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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Georgia becomes first American state to condemn Hinduphobia, and Indian Express is not happy

The American state of Georgia passed a resolution condemning Hinduphobia – becoming the first state in the country to do so. Condemning Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu bigotry, the resolution said that ‘Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest and largest religions with more than 1.2 billion followers in over 100 countries. It is a religion which encompasses an array of belief systems and diverse traditions with values of acceptance, mutual respect and peace’.

The resolution defines Hinduphobia as “a set of antagonistic, destructive, and derogatory attitudes and behaviors towards Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Hindus that may manifest as prejudice, fear, or hatred”.

The resolution was introduced by Republican representatives Lauren McDonald and Todd Jones from Forsyth County in the suburbs of Atlanta, home to one of the largest Hindu and Indian-American diaspora communities in Georgia.

The resolution observed that the American-Hindu community has been a major contributor to diverse sectors such as medicine, science and engineering, information technology, hospitality, finance, academia, manufacturing, energy, retail trade, among others.

It also noted that the community’s contributions of Yoga, Ayurveda, meditation, food, music, arts that have enriched the cultural fabric and have been widely adopted in American society and enhanced the lives of millions.

Stating that there have been documented instances of hate crimes against Hindu-Americans over the last few decades in many parts of the country, the resolution said Hinduphobia is exacerbated and institutionalized by some in academia who support the dismantling of Hinduism and accuse its sacred texts and cultural practices of violence and oppression. The resolution also cited a 2022 report by Rutgers University

The effort to get this resolution passed was spearheaded by the Atlanta chapter of the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA), which organised the first-ever Hindu Advocacy Day held on March 22 at the Georgia State Capitol. It was attended by around 25 lawmakers — both Republicans and Democrats — who joined the Hindu community to understand its concerns, pledge to create ways to protect the community against discrimination and facilitate the inclusion of Hindu voices in important decision-making processes in the state.

“It was a true honor to work with Rep McDonald and Rep Jones as well as other lawmakers who guided us through the whole process of getting this County Resolution passed,” said Rajeev Menon, CoHNA vice president.

“We also heard that all the lawmakers had been working really long hours given the amount of legislative items on the agenda, but still decided to join us at the Advocacy Day to show how much they value the Hindu community,” he said.

CoHNA general secretary Shobha Swamy said, “The issues faced by Hindu Americans in Georgia and the rest of the country via false, Hinduphobic narratives are negatively impacting a community that has been hardworking, law-abiding and enriching the fabric of America.”

“We urged for their help in combating such bigotry which advances hatred and creates the idea that Hindus and people of Indian-origin need special laws and monitoring due to allegations around some inherent propensity to discriminate,” she said.

In July 2022, a report was released by Rutgers University titled “Anti-Hindu Disinformation: A Case Study of Hinduphobia on Social Media”. It showed how anti-Hindu hate messages in social media are turning into real life threats for people of the Hindu faith.

The study found that anti-Hindu Disinformation is masked through the use of ethnic pejoratives, slurs and coded language; Hinduphobic tropes — such as the portrayal of Hindus as fundamentally heretical evil, dirty, tyrannical, genocidal, irredeemable or disloyal— are prominent across the ideological spectrum and are being deployed by fringe web communities and state actors alike.

The report noted that “white supremacist and genocidal Pepe memes about Hindus were being shared prolifically within extremist Islamist web networks on messaging service Telegram and elsewhere.”

Indian Express smirks at the resolution, dismisses Hinduphobia

Hinduphobia is arguably even more rampant within Bharat than in the West. Anti-Hindu sentiments have been so normalized in the name of social justice that our English-language media censors or minimizes the anti-Hindu hate crimes which take place in Bharat each day. Sitting SC judges smile benignly when the issue of genocidal hate speech against Hindu communities is brought up in their court rooms.

Indian Express is one of the pack leaders of the anti-Hindu Lutyens’ media cabal. True to its reputation, the newspaper which is owned by a Westernized HINO (Hindu in Name Only) named Viveck Goenka and edited by another HINO named Raj Kamal Jha, reported this news with this headline –

Contextualising Georgia’s resolution condemning Hinduphobia

The article published under the byline ‘Explained Desk’ tried to portray the Georgia Assembly Resolution against Hinduphobia as a ‘reaction’ to the anti-caste Seattle legislation, calling it a result of the ‘ongoing tussle within Hindu Americans over the issue of caste’. They blithely side-stepped the fact that the resolution explicitly calls out anti-Hindu hate crimes and refers to the Rutgers study which shows how anti-Hindu hate is rampant, and also the fact that those behind the controversial Seattle legislation have links to anti-Hindu elements like Khalistanis and others.

Hindu Americans have been raising the issue of Hinduphobia for many years now, while the anti-caste legislation moves by notorious Pak-linked groups like Equality Labs etc are more recent. Also, these groups just use ‘anti-caste activism’ to couch their real goal – the destruction of Hindu Dharma itself. Another thing worth remembering is that Hindus have been passive for a long time and reluctant to confront their haters due to the distorted understanding of tolerance drilled into them by Gandhianism and Nehruvian secularism. That is fast changing and there are multiple efforts to record and measure anti-Hindu rhetoric – HinduPost’s own human rights watch database, Hindumisia.ai and the Rutgers Study referred above, being some examples of how Hindus are arming themselves with the data and evidence needed to combat those who deny the very existence of Hinduphobia.

