Category Archives: Uncategorized

Holi Against Hindutva – South Asian Activism And The Peddling Of Hinduphobia

About a month or so ago, a friend of mine sent me a Twitter message from Holi Against Hindutva, a campaign started by students at Yale University, along with support from outside groups. The fact that this group (now called Students Against Hindutva) was using the Hindu festival of Holi “against” something got me curious. Given my background in uncovering the machinations of anti-Hindu groups, an alarm bell naturally went off. How are a bunch of 19-20 year-olds able to garner visibility in major Indian media and many US outlets, able to organize events in several major universities (usually, logistics and money are major headaches), and how are they able to brainwash well meaning kids into weaponizing their festivals to promote hate against their community? Who was organizing this and why?

My whole website and research has been dedicated to methodically uncover various anti-Hindu groups in North America and in other locations. So Holi Against Hindutva was certainly intriguing.

Hindu Symbols For Political Propaganda

The fact that a group is using a popular and sacred Hindu festival for political propaganda is problematic in itself. While these groups are “South Asian,” their targets are almost always India and Hinduism. Facts are exaggerated, incidents are hyped up and truth is stretched to give birth to wild theories and “evidence” that show India and Hinduism as fascist oppressors of minorities and women. Documented brutalities against minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries are ignored. One would barely see any protests, teach-ins, Twitter storms, etc. being done for Hindu and Sikh girls who are kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan, or for the persecuted minorities of these countries. Similarly, atrocities and the ethnic cleansing of Kashmir Hindu Pandits is entirely dismissed or brushed off under the propaganda of “Free Kashmir.”

The end results of such selective activism are venomous, with irresponsible US politicians, academics and our own fellow Hindus peddling this propaganda wholesale.

Against Hindutva and not Hinduism?

Holi Against Hindutva and the various anti-Hindu groups consider Hinduism as an oppressive and fascist Image may contain: 8 peoplereligion, and hide their real target under the label of “Hindutva.” – Hinduism and India. While they keep screaming that they are against “Hindutva” and not Hinduism, the below analysis (including the Holi Against Hindutva campaign) proves otherwise.

Many newspaper outlets and blogs have already shown examples of how Hindu symbols have been denigrated by such anti-Hindu activists and groups. For example, at a now famous protest, activists in Bengaluru used the sacred Hindu symbol of “Om” to resemble a Nazi Swastika, with profane word “F*** Hindutva” proudly written above and below (see image on the right).

Take another example – In a series of protests against CAA/NRC, people from the San Francisco Bay Area, to Maharashtra, India and West Bengal, India, linked the cow (revered by a majority of Hindus) to these protest by holding signs saying “The cow ate my documents…so I ate the cow. One need not be a genius to figure out the blatant denigration of another Hindu religious symbol in these pictures and protests. While they could have used other phrases or symbols, they deliberately chose the cow knowing very well of its importance to Hindus.

Cow documents

Amit Shah Brahma

In another instance, the picture on the right is a drawing by another leftist activist, portraying India’s Home Minister Amit Shah, Hitler and Mussolini as the Hindu deity Brahma. Note the Jewish and Hindu symbols on their hands as well.

Finally, another “Hindutva” image shows India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a pig’s face. Upon closer examination, we can see blatant use of Hindu sacred symbols.  The sacred symbol Om is on the character’s pocket, while the sacred symbol of Trishul (trident) with the Hindu religious flag is behind the character.

 

Image may contain: one or more people

It seems that these activists cannot say anything without smearing Hindu symbols, deities and festivals. Such is the deep hatred of Leftist activists who are behind the CAA/NRC protests. One can only imagine the backlash had the tables been turned and had Hindus used sacred symbols of other religions for their political purposes.

Thus, when these South Asian activists and campaigns like Holi Against Hindutva use sacred Hindu deities, symbols and festivals to advance their politicking, it is not some innocent attempt to bring about unity and solidarity but an outright insult to Hindus and Hinduism.

Using Jihadists as the face of resistance?

Interestingly, the “Open Letter” page of Holi Against Hindutva uses a shot from the protest at Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi. The woman at the center of the image is Ladeeda Sakhaloon, one of the most controversial figures of the CAA/NRC protests.

HAH_Ladeeda

On December 11, 2019, Sakhaloon posted a controversial message on her social media page, calling for “Jihad” along the lines of historic battles fought by Muslims with the intervention of Allah.

Once again, could you imagine the backlash, had a Hindu organization put an image of a Hindu inciting war against minorities based on some Hindu historical incident? Yet, the South Asian activists get away with such outright display of hatred.

Key players behind Holi Against Hindutva

Interestingly, no major Hindu organization (student or otherwise) has joined this anti-Hindu coalition. The list (which has been amended cleverly to mask certain players) includes mostly South Asian groups with skewed views of Hinduism and India, Muslim organizations, radical leftist groups, etc., with half-baked knowledge about Hinduism and India. Initially, when the site was started, the list of organizers included mostly Muslims students and a few “Hindu” students (list has now been removed). It is now replaced by the various groups endorsing Holi Against Hindutva. As a rough count (as of March 4, 2020), there are 17 South Asian organizations, 10 Muslim organizations, 2 Sikh organizations and about 10 “other.” The count doesn’t include a category called “student of,” where a handful of students from a university decided to endorse the campaign. Furthermore, it is disturbing to see that Muslim students are endorsing such hatred. I am sure they would call out Islamophobia had some group or coalition used Muslim symbols and texts to peddle hatred and advance political propaganda.

However, one must ask again – can a bunch of 19 year-olds mobilize nationwide events and campaigns, be featured in prominent newspaper outlets and channels, etc.? Who are the puppet masters using the shoulders of pretty and innocent faces to fire the gun and how have they radicalized these youth into self-hating Hindus?

