Congressman Ro Khanna urges Hindu Americans not to “cry Hinduphobia”
American Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) has urged Hindu Americans not to “cry Hinduphobia” while ignoring unifying issues among Indian Americans, strongly implying that Hinduphobia is a concept that is far blown out of proportion among right-wing Hindu Americans.
“I grew up Indian American, Hindu American, in the 1980… It was 97 per cent white and Christian. And I didn’t know the word Hinduphobia or feel Hinduphobia at any single point in my life growing up,” he said while speaking to reporters. “So now we’ve got all these Hindu Americans and it’s all over…”
Adding that Indian Americans should focus on how they can contribute to the American project, Khanna continued, “There was a time back in the 1980s, where people couldn’t meet a staffer for a member of Congress. They didn’t cry Hinduphobia.”
Hinduphobia is a term used by the Hindu far right in the US to push back against criticism of the political Hindu supremacist ideology, Hindutva. Hindu supremacists in the US often use accusations of Hinduphobia to harass journalists, academics, and activists who raise attention to their anti-Muslim and anti-democratic views, threatening these critics’ jobs and physical safety.
According to the South Asia Scholar Activist Collective (SASAC), a group devoted to combating Hindu rightwing narratives in academia, “Scholars of South Asia overall consider the term ‘Hinduphobia’ problematic for several reasons. It is deployed to stifle academic inquiry into Hinduism as well as criticism of Hindutva… ‘Hinduphobia’ rests on the false notion that Hindus have faced systematic oppression throughout history and in present times.”
“‘Hinduphobia’ relies on flawed analogies with anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, though these are very different. The anti-Semitic ideology of Nazism led to the Holocaust. Islamophobic foreign policies over time resulted in the killing of Muslims across the world… Anti-Hindu bias, on the other hand, cannot be easily linked to casualties on such horrific scales,” SASAC adds.
BJP leader accused in rape of 13-year-old girl faces no consequences
In yet another disturbing failure of Indian law enforcement, a local leader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam state has not faced any consequences for raping a 13-year-old girl and leading her mother to commit suicide.
Opposition leaders have slammed law enforcement for failing to take any action against Samendra Roy, president of a local BJP booth committee, who continues to walk free despite the severity of his crime.
“An incidence involving a BJP booth president raping a 13-year-old minor in the Tinsukia district’s Bordubi area was reported some time ago. Although [a police report] has been filed at the Bordubi police station, the police have not yet taken any action, including arresting the offenders,” said opposition leader Mira Borthakur.
This is the latest incident as part of a nationwide trend of Indian law enforcement showing sympathy or indifference towards Hindu supremacist criminals, while Muslims and Christians face an ongoing crackdown.
“We don’t want a single Muslim vote,” says senior BJP leader
Senior BJP leader and former Karnataka minister K.S. Eshwarappa, who has a history of making incendiary anti-Muslim hate speeches, has declared that the BJP does not want a single Muslim vote in the state.
“They say there are around 50-55 thousand Muslim votes here. We don’t even want a single vote of them,” he said, speaking at a meeting.
“We don’t allow making Hindus inferior and Muslims superior… Let those anti-nationals who identify themselves with [the opposition party] continue to do so. All have failed in dividing Hindus in the name of caste,” he added.
Last year, a probe was ordered on Eshwarappa after he spewed inflammatory anti-Muslim conspiracy theories relating to the murder of a Hindu extremist group member.