Alliance for Justice and Accountability Calls for Boycott of the World Hindu Congress in Chicago

Chicago, IL — August 30, 2018

The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), an umbrella organization of progressive groups across the United States is calling for a boycott of the World Hindu Congress that will be taking place in the Chicago suburb of Lombard from September 7–9, 2018 . The event is being organized by an umbrella of organizations including the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, the American branch of India-based Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

The VHP is an organization that a recent CIA report classified as a “militant religious outfit.” Its leadership has, on several occasions, defended and even called for attacks on Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and other minority communities in India and the organization’s member have been involved in several vigilante attacks related to cow protection, “love jihad” and religious conversions. The rising presence of the VHP and its parent organization the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) under the Bharatiya Janata Party rule in India has been accompanied by a surge in hate crimes towards Dalits, Christians and Muslims and a general decline in civil society.

Nesamani Rajamani of AJA says,” We are launching the #Stop Hindu Fascism campaign because India’s religious and cultural minorities are in crisis. Hindutva organizations are not only in control of the central government but they are also using violence against Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists in order to distract from their wholesale giveaway of the country to corporate interests.”

The World Hindu Congress is organized by the same forces that have incited and condoned this violence, and the Alliance for Justice and Accountability views this event not as one that promotes Hinduism, but rather as an attempt to mainstream Hindu Fascist politics onto the global stage.

Speakers at the gathering include Mohan Rao Bhagwat, the head of the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS), an paramilitary organization that is active in India, and has been banned by the Indian government numerous times for its activities. Its founding principles draw from Nazism and Fascism and its current leadership maintains ties with the American and European alt-right movements. Many of the other speakers are also known for their extremist views and activities. As well as well known Hindu fascists hatemongers like Rajiv Maholtra who has made an industry of attacking Indian Religious and Cultural minorities. He has even accused the US Commission on International Religious Freedom of “Creating Atrocity literature for the us” and allowing “Abrahamic religions” to sit in judgement on the rest of the world.

AJA is urging all speakers who do not believe in Hindu Fascism to not only pull out of the event, but to also condemn the gathering. Legislators Raja Krishnamoorthy, Tulsi Gabbard, Ash Kalra, and Jay Chaudhuri had aligned themselves with the event. Due to community pressure, Ash Kalra, Tulsi Gabbard, and Jay Chaudhuri have decided to drop their participation but neither have made public statements as to why or against the event or its organizers. Apart from politicians, representatives from Fedex, Walmart, and Emmerson Electric are also speaking at this event.

Ashwin Khobragade of AJA says, “Whether its lawmakers or corporations, attending this event is profiteering at the expense of every Dalit, Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim,and Christian that has faced religious violence at the hands of Hindutva. The lawmakers and corporations who are participating in this event show utter disregard for the basic principles of justice, human rights and religious freedom and that is unacceptable.”

AJA is committed to holding all who participate in mainstreaming Hindu Fascism accountable and is launching the #StopHinduFascism campaign to shed a light on the violence and to demand accountability from speakers and sponsors of the event.

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Standing together for justice, accountability, and human rights in India and the United States

Standing together for justice, accountability, and human rights in India and the United States