1) Equality Labs

Equality Labs is a South Asian organization (and the brainchild of Dalit activist Equality Labs Smash Brahmincal PatriarchyThenmozhi Soundararajan) whose sole focus has been to demonize Hinduism via the lens of race, caste, gender and minority atrocities. It aims to show that Hinduism = Casteism = Racism, a line of thinking popular among many South Asian groups such as the Forum of Inqualabi Leftists, South Asia Solidarity Initiative, Sadhana, Indian American Muslim Council, etc. It projects Hindus in India as angry, casteist mobs, killing minorities on a daily basis, as well as Hindus in the US as supporters of such violence. For them, “religion oppressed minorities” in South Asia only include those who are supposedly oppressed by Hinduism; thus, their activism is selectively directed towards India under the thin veil of South Asia. Equality Labs is aggressively engaged in numerous attempts to subvert and influence the discourse on India and Hinduism on campuses, in mainstream media and in popular opinion.

In May 2019, Equality Labs and Soundararajan, along with the South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT), held the first congressional briefing on caste, hosted by none other than Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. The objective was to “highlight the growing problem of caste in the United States.” In the press release, Soundararajan proudly claimed this event to be “a historic briefing because it is the first time Caste discrimination in the United States is being acknowledged and being openly discussed by Congressional staffers.” The report and briefing provided half-baked truths about Hinduism and India, focusing only on “Hindu atrocities” while ignoring the plights of minorities in other parts of South Asia or that caste is practiced by Sikh, Muslim and Christian communities in South Asia.

Equality Labs is also heavily involved in the recent anti-India protests around the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), with hyperbolic claims of “genocide” against Muslims as a result of the Indian government’s decisions. To illustrate its handiwork, consider the following –

  • In the “Stop Genocide In India” section on its website, Equality Labs declares: “The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a dangerous Indian law [which] threatens to drive 1.4 billion people deeper into the grips of casteist and religious nationalism.” Similarly, its handout on CAA has explosive claims, such as “In India, it is Hindus versus everyone else. Muslims are seen as infiltrators and invaders, while Dalits and tribals are branded as urban-Naxals and anti-nationals.” Further in the handout, Equality Labs states: “In India, Muslims and caste oppressed communities are marked by their last names, who they worship, the clothing they wear, where they live, whether they eat meat, and where they live.” Finally, the handout claims that India is at the 8th stage of genocide (out of the 10 stages in its handout) – “beginnings of murders, theft of property, and trial massacres” – thus, portraying an essentially Nazi state entering the final stages of genocide.
  • Equality Labs has also created a “Organizing Against Hindu Fascism Toolkit.” The toolkit is replete with dangerously inaccurate claims about Hindus and India. For example, it declares that “Hindu fascists justify racist domination and superiority through the oppressive system of caste.” Similarly, it claims: “Hindutva promotes a common culture rooted in Brahminical traditions that present a hierarchy of castes and oppressive upper caste domination as ‘natural.’ The emphasis on Hindu dharma as the moral code asserts caste duties and roles as governing society and economy, and is used to exert control over Dalit Bahujan and Muslim lives and labor.” Hence, Equality Labs cleverly mixes racial theories with inaccurate depiction of Hindu practices while conveniently ignoring that the current Prime Minister of India, the current President of India and the current Home Minister of India are all from “lower castes” or are non-Brahmins! The toolkit provides 198 methods of nonviolent methods of resistance, how to effectively use various networks, friends, families, faith group, etc. to spread such information, how to create social media “Twitterstorms,” organize protests and rallies, etc. at various Indian consulates, Indian businesses like Patel Brothers, etc. It also provides education on First Amendment rights, digital security protocols and procedures, etc. It lists sample chants for rallies (e.g. “Casteist, sexist, anti-gay, Narendra Modi, go away”), provides creative posters and ways to take selfies, and also sample tweets for use on social media (some examples – “#CAA was designed to function as a citizenship test for India’s Muslim population of 200 million, creating the world’s largest stateless population. #RejectCAA #RejectNRC”, “India is already building detention centers to illegally detain and torture Muslims. #NRC is our Holocaust. Will we allow this to happen again?”)

Such dangerous propaganda is the cause of massive misinformation and Hinduphobia being spread among students and mainstream, along with lawmakers.

Holi Against Hindutva and Equality Labs

On the surface, and on Holi Against Hindutva’s website, one cannot easily find the connection between the two. However, the below information bring the partnership to surface – in fact, it shows that Holi Against Hindutva is really just a shell used by Equality Labs and other groups to advance their political agenda.

Holi is casteist

The falsity in and the anti-Hindu nature of this campaign is evident when one reads the below snapshot from Holi Against Hindutva’s website. The group claims that Holi is casteist because it celebrates the burning of a lower caste woman – a blatant lie meant to conjure up graphic imagery of angry, casteist Hindu mobs, along with bride burning. It accuses Hindus who celebrate Holi as endorsers of some extremist ideology that wants to drive India’s 200 Million Muslims out.

On March 2, 2020, Equality Labs also wrote a highly pejorative article about why everyone should reject Holi because it endorses casteism. Strange, considering that it uses Holi for its own political agenda. Equality Labs appeals: “If you are serious about caste abolition, and the rights of South Asian Indigenous and religious minorities, you must confront the truths about Holi and work to challenge Brahminical positions on history from the South Asian experience.” It claims that upper caste Hindus have whitewashed the festival for Americans and the western world by showing fun colors, family gatherings, etc. and have erased the “atrocities” associated with caste; that “for centuries, activists and historians from India’s Indigenous communities and oppressed castes have argued that the myths around Holi were deliberately built to hide a violent overthrow and conquest.” It then attempts to provide an “indigenous perspective” of Holi (Equality Labs considers Dalits as the indigenous people of India that were violently suppressed by fair skinned Aryans with their Vedas and castes). It mistranslates the Sanskrit word “Asura” as indigenous people and the Sanskrit word “Deva” as a group of non-indigenous people.

