Why Hindu groups in US are furious at a Democratic think tank

why hindu groups in us are furious at a democratic think tank

Why Hindu groups in US are furious at a Democratic think tank

Several Hindu groups in the US have expressed discontent over a Democratic think tank's annual gala, citing concerns over the inclusion of individuals and organisations allegedly involved in attacking Indian-American candidates and officials. Objections were raised against two panellists from the Indian-American Muslim Council and Hindus for Human Rights. The two-day event, named 'Desis Decide', organised by the think tank -- Indian American Impact, is set to kick off on Wednesday.

Deepak Raj, a prominent Indian-American, is among the co-founders and funders of Indian American Impact think tank. Indian American Impact has gained significant influence in Democratic circles.

In statements issued separately, various Hindu groups voiced their frustration over the invitation extended to individuals and organisations with what they term as a "questionable past". They accused the event of bias and for overlooking the rise of Hinduphobia in the United States.

Hindu groups argue that such entities have publicly targeted Indian-American candidates and elected officials, which contradicts the mission of Indian American Impact to strengthen the political presence of the Indian-American community.

"Where Impact's core mission is building Indian-American political presence at all levels, it's frustrating and confusing that Impact would platform organisations which have publicly attacked Indian American candidates," said Rajiv Pandit, a board member of the Hindu American Political Action Committee, reported PTI.

ROW OVER PANELLISTS IN DEMOCRATIC THINK TANK EVENT

The controversy revolves around a panel titled 'Building Bridges, Amplifying Impact: Interfaith Advocacy', with objections raised against two panellists in particular -- Safa Ahmed from the Indian-American Muslim Council and Ria Chakrabarty from Hindus for Human Rights, reported news agency PTI.

Pandit highlighted a range of attacks directed towards Indian-American political figures, including accusations of double standards and xenophobic remarks about dual loyalty.

Notable targets mentioned include Raja Krishnamoorthi, Sri Kulkarni, Shri Thanedar, Niraj Antani, Padma Kuppa, Jenifer Rajkumar, and Bhavini Patel.

Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Punjabi-American elected to New York state office, attended the Sikh Day Parade as the Guest of Honour in New York City. After the event, an image shared by Jenifer Rajkumar where Khalistani flags are seen in the background.

Hindu Action said that the only 'Hindu' organisation being invited to 'Desis Decide' – the voter mobilisation summit in Washington DC -- is a non-profit that targets Democrat members of Congress who dare to speak up for American Hindus.

"You know that there is a problem of anti-Hindu bigotry in sections of the Democrat think-tank," the HinduACTion said.

HINDU GROUP CRITICISES LACK OF REPRESENTATION

Moreover, HinduACTion criticised the lack of representation, noting that the only Hindu organisation invited targets Democratic members of Congress who advocate for American Hindus.

Tahir Aslam Gora, president of the Progressive Muslims' Institute of Canada, expressed shock at what he perceives as the gala's brochure maligning India and its government, arguing that India under Prime Minister Modi is inclusive and dedicated to uplifting all communities.

Geeta Sikand, a Hindu activist, lamented the absence of authentic Hindu organisations at the summit, accusing the event of bias and overlooking the rise of Hinduphobia in the United States.

She emphasised the need for dialogue on anti-Hindu hate crimes, citing FBI reports showing a doubling of such incidents in the past year, yet none of the invited organisations have voiced support for HR 1131 (A Bill Regulating judicial proceedings in certain cases, for the protection of officers and agents of the government, and for the better defence of the treasury against unlawful claims) or condemned attacks on Hindu places of worship.

The Hindu American Foundation, CoHNA, and Hindu Action were notably absent from the summit's guest list, prompting further criticism from Sikand regarding the exclusion of voices representing Hindu advocacy.

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