India Abroad January 10, 2014 A31 COMMUNITY NEWS
Following the introduction of the House Resolution 417, a war of words has erupted between the Coalition Against Genocide and the Hindu American
HR 417 — sponsored by United States Representative
Joseph Pitts, Republican, Pennsylvania — has received the
support of 38 Congressmen from both parties, including
Democrats Keith Ellison and John Conyers.
It praises India’s religious diversity and criticizes the
trend of intolerance from some groups.
It also praises the US government for denying a visa to
the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate
While the CAG, which supports the resolution, released a
report titled, ‘Affiliations of Faith: Hindu American
Foundation and the Global Sangh,’ HAF, which has led the
fight against it, came out with a report titled ‘Coalition
Against Genocide: A Nexus of Hinduphobia Unveiled.’
The CAG said it documented HAF’s alleged imbrications
within Hindutva, which they term as a Hindu supremacist
The report held the Hindutva movement responsible for
Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, the Babri Masjid demoli-
tion, the Gujarat riots, crimes against Christians in Odisha
and the atrocities against Muslims in district of
Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.
The report quoted from The Protean Forms of Yankee
Hindutva, by Professor Biju Mathew of Rider University
(with Vijay Prashad), which studied Hindutva’s growth outside India to support its points.
The HAF said its study found that several CAG leaders
were self-described radicals and Marxists. The report said
it had surveyed the history of CAG activism dating back to
2005, alleging that CAG constituents opposed efforts of
Hindu Americans to correct reportedly flawed textbooks in
California, to the recent introduction of HR-417.
Suhag Shukla, executive director, HAF, said, “As far as
any ‘imbrication’ within global Hindutva, CAG has
absolutely no basis to try to connect an American organi-
zation run by second-generation Hindu Americans to any
global movement, whatever its ideology.”
“We are amused by the insinuation that we are connect-
ed to any supremacist ideology, especially when we have a
record as progressive as ours.”
“Their summations play like an old broken record and it’s
clear CAG members are more interested in ad hominems
than really looking at HAF’s track record.”
“We invite them to actually visit our Web site to learn
about our work against caste-based discrimination and the
oppression of women, amongst the many other things HAF
does to promote mutual respect, human dignity, and plu-
“And, as self-proclaimed progressives,” Shukla added, “if
they find any shared issues of concern, like the human
rights of Ahmadiyyas, Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus in
Pakistan or the ethnic cleansing of 100,000 Hindu minor-
ity Lhotsampas and Nyingmapa Buddhists from Bhutan,
who knows, maybe we can even work together.”
CAG leader Dr Shaik Ubaid said, “To them every person
opposing the RSS is either a Maoist or a Taliban supporter.
The Coalition Against Genocide is a diverse alliance. We
condemn religious persecution anywhere and everywhere.
We condemn the Taliban and Al Qaeda while HAF does
not condemn the RSS, Bajrang Dal, or VHP violence.”
“We at the Coalition Against Genocide have not discussed
the possibility of what happens if Modi becomes prime
minister,” Dr Ubaid added, “We take principled stands as
we are a human rights group and not a political party. The
President will be expected to uphold US law and also to
take the morally correct stand.”
Over 100 people attended the Bay Area-based nonprofit Induz’s Christmas event
‘Santa Claus is coming to town’
in Newark, California, December
The celebrations were aimed to
encourage children’s creativity by
giving them an opportunity to participate in art and craft activities.
“It is one of Induz’s holiday
events, focused on family and chil-
dren,” said Ray Mitra, founder,
Since its inception in 2004, she
added, Induz has aimed to nurture
artistic talents and use art as a
medium to bring diverse communities and cultures together.
In 2008, it launched Project
Tulika in India — a program that
focuses on providing free art,
music and dance education to children at orphanages in India.
In 2011, Induz launched the
Passport to the World program,
which attempts to address the lack
of access to art and global learning
War of words over HR-417
among underprivileged children in
Bay Area public schools.
“The program was launched initially as a supplemental, after-school
art education program, but now it
has expanded to be included as part
of a summer program for youth leadership development,” Mitra said.
“The curriculum includes exposure
to meaningful art forms from various
global regions around the world with
Induz, she added, launched a new
program last year, the Youth
Ambassador Program, which pro-
motes youth leadership develop-
ment. Through it, young people can
help spread Induz’s mission and gain
In 2013, Induz was certified as a
NGO that could award the
President’s Community Service
Award to Induz volunteers.
An arty Christmas
Snapshots from the event.