WASHINGTON, DC – The Coalition Against Fascism in India (CAFI), Global Indian Progressive Alliance (GIPA), Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and Indian Civil Watch International (ICWI) condemn the American India Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) move to display images of the Hindu deity Ram and 3-D images of the to-be-constructed Ram Temple at Times Square on August 5th. The organizations, along with many other progressive and inclusive organizations, recently submitted a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio expressing outrage with the hatred being displayed.
They will be hosting a press conference at 12:00 EST on Monday, August 3rd. Registration is required at the following Zoom link: www.tinyurl.com/RamRahim.
The Times Square billboard display is designed to coincide with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, on August 5th, 2020. This event comes 28 years after Hindu extremists demolished Babri Masjid, a 500 year old mosque which stood in the same site where the Ram Temple will now be built.
As diverse, interfaith, and intercultural organizations, they said they believe this propaganda project offers a one-sided view devoid of deeply troubling historical context. The planned display is a deep affront to the Muslim community, whose members were disproportionately killed in communal riots after the demolition of Babri Masjid. The marked day of celebration also coincides with the Indian government’s move to revoke statehood from Jammu & Kashmir, leading to the occupation of the region by Indian troops, long-term detentions of civilians without trial, and severe restrictions on communications.
They ask the members of AIPAC and the officials of the City of New York to recognize that their planned celebration glorifies violence, hatred, and legitimization of a Hindu-supremacist agenda.
They invited people to attend the press conference to learn more about the agenda of American Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) organizations and our work to promote inclusivity and human rights.