Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Over 100 organisations declare Hindu supremacy matter of “acute concern” in US

Image of Ram temple displayed in Times Square

Over 100 civil society groups across the United States have signed onto a declaration expressing “acute concern about the alarming rise of Hindu supremacy, also known as Hindutva or Hindu nationalism, in the United States.”

The declaration, released on Monday by Savera – an interfaith, multiracial, anti-caste coalition of Indian American and partner civil rights groups – warned that the Hindu supremacist movement “now finds itself in a deepening alliance with various facets of the American far-right,” and pledged to take action to combat its spread in the United States.

The declaration’s signatories represent the breadth of American civil society, including organizations such as the Movement for Black Lives, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the National Lawyers’ Guild. The statement followed Savera’s recent report, titled “The Global VHP’s Trail of Violence,” which comprehensively outlined the deleterious impact of the US-based Hindu supremacist movement, highlighting its deep connections with both the American far-right and violent supremacist actors in India.

“Hindu supremacy has become a key axis of the US far-right and a threat to US democracy,” said Prachi Patankar of India Civil Watch International. “While Hindu supremacy affects our communities most directly, it is a broader threat that portends the danger of a multi-racial far right. This overwhelming show of solidarity points to how we must combat these converging authoritarian threats: together.”

“Ethnonationalism is on the rise worldwide as economic collapse, the climate crisis, and war irreparably destroy communities and displace millions,” said Sophie Ellman-Golan of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. “We’re all up against a global alliance of supremacist, authoritarian political movements and leaders — from India and Israel, to Russia, Hungary, the United States, and beyond. More than ever, we need to build multiracial, interfaith solidarity powerful enough to fight back. Jews For Racial & Economic Justice is proud to be part of the essential coalition Savera is building.”

“Savera is giving voice to the majority of the Indian diaspora that stands opposed to Hindu supremacy. However, safeguarding our democracy from the far-right is a much broader fight, and it is equally critical that other communities take a stand against Hindu supremacy too,” said Roja Singh, President of Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA.

Here is the full text of the statement:

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, express our acute concern about the alarming rise of Hindu supremacy, also known as Hindutva or Hindu nationalism, in the United States. This political ideology, which was first articulated in the early 20th century with direct inspiration from Nazism, Fascism and other ideologies of racial subjugation, now finds itself in a deepening alliance with various facets of the American far-right. Hindu supremacy poses a growing threat to our core values of democracy, pluralism and justice, both in India and here in the United States.

We stand steadfast in solidarity with Savera, a new united front that represents the true Indian-American majority, and that has brought together an interfaith, multiracial, anti-caste coalition of organizations and activists to resist supremacist politics of all kinds.

Hindu supremacist organizations may hide behind a facade of multiculturalism and diversity, but in practice they have worked to break bonds of solidarity between communities and legitimize far-right politics within communities of color—including by attacking civil rights groups; collaborating with far-right demagogues; spreading anti-Muslim disinformation; opposing affirmative action and caste protections for marginalized communities; and working to curb free speech and academic freedom.

The deeply anti-Muslim project of Hindu supremacy began and continues to function as a dominant caste project, and its history is littered with examples of violence against Muslims and other religious minorities, caste-oppressed groups and indigenous peoples. The Hindu supremacist movement is not only harmful to Indian, South Asian and Muslim Americans, but runs deeply counter to our values of collective liberation. It is our shared responsibility to stand in solidarity with those who are bravely opposing supremacist politics and fighting for a true multiracial democracy. Hindu supremacy deeply concerns us all, and we are committed to combating it.

Therefore, together, we pledge:

  • To reject all forms of hatred and supremacist politics, including Hindu supremacy; and to educate ourselves about the ideology and global presence of the Hindu supremacist movement, and its intersections with the broader far-right;
  • To stand in firm solidarity with the global struggle to dismantle Islamophobia and annihilate caste, and in particular to support movements to combat anti-Muslim hate and ban caste discrimination in the United States;
  • To support calls for the United States government to center human rights and democracy in its engagement with the Modi regime; and 
  • To stand with activists and organizations working to articulate a diverse, inclusive, and liberatory vision of Indian American identity.

