US Civil Society Groups Call on Hindu Groups to Disinvite Sadhvi Ritambhara


Ritambhara’s hateful speeches have been described as “the single most powerful instrument for whipping up anti-Muslim violence” in various Indian states.

Press Release

ATLANTA, GA – A coalition of leading multi-faith and civil society organisations have called on the US-based rightwing Hindu groups to denounce anti-Muslim hate and disinvite a Hindu extremist leader from India.

Sadhvi Ritambhara, the leader of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), one of India’s largest Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) organisation described as a “militant religious outfit” by the CIA, has been invited by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) as a speaker for a series of satsangs and pravachans (religious gatherings and discourses) in various US cities including Atlanta. Both groups are the international offshoots of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu supremacist paramilitary organization in India, respectively.

Ritambhara’s hateful speeches have been described as “the single most powerful instrument for whipping up anti-Muslim violence” in various Indian states.

Timeline of Ritambhara’s anti-Muslim hate, bigotry, and violence:

Ritambhara founded Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the VHP, a Hindu supremacist organisation that openly incited and participated in violence against Muslims and Christians. In 1992, in the run-up to the Babri Masjid demolition, her speeches calling for a Hindu war against Muslims were made into audio cassettes and sold across the country. It played a major role in the destruction of the Babri Masjid. The riots that followed the mosque’s demolition saw 2,000 killed, mostly Muslims.

In 2003, the Justice Liberhan Commission, a government-appointed inquiry, indicted her for being among the 68 persons responsible for the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the subsequent slaughter of approximately 2000 innocent citizens.

Ritambhara vilified and demonised Indian Christians. Suggesting that the Christian missionaries were attempting to convert people, she said, “If a single choti or janeu (a Hindu thread) is cut, Christians will be wiped out from the face of India.”

Ritambhara’s student Sadhvi Pragya Singh was arrested for masterminding the 2006 Malegaon Blasts in which 37 people were killed and over 125 injured. Ritambhara vehemently protested Pragya’s arrest.

Over the last three decades, Ritambhara has been invited multiple times by the US-based Hindu rightwing groups to normalize her politics of hate and bigotry among the Indian-American diaspora.


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