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New report exposes HAF as the newest arm of the global Sangh

New report exposes HAF as the newest arm of the global Sangh
Foundation Uses Civil rights and Pro-Democracy Veneer To Advance Supremacist Agenda

Washington DC, Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Coalition Against Genocide (CAG - http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/), today released a new report Affiliations of Faith: Hindu American Foundation and the Global Sangh - that documents HAF's deep imbrication within the Global Hindutva movement. Hindutva refers to a Hindu supremacist movement that originated in India in the 1920s. The movement has a presence today in several countries across the world including the US. The Hindutva movement was responsible for the assassination of Gandhi, the demolition of the 16th century Babri Masjid mosque in Northern India, the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom that claimed over 2000 lives in Gujarat, the massacre of Christians and the destruction of churches in the state of Odisha and the ongoing atrocities against Muslims in the district of Muzaffarnagar (U.P). This new report releases for the first time archival material from the internal email communications of the global Sangh to show HAF's deep links to this violent and intolerant movement.

"The HAF is a third wave Hindutva organization in the US," said Professor Biju Mathew, whose pioneering article 'The Protean Forms of Yankee Hindutva' (with Vijay Prashad) defined the study of Hindutva's growth outside India. The first wave organizations imitated the Sangh outfits in India and built mirror organizations in the US and UK in the 1980s. A decade long transition of the 1990s then saw the Hindutva movement both try to create space for the second generation and build organizations responsive to US political frameworks. The current third wave of the 2000s has witnessed organizations like HAF that are deeply rooted in Hindutva use an American discourse of civil rights and multiculturalism to advance their agenda" he added.

Challenging HAF's claim to represent Hindus and Hinduism in the US, the report shows that the HAF does not represent all the "sampradayas" or traditions within Hinduism, but at most represents only a narrow ideological spectrum of Brahmanism and upper caste ideology. Moreover, it also demonstrates that contrary to their public “human rights” posturing, the people behind HAF have positions on Dalits and women that are blatantly anti-liberal and oppressive. “American audiences need to know that HAF and its ilk are rooted in supremacist and majoritarian ideologies. They pay lip service to caste oppression issues and pluralism, but have a monocultural and elitist view of Indian society. They want pluralism and minority rights for themselves here in the US but want minorities, Dalits and women to be second class citizens in India," said Dr. Raja Swamy.

Announcing the release of the CAG's new Spotlight Series, Dr. Shaik Ubaid of the CAG noted that "the spotlight series on the violent supremacist movement will help draw attention of the world to the international expansion of Hindutva. It should raise grave and urgent concerns about Hindutva attempts to take over Indian and Hindu spaces in the US and to infiltrate US power centers such as the Congress and local legislatures."

The HAF report Affiliations of Faith is the first in the series. The next report is scheduled for release in early January.

  1. Dr. Raja Swamy
    Phone: 864-804-0216

  2. Ms. Anu Mandavilli
    Phone: 408-480-5805

  3. Mr. Shaik Ubaid
    Phone: 516-567-0783

Coalition Against Genocide
(443) 927-9039
Email: media@coalitionagainstgenocide.org

  1. Affiliations of Faith: Hindu American Foundation and the Global Sangh

  2. The protean forms of Yankee Hindutva

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