Reject Raja: Raja Krishnamoorthi Champions Fascists, not Communities

Who are We?

Chicago South Asians for Justice is an intercaste, interfaith group of progressive South Asian-Americans who are deeply concerned about the steady creep of right-wing Hindu nationalism into American politics. Our goal is to hold Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and other American politicians accountable for supporting policies which target Indian religious minorities and caste-oppressed people both in America and abroad.

Why Reject Raja?

Raja has consistently portrayed himself as a progressive champion for a variety of causes, including racial justice, religious freedom, public health, LGBTQ rights and immigration. He has spoken against the rise of white nationalism, Trump’s policies, and the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA. However, his record on issues related to South Asian religious and caste minorities reveals a disturbing history of aiding and abetting a dangerous form of right-wing Hindu nationalism in India, also known as Hindu fascism. We must hold our leaders accountable when they promote a progressive agenda here and enable fascism abroad.

What is Hindu Fascism?
Hindu fascism, also known as Hindutva or Hindu nationalism, is a right-wing political ideology that guides the current ruling party in India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is a majoritarian political ideology and far-right ethnonationalist movement. Hindu nationalist groups in India like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were inspired by Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s fascists in Italy. Hindu fascism’s aim is to concentrate power, land, and resources in the hands of the oppressor castes and to make India a Hindu ethnostate. Read more here.

Why Oppose Hindu Fascism?

Hindu fascist organizations combine their cultural and political power with violence to oppress minorities, quash dissent and subvert Indian democracy. Their leaders have openly called for violence against Muslims and Christian minorities. Since their spread and rise to power, South Asia has seen an alarming rise of anti-Muslim violence, lynchings, rapes, and other acts of intimidation against religious minorities and caste-oppressed people. Hindu nationalism would not be possible without the cultural and financial support of the United States diaspora, so it’s imperative to challenge elected officials like Krishnamoorthi, who platform Hindu nationalists.

Among Hindu nationalists’ many recent actions, the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is especially egregious. The CAA works in conjunction with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) to create an anti-Muslim, anti-minority, religious litmus test for citizenship in India and sets the legal foundation for the largest network of concentration camps in the world. Hindu nationalists have no place in American politics and stand for values antithetical to the progressive values of the broader South Asian-American community. This is why we are demanding that Raja Krishnamoorthi come clean and disavow his Hindu nationalist ties.

What does Hindu fascism have to do with the United States?
A network of Hindu fascist inspired organizations, collectively called the Sangh Parivar, has established national and local organizations throughout the U.S., including the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Sewa International, and Ekal Vidyalaya. They spread Hindu fascist propaganda through seemingly innocent methods like government briefings, cultural events, charity work and youth religious camps.

President Trump and other Congressional leaders, including Raja Krishnamoorthi, were in attendance at the 2019 Howdy Modi event. Trump and Modi held hands and made speeches promising to uplift each other’s agendas. The Indian government’s actions resemble Trump’s actions, such as the Muslim ban and the African country ban, building detention centers for asylum seekers, placing severe limits on refugee populations, and other xenophobic, anti-immigrant policies.

Raja Krishnamoorthi Openly Supports Hindu Fascism:

  • Raja was the sole Indian-American member of Congress to attend “Howdy Modi,” which was organized to bolster support for the Hindu fascist agenda. Raja met Modi in August 2017 to “discuss the special relationship between the United States and India.”
  • Raja threw his weight behind an effort to erase caste and push Islamophobic narratives in California textbooks in 2017.
  • Raja appeared at the World Hindu Congress in September 2018. He shared a platform with RSS head Mohan Bhagwat, who openly calls for violence against minorities and the establishment of India as a Hindu ethno-state.
  • Raja continues to appear at events organized by American subsidiaries of the Sangh Parivar and did so as recently as October 2019.

What are we asking progressive South Asians to do?

  1. Challenge Raja on his ties to Hindu fascism via telephone, email, and social media
  2. Ensure Krishnamoorthi does not get re-elected;
  3. Encourage your friends, family, and other community members to stop funding Raja and other individuals with ties to Hindu fascism;
  4. Spread the message that supporting Hindu fascism = supporting genocide.

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