List of Signatories:

  1. 18 Million Rising
  2. AAPI Equity Alliance
  3. About Face: Veterans Against the War
  4. Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE)
  5. Adalah Justice Project
  6. Afghans for a Better Tomorrow
  7. Alliance for South Asian Progressives in Pittsburgh (ASAPP)
  8. Alternatives International 
  9. Ambedkar International Center
  10. Ambedkar King Study Circle
  11. American Friends Service Committee
  12. American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN)
  13. American Muslim Institution, Washington, D.C.
  14. American Sikh Council
  15. Americans For Kashmir
  16. APEX Express
  17. Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)
  18. ASATA – The Alliance of South Asians Taking Action
  19. Asian American Advocacy Fund
  20. Asian American Midwest Progressives
  21. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
  22. Asian Children’s Educational Fellowship 
  23. Asian Law Alliance 
  24. Asian Prisoner Support Committee
  25. Asian Refugees United
  26. Association of Indian Muslims of America, Washington DC
  27. Aurora Commons LLC
  28. Bangladeshi Americans for Political Progress (BAPP)
  29. Bhim International Foundation USA
  30. Boston South Asian Coalition 
  31. Boston Study Group
  32. CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities
  33. Canadian Forum for Human Rights and Democracy in India (CFHRDI)
  34. Center for Pluralism 
  35. CERAS (Centre sur l’asie du sud)
  36. Chicago Coalition for Human Rights in India 
  37. Coalition of Seattle Indian Americans
  38. Code Pink: Women for Peace
  39. Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA
  40. Daraja Press
  41. Design Action Collective
  42. Detention Watch Network
  43. Diaspora Alliance
  44. DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving
  45. Ensaaf
  46. Faith in Public Life
  47. Federation of Indian American Christians in North America (FIACONA)
  48. Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America
  49. Forces of Renewal Southeast Asia (FORSEA)
  50. Friends Committee on National Legislation
  51. Friends of India Texas
  52. GABRIELA Oakland
  53. Grassroots Asians Rising
  54. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
  55. Great Truth
  56. GreenFaith 
  57. Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE)
  58. Highlander Research & Education Center
  59. Hindus for Human Rights
  60. Human Agenda
  61. The Humanism Project
  62. IfNotNow
  63. India Civil Watch International
  64. India Coalition
  65. Indian American Muslim Council
  66. The Interfaith Center of New York
  67. International Commission for Dalit Rights 
  68. International Society for Peace and Justice 
  69. Jewish Voice for Peace
  70. Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)
  71. Justice for All
  72. Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice
  73. Lavender Phoenix
  74. Lyallpur Forum
  75. Maynmai
  76. Movement for Black Lives (M4BL)
  77. Muslim Civic Coalition
  78. Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
  79. Muslims for Just Futures
  80. Muslims for Progressive Values 
  81. Muslim Voices Coalition 
  82. NAACP of San Jose and Silicon Valley
  83. National Lawyers’ Guild
  84. New York State Council of Churches
  85. NGO Federation of Nepal
  86. NoHindutvaMD
  87. North American Manipur Tribal Association
  88. The People’s Forum
  89. Poetic Justice Foundation 
  90. Political Research Associates
  91. Progressive Technology Project
  92. Project ANAR
  93. Project South 
  94. Race Forward
  95. Rangoli Pittsburgh
  96. Religions for Peace USA
  97. Right To The City Alliance
  98. SACRED (South Asian American Coalition to Renew Democracy)
  99. Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus
  100. Sakhi for South Asian Women
  101. San Jose Peace and Justice Center
  102. Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
  103. Sikh Council for Interfaith Relations
  104. South Asian SOAR
  105. The Subcontinent Project, Northwestern University
  106. The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society
  107. Twin Cities South Asia Solidarity Collective
  108. World Without Genocide
  109. Xicanx Institute for Teaching and Organizing
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