Public Appeal by Hindus for Human Rights, USA
यदचेतनोऽपि पादै: स्पृष्ट: प्रज्वलति सवितुरिनकान्त:
तत्तेजस्वी पुरुष: परकृतनिकृतिं कथं सहते
yad acetano ‘pi pādaiḥ spṛṣṭaḥ prajvalati savitur inakāntaḥ
tat tejasvī puruṣaḥ parakṛtanikṛtiṃ kathaṃ sahate
Even an inert crystal
blazes with heat
when touched by the sun’s rays.
So how can brilliant people
stand idly by when
others commit atrocities?
- Bhartrihari (5th century CE, translated by Anand Venkatkrishnan)
In what may be a sign that work of Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR) is having a real impact on the hegemony of the HAF in the Indian-American community, they are now threatening to sue us and our allies for exercising our First Amendment rights to express our genuine concerns over several Hindutva organizations receiving COVID funding (two articles in Al Jazeera, in which Sunita and I are quoted.)
We are being assisted by an eminent New York law firm specializing in defamation, and we see no reason to buckle to the pressure from HAF. In fact, if they do proceed to sue us, we see it as an opportunity to educate the public about the internal workings of HAF and its Hindutva allies in the US and in India. We have told our supporters that when our very reason for existence is being questioned, we are not backing down. And the critical work of HfHR must and will go on.
We have started a Legal Defence Fund and are asking our current supporters as well as others who are concerned about the threat to Indian democracy to support us in our critical work at this time. Please call or write to me if you have any thoughts or questions.
As always, in appreciation of your valuable support.
From our Website:
Hindus for Human Rights is less than two years old. Since we began in 2019, our work has been praised by champions of justice and equality, and we have also drawn the attention of groups who oppose our work of fighting for pluralism and civil and human rights for all.
The Hindu American Foundation is now trying to silence us and our allies through a threat of legal action. We are told that speaking out against Hindu nationalist violence against minorities in India and expressing genuine concerns about the moral and financial support that Hindu nationalists are receiving from some Hindu American individuals and organizations amounts to “defamation” and “libel.” The law firm they’ve hired has represented Donald Trump, Melania Trump, and Harvey Weinstein.
DONATE TO OUR LEGAL DEFENSE AND ADVOCACY FUND
Our advocacy has real impact. Just last week, within two days of a public petition and awareness campaign launched by Hindus for Human Rights, the World Hindu Council of America (Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, or VHPA) cancelled their virtual events featuring a hate-mongering and Islamophobic Hindu priest in India who has called for the “eradication” of Islam and Muslims.
Yesterday, thanks in part to our advocacy, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that the US government designate India as a Country of Particular of Concern for “engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations.”
Our deep love and care for India and all its people is what motivates us to do what we do. And our important work must and will go on.
With your help, we’re going to fight back — but we can’t do this without your support.
T.M. Krishna, on the importance of Hindu voices against Hindutva
Sunita Viswanath - I refuse to cede Hinduism to those who want to make India a Hindu rashtra