Exposing the twisted logic

This narrative is a classic case of superimposing outdated racial and colonial theories on top of mistranslations to fit a particular hateful agenda. This is a strategy deployed by many South Asian and leftist activists to confuse gullible young minds who are not familiar with Hindu stories, philosophy, etc. and have digested false narratives from the likes of Equality Labs. Anyone familiar with Sanskrit, the Vedas and various Hindu texts, know that they are replete with stories of Asuras and Devas, where each has divine powers obtained by doing penances and yoga. Similarly, Hiranyakashipu (the “indigenous king” of the story of Holi, according to Equality Labs) was the son of sage Kashyap (which would make him a “Aryan” or a “non-indigenous” according to Equality Labs’ twisted logic). Similarly, major Rigvedic deities such as Varuna are Asuras. So, how does Hiranyakashipu become a “indigenous” king who was oppressed by “non-indigenous” foreigner Devas if he was the son of a “non-indigenous” famous sage?

To continue, anyone familiar with the story of Holi knows that Holika (the woman referred by Holi Against Hindutva and Equality Labs above) was the sister of king Hiranyakashipu and thus not a “lower caste” woman. In addition, the fact that the festival itself is named after Holika is an important reminder of the lesson from the whole story – that good will triumph over evil, no matter how powerful or magical the evil is. In addition, the son of Hiranyakashipu (Prahalad) is the hero of the story and one of the most famous characters of Hinduism. Why would “casteist Brahmins” make a “lower caste boy” one of the most famous and revered characters of Hinduism?

This narrative is thus a patent work of Equality Labs, as evidenced from the group’s works and statements and the article above.

The connection

In its decision to reorganize from Holi Against Hindutva to Students Against Hindutva, the group uses the same language as that used by Equality Labs – that Holi has a casteist history which celebrates the burning of a “lower caste” woman, and that Holi Against Hindutva will work on caste abolition and advocacy of “Muslim, Dalit, Bahujan, femme and Advisasi communities.” The snapshot below illustrates this point.

HAH_casteist and equality labs wording

Similarly, Holi Against Hindutva’s March 5th event at Harvard (bottom, right) uses the same language as above and as show in the snapshot from Equality Labs’ website (blue, left).

 

HAH_Equality Labs Wording

In another instance, Holi Against Hindutva (Students Against Hindutva) is seen asking for funds to support Equality Labs and quotes Thenmozhi Soundararajan on the resolution against India passed by the Seattle City Council.

HAH_fundraise Equality Labs

Thus, the above examples show that Equality Labs is one of the main driving forces and the ideological backbone behind Holi Against Hindutva.

2) Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC)

IAMC is listed as one of the signatories on the website of Holi Against Hindutva (cleverly hidden among the various student groups). I had provided significant amount of details on the IAMC and its anti-India activities on my website A House of Cards. IAMC is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States, and was established in August 2002 (after the 2002 Godhra riots in India). While it claims to “…promote peace, pluralism and social justice…,” its activities routinely demonize India and Hindus by exaggerating facts and outright hyperbole. Even more disturbing is the fact that IAMC puts on a farce about Indian patriotism while its founders are known to support Pakistani extremists and glorify jihadists that fight India in Kashmir. A few examples below are worth noting:

  • IAMC’s founding president is Dr. Shaik Ubaid, who demonstrates visceral hatred against India and Hindus. (Note that Ubaid is still active in IAMC and multiple anti-India protests as seen here). To bolster their agenda, Ubaid and IAMC notoriously exaggerated the number of Muslims that died in the 2002 Godhra riots. For example, in 2002, ImanNet (Indian Muslims Alert Network, a division of IAMC), published a brochure titled “Unite to Fight Hindu Fascists,” which contained highly explosive information to incite anger and hatred in a wider audience in mosques and other public spaces.  Among other things, the brochure exclaims: “It is estimated that more than 5,000 Muslims [emphasis added] were hacked to death, burnt alive or shot by police in the Gujarat ethnic cleansing and 2,000 women and little girls [emphasis added] were raped.” Ubaid sent a personal appeal to Muslim media outlets around the world, urging financial help as well as “volunteers to distribute the [above brochure] in their area masjids, churches, schools and stores.” In this appeal, Ubaid exaggerates the situation yet again by declaring: “The fascist forces have plans to ethnically cleanse India of Muslims, Christians and other minorities. In Gujarat they demonstrated the depth of their evil when they massacred 5,000 people, gang-raped and burnt alive little girls. Even unborn babies were not spared.” Such sensational claims mask the truth – the death toll from the Godhra riots was well documented as around 1100 people, which included 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus, not to mention the 59 Hindus that were burnt alive by a Muslim mob, sparking the riots. This is nowhere close to the exaggerated numbers that Ubaid and IAMC continue to peddle.
  • Ubaid has also been associated with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) for many years and was the secretary-general of ICNA as well as the associate editor of ICNA’s newsletter The Message.  ICNA is known for its Islamist views and has been under close scrutiny and criticism for alleged ties to Islamist extremist organizations and individuals around the world. In addition, ICNA has organized several controversial events, invited controversial individuals at its events and glorified terrorists who fight Jihad in places like Kashmir and Chechnya. To illustrate –
    • ICNA’s official website (www.icna.org) is registered to Raza Farrukh, whose farrukh.net is a mirror website of the Media Division of Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamist extremist party of Pakistan. Farrukh is part of Jamaat, which believes in establishing a hard-core Islamic state based on Shariah law and has been known to lend support to the Afghan Taliban and Islamist jihadists.
    • In addition, Jamaat’s old website carried a link to a highly biased and incendiary website on Hinduism by one Abdul Wahid.  This was the sole information available on Hinduism on Jamaat’s website.  Titled “Hinduism: Inside and Out”, the website opens with the following introduction to Hinduism:

