NAACP backs demand for FBI, CIA probe into links of HAF, VHPA, SEWA with India’s Hindu supremacist RSS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC (October 10, 2022) – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a renowned civil rights organization working to eliminate racial discrimination in the US, has voiced support for a demand to investigate the links of several Hindu American organizations with India’s Hindu supremacist movement.
The NAACP’s branch in Bergen County, New Jersey, has released a letter of support for a resolution passed by the Teaneck Democrat Municipal Committee (TDMC) last month seeking investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) into these Hindu organizations.
“TDMC’s resolution is a much-needed intervention to tackle the challenges posed to freedoms in the US by Hindu supremacist hate and bigotry,” the NAACP said.
“US-based groups that adhere to this hate-filled ideologies have been known for their connections with India’s Nazi-inspired fascist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), whose offshoots and affiliates carry out mass violence against India’s religious minorities, especially Christians and Muslims, as well as lower-caste Hindus.”
The resolution by the TDMC, which is located in Teaneck city of New Jersey’s Bergen County, passed on September 12 urged state governor Phil Murphy; the two US Senators from the state, Bob Menendez and Cory Booker; and Congressman Josh Gottheimer to seek FBI and CIA investigations into Hindu American Foundation (HAF), Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), SEWA International, Infinity Foundation and Ekal Vidyalaya, among others.
The TDMC resolution had said the FBI and the CIA should “step up [their] research on foreign hate groups that have domestic branches with tax-exempt status.” It also urged the Bergen County Board of Commissioners, New Jersey District 37 Senator Gordon Johnson, Assemblywomen Shama Haider and Ellen Park, Teaneck Council Members, and “all other elected officials running for political office [to] unequivocally disavow support and reject campaign funds from Hindu extremist hate groups.”
Signed by NAACP Bergen County chapter president Junius F. Carter III, the letter of support said, “based on recent events in Edison and Ridgewood in New Jersey, TDMC understood the impact, lack of knowledge about extremist groups, and its supporters has on elected officials, religious organizations, and communities.”
The NAACP’s reference is to a hate parade organized by the Indian Business Association (IBA) on August 14 in Edison town of New Jersey, that featured a bulldozer. India’s Hindu supremacist federal and state governments have, in recent months, illegally deployed bulldozers to demolish Muslim-owned homes and businesses as well as mosques and churches without following due process.
The bulldozer at the Edison parade featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh state’s chief minister, Yogi Adityanath. Adityanath has been especially severe in misusing the bulldozer to raze Muslim properties. The IBA later apologized for bringing a bulldozer to the parade, calling it a “blatant divisive symbol.”
The bulldozer hate parade was condemned by several New Jersey leaders, including the two US senators and federal and state lawmakers.
The fact that the IBA parade’s grand marshall was Sambit Patra, an Islamophobe and the national spokesperson for India’s ruling Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), indicates its links to the RSS, of which the BJP is an offshoot. The Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP), a decades’ old organization that suspiciously rushed to register itself as a foreign agent during the 2020 election cycle, was also represented at the Edison parade of August 14.
In Ridgewood, an organization called the Param Shakti Peeth of America, had last month organized a speech by Sadhvi Rithambra, an anti-Muslim Hindu preacher who has spewed venom against Islam and Muslims for decades. The church in Ridgewood where this event was to be held, later cancelled the event.
The Indian American Muslim Council, a nonprofit dedicated to peace, pluralism and social justice, has urged the US Department of State to revoke the visas of both Sambit Patra and Sadhvi Rithambra.