Indian Americans Protest Hindu Supremacist Sadhvi Ritambhara’s Event in California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA (September 19, 2022) – Indian Americans and members of civil rights groups protested last weekend outside the venue of an event that featured Sadhvi Ritambhara, a Hindu extremist leader in Long Beach, California.
Organized by the coalition of American interfaith organizations, including Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Hindus for Human Rights, Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) – Los Angeles, and North American Indian Muslim Association (NAIMA), the protesters gathered in front of Hyatt Regency, chanted slogans calling on event organizers to stop platforming anti-Muslim and anti-Christian bigots in the United States.
Holding “No to Hate” and “Go Back Ritambhara” placards, the protestors demanded that the Department of State immediately revoke Rithambra’s visa and ban her from entering the US.
“People like Ritambhara who spread the fascist ideology of Hindutva and incite violence against religious minorities are raising funds here in the US,” said Mohamed Nasrullah, President of the IAMC Southern California chapter, at the protest demonstration on Saturday, September 17.
“This evening, we are standing together to protest and to reject the hate and fascist ideologies promoted by Ritambhara and the organizations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh,” Nasrullah added.
CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush expressed his disappointment with the Hyatt Regency Long Beach management for allowing its space to be used to platform an anti-Muslim and anti-Christian bigot.
“It is situations such as these that remind us that hateful messages only spread if we allow them to. The Hyatt was offered a golden opportunity to stop the spread of Hindutva hatred in California and, instead, opted to welcome it with open arms,” Ayloush said.
“We are proud of our community for speaking up for what is right, and we will not stop until perpetrators of all forms of hate no longer feel welcome in our country,” Ayloush added.
Calling Ritambhara a genocide enabler, Khaja Najamuddin, a member of NAIMA, said, “It is our hardcore belief to stand up for justice. India is on the path of genocide. It would be too late if we didn’t do anything about it now. We have seen genocide in Myanmar, and India could be next. Hatemongers like Ritambhara are the enablers of that path to Genocide. She is not welcome in our city.”
HfHR member and interfaith activist Tahil Sharma said that Ritambhara represents hate, not Hinduism.
“I’m here to stand up with all those Hindus around the world who stand up against Sadhvi Ritambhara, who spreads hate against minority communities at all times,” Sharma said at the protest.
“She does not represent the Hinduism of inclusion, justice, and service to humanity. She represents money spent by millions of folks trying to focus on breaking India apart. She is focused on a narrative that is trying to hurt those that are minorities in India. Her focus is on hatred rather than uniting people,” Sharma added.
Considering the recent attack by Hindu supremacists on Indian-American protesters in Anaheim, California, the event organizers made extra security arrangements with a police presence.