It seems that a group of polytheists with a sick fetish for cattle have the audacity to launch an attack against Al-Islam. Yes, the irony is truly there, but these people have brought their own destruction from shirk (polytheism), so it is our duty to bring to light major points about this religion, which currently is oppression 98% of the country of India (as well as other Hindu-majority countries). From the articles that will follow, the reader will be able to easily see how sick of an atrocity Hinduism is upon humanity. If these people would only submit their hearts to Al-Islam and live their lives by the way of Syedna Rasul-e-Akram (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam), they wouldn’t be in half of the predicament they exist in today, with all of their sorrows pointing towards one thing: Hinduism!

    • ICNA’s October 1997 edition of its newsletter, The Message, prominently featured an exclusive interview with Syed Salahuddin Ahmed, the Supreme Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a terrorist organization that advocates a violent armed struggle against India in Kashmir. Ahmed is also on the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) Most Wanted list. In the interview, Ahmed proudly and optimistically describes the success of the Jihadi struggle against India:

The situation by the Grace of Allah, is very optimistic and most encouraging…And by the Grace of Almighty Allah, Kashmiri mujahideen have been vigorously engaging in open combat for the last seven years, resulting in the total loss of 20,000 troops of India, including four big generals, four to five brigadier-colonels (sic), and more than 250 major and captain-ranking people.

IAMC’s biased and hyperbolic stances are not a thing of the past. For example, on February 28, 2020, IAMC tweeted a graphic that illustrated how Delhi’s riots are an anti-Muslim pogrom aided and abetted by the Indian government.

IAMC_Delhi riots graphic

This tactic is similar as the one used to exaggerate claims about the 2002 Godhra riots.  It is now well documented that both Hindus and Muslims died in the Delhi riots and it was nowhere close to a pogrom as IAMC would like us to believe. For over 17 years, IAMC and its coalition partners have been screaming of violent genocide against Muslims. Yet, India’s Muslim population has continued to grow and India is set to become the largest Muslim country in the world by 2060.

In similar vein as above, on March 3, 2020, IAMC tweeted an article which wronglyIAMC_Delhi pogrom expert

portrayed the Delhi riots as the beginning of a state-sanctioned pogrom against India’s Muslims and completely downplayed the number of Hindus killed in the riots – a theme that has been pushed by IAMC, Equality Labs and many others. To them, Hindu lives do not seem to matter. When genuine Hindus call out this bias, they are labeled as “Hindutva extremists” and thus gagged.

3) Coalition Against Fascism in India (CAFI)

Jazzy name indeed. CAFI describes itself as a “a broad, progressive and inter-faith coalition based in the US, comprising citizens concerned with the rise of fascism and Hindutva extremism in India. It is not affiliated with any political party.” However, closer examination of the coalition members reveals interesting facts.

  • CAFI is a new incarnation of Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), a coalition that was set up by IAMC, the Forum of Inqualabi Leftists (FOIL) and various other anti-Hindu groups. Most of the core players in the CAG are still active in CAFI. CAG and CAFI dupe the general public, lawmakers and students by creating false and paper based organizations to create a propaganda of hundreds of groups fighting against a “fascist Hindu government.” The reality, as analyzed in my report on CAG, is very different and shocking.
  • CAFI members, among others, include IAMC, Alliance for a Democratic and Secular South Asia (ASDSA), Hindus for Human Rights (HFHR), India Civil Watch (ICW), International South Asia Forum (INSAF), etc.
  • This group’s members have a history of attacking Hindus and Hinduism for many years, openly supporting secessionism, a bigoted, violent political agenda, and even terrorism.
    • For example, Alliance for Secular and Democratic South Asia (ASDSA) has known ties to individuals who have openly supported the violent Maoist terrorism in India. In 2001, M.V. Ramana, a member of ASDSA, wrote a Hinduphobic article “The Bomb of the Blue God,” juxtaposing the image of Hindu deity Krishna on a bomb and linking the sacred text Bhagavad Gita to violence.
    • Similarly, India Civil Watch’s (ICW’s) key member and spokesperson, Raja Joseph Swamy (alias Raja Harish Swamy) has extensive links to bigots like Kancha Ilaiah who have called Hinduism a “religion of violence.” In fact, he has personally demonized Hinduism as inherently and necessarily oppressive and violent. According to Swamy:

Hindu ‘dharma’ is caste-based; Hinduism is casteism; to be Hindu means to belong to a caste, and not as it is in most religions, to merely subscribe to a set body of beliefs. Hinduism has no universal religious requirements; therefore it is sufficiently open to interpretation along lines that are outrageously oppressive.

