The Coalition seeks to highlight massive human rights abuses of the Hindu nationalist organisations in India and the pernicious threat of their front organisations operating in the US
NEW YORK — The Coalition to Stop Genocide in India, a broad coalition of Indian Americans and US-based civil rights organisations and activists will hold a massive protest at Times Square on Wednesday evening in response to a celebration of the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya where the 16th Babri Masjid stood once.
The celebration, reportedly organised by an entity that calls itself the American India Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), seeks to glorify the demolition of the historic Babri Mosque in India, on whose ruins the temple is going to be built.
The Coalition to Stop Genocide in India includes dozens of organisations, including Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Coalition Against Fascism in India, Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), Boston Coalition, Organization for Minorities in India (OFMI), South Asia Solidarity Initiative, Ambedkar Association of North America (AANA), Ambedkar King Study Circle (AKSC), Council for Minority Rights in India (CMRI) and North American Indian Muslim Association (NAIMA).
“We strongly reject such a vulgar celebration of hate, bigotry and chauvinism, and call upon all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with India’s religious minorities,” IAMC President Ahsan Khan said.
“It is unfortunate that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who seized power by fanning Islamophobia and hatred for non-Hindus and has tacitly encouraged violence against minorities, has finally put his stamp on taking India back to the medieval ages when destruction of places of worship and mass murder of faith-based communities was the order of the day,” added Khan.
Advocating for their own “religious freedom” in the US, these bigots are doing everything possible to turn India into a majoritarian Hindu state that relegates Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities to the status of second-class citizens. People of conscience need to protest the event in New York, because it is not a celebration of faith but a celebration of virulent hate and bigotry.
“The celebration of the Ram temple by the Hindutva brigade and its Indian-American followers is a celebration of power: the power to hate and hurt with impunity, to aggressively gloat over Indian Muslims and all others who cherish our secular pluralistic culture, ” said Ms. Ania from Coalition Against Fascism in India (CAFI).
“Choosing August 5 to do so is a new act of aggression against Kashmiris. We reject this cynical use of religion to entrench hate and kill Indian democracy,” added Ania.
Jawad Mohammed, General Secretary of IAMC said, “Hindutva supremacists in India are akin to the Ku Klux Klan in the US. The Ram temple in Ayodhya is born out of their criminal acts. This bigoted celebration of hate in the US is an affront to American values and emboldens Hindutva extremists to advance their supremacist agenda in the US.”
The fact that the Ram temple ceremony in India is happening on August 5 is inflammatory as well, as it is the one year anniversary of the revocation of Article 370 in Kashmir, which has led to the world’s longest and most brutal lockdown, causing untold human suffering in the region.
The protest is also intended to highlight the human rights violations by India’s Hindu nationalist government, such as the legislation of the anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act, the pogrom against Muslims in New Delhi in February led by goons of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the arrests of thousands of innocent activists merely for exercising their democratic right to protest the draconian citizenship law.
The Coalition to Stop Genocide in India is committed to ensuring that American institutions and discourse are safeguarded from the virulent Hindutva ideology. To that end, the coalition will continue to expose Hindutva front organisations in the US and their role in normalising the human rights abuses and religious freedom violations in India.