Indian Express mocks the resolution by saying it ‘lacks teeth’ and states

“On one hand, there are those who believe that anti-caste discrimination laws themselves are discriminatory towards Hindus, on the other, are those who are fighting against caste based discrimination they have faced in the US.

So those fighting Hinduphboia are portrayed as harboring perceptions, while those claiming they have faced ‘caste-based discrimination’ in the US are taken at face value. Could Indian Express be any more clear about its bias?

And then comes the coup de grâce – the fitting finale to an article that is dripping with barely-disguised contempt for Hindus standing up against anti-Hindu bigotry –

So, is Hinduphobia ‘real’?

It is undoubtedly true that Hindu Americans have faced discrimination across the United States. This has been well documented. But whether this discrimination was specifically “anti-Hindu” is less certain.

According to the US Department of Justice’s 2021 Hate Crime Statistics report, there were 7,074 single-bias incidents involving 8,753 victims. Of this, a whopping 64.8 per cent were motivated by “race, ethnicity or ancestry” according to the DOJ report.

1005 or 13.3 per cent of such crimes were on the basis of religion. Religious communities most targeted were: Jews ( accounting for 31.9 per cent of all religious hate crimes), Sikhs (21.3 per cent), Muslims (9.5 per cent), and Catholics (6.1 per cent). In comparison, anti-Hindu incidents were pegged at 1 per cent, i.e. 10 out of 1,005, ranking 34 out of 35 communities listed.

First off, Indian Express has got the data wrong. Last month, FBI released a supplement to the 2021 Hate Crime Statistics, incorporating more data from other law enforcement agencies.

There are now a total of 10,530 single-bias incidents involving 12,411 victims. 14.1 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias, and the report now has 12 such anti-Hindu incidents. Interestingly, there are 310 multiple-bias incidents, the break up of which is not provided.

Secondly, is Indian Express seriously asking us to consider data collected by American authorities as the final arbiter of whether Hinduphobia is real or not! USA publishes extremely dubious ‘religious freedom’ rankings which rate Bharat in the same bracket as Pakistan (and don’t even name Bangladesh)! For USCIRF, a US federal govt. commission, only Christian lives matter (and other Abrahamics to some extent).

Democracy indices of American and other Western think tanks have been exposed as thinly-veiled propaganda pieces. It is well-known American foreign policy to fund and sponsor Christian evangelists across the world, and especially in non-Abrahamic countries lying in the 10-40 window that are ‘ripe for the picking’ as missionaries would say. A Christianized Bharat is the ultimate dream of the American deep state, and in this they have just continued where their British colonial counterparts left off.

So excuse us ‘pagans’ if we take any data that American authorities put out with a pinch of salt. We have seen how repeated vandalizations of Hindu mandirs in the West in recent years have hardly elicited any response from their law enforcement agencies or have been dismissed as ‘burglary’ or ‘routine vandalism’ rather than the hate crimes they are.

Like we mentioned earlier, Hindus are only just beginning to wake up to the hate directed against them from various sources: Christian evangelists, Islamists, White supremacists, Khalistanis, neo-Ambedkarites, pseudo-liberal Western universalists. The everyday discrimination that was earlier shrugged away is now slowly being reported and recorded. For eg, California state Assembly candidate Darshana Patel, a Democrat, has just revealed in an interview that she was called ‘pagan, greasy Indian’ in school in grade 2. How many more Darshanas are out there who just erased such nasty eipsodes and went on with their lives? Of course, highly organized communities like Jews, Muslims and Christian denominational churches are going to have far greater reporting of hate crimes – Hindus are only now beginning to realize that hard work and economic success alone are not enough to earn respect.

Indian Express has tried to do what the more overly & viciously anti-Hindu Scroll tried sometime back.

Such Hindu-hating HINOs who dominate Bharat’s English-language media have not a word to say for the suffering Hindu minorities in the subcontinent, but even the slightest hint of Hindus organizing themselves to fight for their human rights is enough to upset these West-aping sepoys.

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  1. As the foreign people will delve deeper into Hindu religion and philosophy, and read Vedas, and Puranas, they will come to learn the wonders of human life. Many Americans, as well as Europeans, have embraced the Hindu religion, sacrificed their Western ideologies of chasing mundane pleasure have become sanyasis, chanting Rama, Rama while at the same time devoting their life for the well-being downtrodden, poor & homeless people in India and abraod. Hinduism means self-sacrifice, devotion of self for the upliftment of the most deprived ones, preaching the spirit of love, non-violence (Ahimsa), and compassion.
    Hinduism never preaches violence or encourages forcible conversion to Hinduism, but instead welcomes anybody & everybody to learn the truth of the Inner Soul & its ultimate merger to that of the Almighty whom we call Iswar, Christians call Him by Lord and Muslims by Allah (the prophet). Hinduism preaches that TRUTH is there in every religion and God is the ultimate truth. And that is the unique beauty of Hindu Dharma.


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