    • International South Asia Forum (INSAF) is a sub-group of The Forum of Inqualabi Leftists (FOIL), formed with the help of Montreal based South Asia Research and Resource Center (CERAS). CERAS is also a part of CAFI. One of CERAS’ founders, Daya Varma, was a hardcore Maoist who was proud of his association with the violent Naxalite movement in India. In sharing how he became a Maoist, Varma admitted: “Perhaps because of the Chinese support for Naxalbari armed struggle, I became a Maoist. As a result I got linked to crazy or less crazy Maoists. Even after realizing that many of these outfits were opportunists or reflected juvenile enthusiasm rather than a commitment to revolution, I remained a Maoist[emphasis added].”
    • Another coalition (and founding) member is Hindus For Human Rights (HFHR) – an advocacy organization fighting for the rights of all except of Hindus. It was founded by Sunita Viswanath, who is also the founder of Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus. I have briefly discussed Sadhana’s dangerous views and alliances in this report on the attack on the 2018 World Hindu Congress. HFHR has also endorsed Holi Against Hindutva, applauding its “creative approach and…the youthful energy.” However, the group cleverly masks its true intention behind an innocuous goal of “manavtha (human rights) of all communities from a Hindu perspective.” Apparently, Hindus are not important – the organization almost exclusively fights for the rights of others religious groups and demonizes the Indian government in all sorts of ways (see their blog here, with not a single human rights tear for Kashmiri Hindus, Pakistani Hindus, Bangladeshi Hindu, Rohingya Hindus, etc.). To show its hypocrisy, consider this – On January 31, 2020, it applauded and endorsed Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s Resolution (HRes745) on Kashmir. In its endorsement, HFHR remarked that “there is an urgent need for the United States and the rest of the world to keep up the pressure on India to take meaningful steps to ease the suffering of the Kashmiri people.” January 2020 also marked the 30th Anniversary of the brutal ethnic cleansing of about 400,000 Kashmir Hindus. Yet, HFHR completely ignores these Hindus in advocating for end to the “suffering of the Kashmiri people.” Are Kashmiri Hindus not true Kashmiris? Do Hindu lives not matter? Similarly, on December 12, 2019, HFHR, along with the IAMC, cosponsored a congressional briefing where speaker Dr. Gregory Stanton warned the attendees that “preparation for a genocide is definitely underway in India,” in order to influence US lawmakers to act against India. Continuing with HFHR’s biased advocacy – one of its board members is Raju Rajagopal, the founder of another West Coast based leftist subgroup (EKTA/Coalition Against Communalism). Rajagopal and EKTA used to host the websites of other leftist member groups and subgroups that were created by the FOIL. Rajagopal actively opposed Hindu parents in the 2005 6th Grade California Textbook Controversy, which depicted Hinduism in a pejorative way vis-a-vis other major world religions. Rajagopal argued that such views were important, because “…exposing our children to India’s vibrant pluralistic and ‘argumentative’ traditions, and encouraging classroom discussions on the legacies of racism, caste and gender bias, will serve them better as future citizens, whether of the US or of India.” That may be true in higher grade classroom or a college-grade classroom; however, such “healthy discussions” do not happen in 6th grade classes in the US. Instead, the Hindu/Indian kids only sit with their heads down in utter dismay and feelings of inferiority, and may come home crying about how embarrassed they are to be a Hindu. Rajagopal should perhaps avail himself to giggles and other snide reactions of non-Hindus by sitting in the 6th grade class! Such views are also endorsed by Viswanath and Sadhana, when they supported the campaign against Hindu parents. Sadhana’s members have also taken the story of Ramayana out of context to fit their political agendas. To illustrate, one of the “anonymous” members of Sadhana wrote a blog reinterpreting the story of Sita’s Agnipariksha (test by fire) through skewed lens of feminism and marginalization. In the blog entry, she calls Rama “a god king [who] isn’t grown-up enough to simply ignore idle gossip after the first trial…” and then goes on to declare: “Because all the Sitas are also fresh out of fucks, and we want a lot more than a safe space away from sorry kings. We want an end to the slut-shaming. We want the justice system, in its required adherence to evidence to stop policing and punishing women more than it ever upbraids or holds men accountable.” Such dangerous juxtaposition is how organizations like Sadhana, Equality Labs and others confuse young Hindus in the name of feminism, gender equality, racism, and social justice.

In conclusion, the above analysis bring to light a few things. First, Holi Against Hindutva (Students Against Hindutva) is a anti-Hindu organization openly denigrating a sacred Hindu festival by mistranslating its stories and true meaning to advance its own political propaganda. Secondly, it accuses all Hindus who celebrate Holi of being violent, casteists, misogynists, and racists based on obfuscated caricatures of Hindu deities, practices and symbols. In doing so, its real targets are India and Hinduism, and not “Hindutva.” Third, while Holi Against Hindutva has students groups, the real puppet masters are the likes of Equality Labs, Indian American Muslim Council, Hindus For Human Rights, and many others who exhibit a severe disdain for India and Hindus, and are known for their biased activism. These groups and activists exaggerate numbers, cook up facts and create fake groups in order to accomplish their objectives. In doing so, they deceive lawmakers, the media, the mainstream public and gullible young minds, and radicalize them against India and its majority religion (Hinduism). Under the rubric of South Asia, only India and Hinduism are criticized, while atrocities committed against Hindu minorities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, etc. are completely ignored. For them, “Free Kashmir” is a slogan that excludes the hundreds of thousands of indigenous Kashmiri Hindus who have historical links going back to over five thousand years. For them, the intersectionality of caste, gender, race, etc. only apply to India and Hinduism, and not to other South Asian countries or major South Asian religions like Islam and Christianity.

Imagine the impact on young Hindus – will they have a safe space on campuses to proudly celebrate their festivals, observe their traditions, voice their concerns for the community, etc. without being labeled as “Hindutva extremists,” without being subject to racial attacks or without being accused of Islamophobia? How are universities allowing such blatant Hinduphobia in the name of “free speech” while they vehemently protect other communities from Islamophobia or anti-Semitism?

New Report – A House of Cards: Coalition Against Genocide and the Politics of Deception

Over the last four years since I started this small website and blog, I have learnt a a great deal about the activities, strategies and motivations of the nexus of anti-Hindu and anti-India elements. The Indian American community has sparsely challenged or analyzed such elements and nexuses and has always been on the receiving end of the attacks.

Therefore, on the occasion of Mr. Narendra Modi’s Prime Ministerial visit to the US and as a humble tribute to the people of India, I am happy to release an
Investigative Report on the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG).  The 
report – A House of Cards: Coalition Against Genocide and the Politics of Deception as well as the website http://www.ahouseofcards.net is an effort to research each of the
constituent members of the coalition as well as their religious, political
and ideological leanings.

