an empowerment-cut-technical institute for teens founded by human rights leader Martin Macwan, on September 24 morning, the Rajasthan police stopped it for two and a half hours before allowing it to proceed to Surana. The decision to take out a women's rally was taken at a DSK meeting on September 5 following a condolence meeting of the NGO Navsarjan Trust, also founded by Macwan, activists committed to work against caste-based discrimination, orga

Introducing non-native cheetahs is 'not equivalent' to restoring pride in the nation

By Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay*  The Cheetahs from the African continent has finally been introduced to India by the Indian Prime Minister on his 72nd birthday. The process had started with the previous Government in 2009. However, the Supreme Court clearance was pending owing to the objection by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) plea to reintroduce cheetahs. Finally the clearance was obtained in January 2020 and thereafter Kuno National Park (KNP) was chosen for the reintroduction of first set of Southeast African Cheetahs. In the near future, depending upon the success story of the current reintroduction, more cheetahs from South Africa may also be introduced. This exercise has generated a lot of interest among various stakeholders with opinions on both sides galore. It is important to pose some questions that surround the whole exercise. Let us evaluate some of these arguments. The first set of arguments are quite detached from the issues of conservation as they most

'Military diplomacy': US praises Bangladesh Army for leadership role in UN operations

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder* As the Indo-Pacific region represents the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity, the Indian Ocean today is becoming the centerpiece of all geo-strategic play. Cooperation in the region is crucial to implementing the international community’s global agenda, including achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Major powers like the US have enhanced and deepened their strategic engagement and leadership roles with countries in the region. The Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar, or IPAMS, is a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) initiated conference that is aimed at facilitating and enhancing interactions among the armies of the Indo-Pacific region. This year's 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS)-2022, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC), concluded in Dhaka. The objective of IPAMS is to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. It is the largest confer

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Older than Delhi, no other school may have witnessed so many vicissitudes as this one

By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*  Behind every book there is a writer or writers. Are the books written for the personal gratification of authors? Is the purpose utilitarian, educational or to gain public ovation? There are writers who publish books because they are inspired by a purely disinterested and fair-minded pursuit of knowledge and to clarify the issues that agitate them and society. The book under discussion   is a masterstroke on the life and times of not only an institution at Ajmeri Gate, Delhi — Anglo Arabic School — but about the complex relationship between the school and the cajoled Muslim community. Just while you are at Ajmeri Gate, supposedly, the border of Old and New Delhi, barely a few meters from the cacophony and the chaos outside the New Delhi railway station, lies an island of serenity — a school much older than New Delhi, with a wholesale machine tools market on its West, a road leading to Rajiv Chowk (Connaught Place) on the East and colourful confusion of rickshaws,