It is important to note that members of the CAG have formed a new group called the Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), sponsored by South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI), which is in turn sponsored by the SINGH (Secular India’s National Growth and Harmony) Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Forum of Inquilabi Leftists (FOIL).  I talked about SINGH a few years ago here.   In addition, the AJA contains members of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) such as Shaik Ubaid (the founding President of IAMC and the founding member of the CAG) and Khalid Azam  Finally, SASI and therefore AJA itself is run by prominent FOIL co-founder Biju Mathew and FOIL leaders such as Rupal Oza, Prachi Patankar and others.

AJA is the key group protesting outside Narendra Modi’s speech at the Madison Square Garden in New York on September 28, 2014.

I trust that this report would be beneficial to public policy makers, elected officials, regulators, community leaders, media and the general public, and implore the Indian, Indian American and the American Hindu communities to take appropriate action in order to address the falsities and prejudice highlighted through the report.


Executive Summary:

In 2005, Mr. Narendra Modi, then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was denied visa to enter the United States on grounds of intense lobbying by a group of individuals and organizations known as the Coalition Against Genocide – “CAG”. CAG alleged that Mr. Modi had a hand in the 2002 Godhra Riots and the “genocide” of minorities, specifically Muslims, in Gujarat. These allegations were never proven, and in 2014, Mr. Modi was cleared by none other than the Supreme Court of India; since then, won a landslide, historic victory to become the Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world.

Similarly, on September 27, 2013, the Council for a Parliament of World Religions (CPWR) withdrew its participation from an event organized by Hindus in Chicago to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary. This decision was also heavily influenced by the CAG. Congratulating CPWR on its decision, Raja Harish Swamy, a spokesperson for the CAG, declared:

CAG is a broad alliance of over 40 organizations, representing a diverse cross-section of the religious and political spectrum of the Indian diaspora, including several Hindu organizations. CAG spokespersons speak on behalf of the entire coalition, and not in their individual capacity or on behalf of a subset of constituent organizations. Any attempt to couch the controversy as a Hindu-Muslim issue is a serious mistake.[1]

This report is an investigative analysis of the CAG and challenges the coalition’s claim in the above paragraph, utilizing publicly available data gathered over the past eight months (including, but not limited to tax records and state filings, member websites, Facebook pages, email groups, books and articles by scholars and coalition members, ethnic and international media coverage, etc.). It analyzes the constituent members of the coalition as well as their religious, political and ideological leanings, establishing that some of these organizations have been run by the same individuals for the past 20 to 30 years and that many of these organizations are now defunct or exist mainly on paper.

Secondly, the report demonstrates that many of these organizations, groups and individuals have supported and actively support jihadists and separatists, along with anti-American and anti-Indian activities and agents.  Operating under the rubric of South Asia, they disproportionately deprecate India and Hindus as “neo-fascist oppressors” while remaining relatively mild (or even totally silent) in their criticism of Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as the Muslim majority populations of these countries. Whereas they advocate strongly for the Muslim and Sikh victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots and the 1984 Delhi riots respectively, such advocacy is silent for the Hindus who died in these riots along with Hindus in Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  As part of such portrayals, they widely produce and propagate atrocity literature with exaggerated statements and half-truths to portray India as a cesspool of problems ripe for international intervention or even balkanization.

And finally, the report demonstrates a severe anti-Hindu prejudice via the words and actions of the coalition members and their supporters.

Key Findings:

First, CAG is deceiving the regulators, media and the general public by inflating or maliciously falsifying the number of organizations in the coalition. The 40 organizations or groups forming the core of the CAG can be summarized as follows:

  • 17 organizations are affiliated with the Forum of Inquilabi Leftists (FOIL). Either they are directly a part of FOIL or are run by FOIL members.
  • 6 organizations are affiliated with the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC). Here, prominent IAMC members run these organizations.
  • 3 Hindu sounding organizations are run directly by Shrikumar Poddar, the most active Hindu representative of the CAG, and are purely Paper-based.
  • 14 Organizations are Defunct, while 7 Organizations are Questionable in their existence.

Note:  Some of the groups can be a combination of the above. For example, Youth Solidarity Summer (YSS), South Asian Collective (SAC) and Association of South Asian Progressives (ASAP) are all defunct organizations that are part of or affiliated with FOIL.

Second, CAG members are engaged in a wide range of anti-American and anti-Indian political activities and causes.

  • For example, Shaik Ubaid, the founding President of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC),[2] was also the Secretary General and a longtime member of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)[3] as well as the associate editor of ICNA’s newsletter The Message.[4] ICNA’s official website (icna.org) is registered to Raza Farrukh,[5] whose http://farrukh.net was a mirror website of the Media Division of Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamist extremist party of Pakistan.[6] ICNA is known for lending support to and deriving inspiration from the Islamist extremist party of Pakistan – the Jamaat-e-Islami[7], who believes in establishing a hard-core Islamic state based on Shariah law and has been known to lend support to the Al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban and Islamist Jihadists.[8]  Furthermore, ICNA’s October 1997 edition of its newsletter, The Message, prominently featured an exclusive interview with Syed Salahuddin Ahmed, the Supreme Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a terrorist organization that advocates a violent armed struggle against India in Kashmir. Ahmed is also on India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) Most Wanted list.[9]  Similarly, in the December 1997 edition of The Message, ICNA openly glorified Jibril Abu-Adam (born Lawrence Nicholas Thomas) as a ‘shaheed’ (martyr) in the name of Jihad in Kashmir. Abu-Adam, who trained at terrorist camps in Pakistan, was killed in a skirmish in Kashmir along with other terrorists who had crossed over from Pakistan. The newsletter stated: “It is quite evident that Jibril’s struggles were motivated by devotion to Allah (SWT). Clear signs that the conflict in Kashmir is jihad are numerous.”[10]
  • Angana Chatterjee, a key member and spokesperson of FOIL, Friends of South Asia (FOIL) as well as the Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (CSFH), is known for her close collaboration with Ghulam Nabi Syed Fai. On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US arrested Fai on charges of being an agent of ISI, the Pakistani spy agency, involved in a “decades-long scheme with one purpose – to hide Pakistan’s involvement behind his efforts to influence the US government’s position on Kashmir.”[11]
  • Daya Varma, the founder of Center for Study and Research in South Asia (CERAS) as well as the Secretary of International South Asia Forum (INSAF), openly admitted to his admiration for the Naxalite Movement and China’s support for the movement. He declared:

Perhaps because of the Chinese support for Naxalbari armed struggle, I became a Maoist. As a result I got linked to crazy or less crazy Maoists. Even after realizing that many of these outfits were opportunists or reflected juvenile enthusiasm rather than a commitment to revolution [emphasis added], I remained a Maoist.”[12]

  • Similarly, the Indian Progressive Study Group of Los Angeles (IPSG-LA), a defunct CAG Member, was founded by Hardial Bains, founder and national leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) (CPC-ML) and the President of the People’s Front of Canada.[13] In 2005, Raj Mishra and Rajesh Gopalan of AIPSG/IPSG wrote an extensive post on the Charcha blog, marking the 80th anniversary of the Communist movement in India.[14]In it, they seek inspiration from the Communist Ghadar Party of India (CGPI), which is a far-left political party of India (not to be mistaken with the Ghadar Party, formed by Indian Revolutionaries in the US). AIPSG/IPSG is also a supporter of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and draws its ideological inspiration from that party’s actions, such as the Naxalite movement. The party’s blog features a translation of a piece written on September 4, 1969, by party leader and ideologue Charu Majumdar and deems the party as the party of armed struggle based on Mao Tse-Tung’s and Stalin’s thoughts and works.[15]
  • According to North Carolina State records, World Tamil Organization (WTO), another coalition member, is registered by Thani K. Cheran[16] and he is the current Treasurer.[17] Cheran was also the President of the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North American (FetNA) in 1993[18] and is also a Life Member of FetNA.[19] On February 4, 2011, India Post carried a scathing article exposing FeTNA’s links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), deemed as a terrorist organization by the governments of the United States and India. On Thani Kumar Cheran, the paper noted:

Earlier, another Fetna leader, Dr. Thani Kumar Cheran of Raleigh, North Carolina, was stopped at Chennai International airport on his arrival from the US and prevented from entering after his visa was revoked on arrival. He was a strong supporter of LTTE and organized many fund raisers to help the militant organization headed by [the] late Velupillai Prabakaran in the 1990s [emphasis added].[20]

  • In 2002, John Dayal, a key member of the advisory board of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA)[21], along with Joseph D’Souza, considered “a champion of Indian Christians”[22] by FIACONA, supplied atrocity literature to Congressman Edolphus Towns in his testimony to the US Congress. Citing information supplied by AICC, Towns recommended the following:

Given these activities, it is time to strike a blow for freedom by suspending all American aid to India [emphasis added] until it respects all human rights for all people and by supporting an internationally monitored vote on independence for Christian Nagaland, for Punjab, Khalistan, for Kashmir (which it promised in 1948) [emphasis added], and for all the other nations seeking their freedom. These are very moderate measures [emphasis added], Mr. Speaker, but they are measures that can go a long way to help promote real freedom and democracy in South Asia.[23]

Similarly, in 1998, Towns appealed to the US Congress to declare India a terrorist state, based again on numbers provided by certain “human right groups.”[24]

Third, CAG members exhibit a severely anti-Hindu prejudice as demonstrated in several sections of the report.

  • In July 1997, FOIL’s Biju Mathew and Chris Chekuri interviewed Kanch Ilaiah in the November 1997 edition of its newsletter Ghadar.[25] FOIL prominently highlighted and endorsed the following comments made by Ilaiah in the interview:

Hinduism is a religion of violence. All Hindu gods killed their enemies and became heroic images. This is the only religion in the world where the killer becomes god. Whom did they kill? From Brahma to Krishna, those who were killed were Dalit bahujans. Now these images and the stories and narratives and everything is out there in the civil society. Now, because of this, the consciousness of worshipping the killer or worshipping violence did not give any space for human rights.[26]

  • Vinay Lal, a key spokesperson for the Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (CSFH)[27] and a longtime member of FOIL,[28] acknowledged that “the Marxists have long subscribed to the view that Gandhi was a ‘romantic’, a hopeless idealist and even hypocrite.”[29] Lal questions Mahatma Gandhi’s company of women and then falls just short of labeling him a homosexual. He declares:

The vow of brahmacharya did not preclude, as it has for reformers and saints in Indian religious traditions, the company of women; indeed, Gandhi adored their presence and reveled in their touch…[Mirabehn’s] correspondence has a touch of the erotic…She was by no means the only woman with whom Gandhi enjoyed a platonic relationship…Many of his male friendships are equally interesting; for example, he may also have been attracted to Hermann Kallenbach, a wealthy Jewish architect who would become one of Gandhi’s earliest patrons and closest friends.[30]

  • In 2008, Satinath Choudhary, one of the National Co-Coordinators for NRI’s for Secular and Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI) made unsubstantiated and bizarre views about terror attacks in India. On November 4, 2008, Choudhary, in response to Khalid Azam of IAMC (and a coordinator for CAG), declared:

Ever since the Gujrat (sic) carnage my position has been that most of the terrorist acts in India are likely to have been done by the Sangh Parivar [emphasis added], as they happen to derive maximum political mileage out those acts. I firmly believe that the Godhra train was burnt by the Sanghies, and most of the other acts of terror were perpetrated by them [emphasis added].[31]

[1] See CAG’s Press release titled “CAG welcomes CPWR’s reaffirmation of its dissociation with ‘World Without Borders’ event”, September 27, 2013, http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/press/cag.pr.27sep2013.php.  Accessed January 30, 2014

[2] The “Confirmed Speakers” list in the following brochure of IAMC’s first convention lists Ubaid as the “Founding President of IAMC and IMANNET: http://iamc.com/files/2003convention_flier.pdf.  Accessed January 3, 2014

[3] See the following New Article in the Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/new-moon-begins-islam-holy-month-article-1.766434 . Accessed January 3, 2014

[4] See Interview of Shaik Ubaid in October 1995 Edition of The Message archived at the following link: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/689.pdf. Accessed January 4, 2014

[5] http://pir.org/domains/org-domain/?domain=icna&submitted=results&random=6rt5l8us4pmqwxm8b9z781yp97jo7533nnxyliig&password=wbwrph#domain_form.  Accessed January 4, 2014

In addition, a Wayback Machine Archive search of ICNA’s old website also mentions Farrukh Raza as in charge of the web development team – https://web.archive.org/web/19990221161632/http://www.icna.com/team.html.  Accessed January 4, 2014

[6] See the screenshots #5 and #6 retrieved by Americans Against Hate.org at http://www.americansagainsthate.org/HamasDonorICNA.htm. Accessed January 3, 2014

[7] ICNA considers Jamaat one of the Great Movements of the past century, according to the following snapshot of ICNA’s January 2000 Editorial The Message, declaring: “The movement of Jama’at-e-Islami ranks among the foremost movements for Islamic revival in the contemporary world.”  Accessed January 3, 2014

[8] “Jamaat e Islami – The Mother of Al Qaeda Terrorist Network”, November 22, 2013, http://jafrianews.com/2013/11/22/jamat-e-islami-the-mother-of-al-qaeda-terrorist-network/.  Accessed September 25, 2014

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIA_Most_Wanted. Accessed January 3, 2014

[10] Ama F. Shabazz, “Action Speak Louder Than Words”, The Message, December 1997, p. 32, pages archived at http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/348.pdf. Accessed January 3, 2014

[11] Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt, “Pakistan’s Military Plotted to Tilt U.S. Policy, F.B.I. Says”, July 19, 2011, The New York Times, online edition, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/us/politics/20agent.html. Accessed January 9, 2014

[12] Bose, ibid

[13] Ibid

[14] Raj Mishra and Rajesh Gopalan, “Eighty Years of Communism in India”, December 25, 2005, Charcha, http://aipsg.blogspot.com/2005/12/eighty-years-of-communism-in-india.html. Accessed January 18, 2014

[15] “Fight Against The Concrete Manifestations of Revisionism”, February 16, 2013, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), http://cpindiaml.wordpress.com/tag/naxalbari/. Accessed January 19, 2014

[16] See the State Filing at http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/Corp.aspx?PitemId=4805707.  Accessed January 13, 2014

[17] http://worldthamil.org/committee. Accessed January 13, 2014

[18] A list of Past Presidents is available at http://www.fetna.org/index.php/2011-12-22-02-18-20/2011-12-22-02-23-38.  Accessed January 13, 2014

[19] http://www.fetna.org/index.php/membership/life-members. Accessed January 13, 2014

[20] “Indian govt revokes visa of ‘pro-LTTE’ leader”.  February 4, 2011, India Post, http://www.indiapost.com/indian-govt-revokes-visa-of-pro-ltte-leader/.  Accessed January 13, 2014

[21] http://www.fiacona.org/information.php?page=executive. Accessed January 7, 2014

[22] See FIACONA’s “Presidentorial” by President Abraham Mammen, on Saturday, February 4, 2012, at http://www.fiacona.org/information.php?page=special_focus. Accessed January 21, 2014

[23] Towns, ibid

[24] Edolphous Towns, “INDIA SHOULD BE DECLARED A TERRORIST STATE — [FROM THE NEWS INDIA-TIMES, AUG. 14, 1998]”, October 6, 1998, Federation of American Scientists, https://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1998_cr/h981006-india.htm. Accessed January 7, 2014

[25] Vakulabaranam et al, Ibid

[26] Vakulabaranam et al Ibid

[27] Ashfaque Swapan, “IDRF Supporters Dispute Charges, Critics Unimpressed”, India West, January 10, 2003, available at http://stopfundinghate.org/resources/news/011003IndiaWest.htm.  Accessed December 31, 2013

[28] Vinay Lal, “The Cultural Politics of Indian Nuclearism”, http://www.proxsa.org/politics/nonuke/vlal.html.  Accessed December 31, 2013

[29] Vinay Lal, “The Sexuality of a Celibate Life”, May 5, 2011, http://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/the-sexuality-of-a-celibate-life/, Accessed December 31, 2013

[30] Ibid

[31] See Message # 28564 in the India-Unity Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/india-unity/conversations/messages/28564. Accessed January 19, 2014

Pheku.in – Liars with a Known Anti-Hindu/Anti-India Agenda

A few months ago, some well meaning community members and friends introduced me to a  website called Media Crooks, dedicated to exposing the vicious and intentional lies spewed by many in the Indian Media.  Ravinar, the website’s author, has done a painstakingly excellent job in spotlighting blatantly false reports purported by the likes of Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Nidhi Razdan and many others for popular Media Outlets such as CNN-IBN, NDTV, Times of India, The Hindu, etc.  This has quickly become one of my “go to” websites along with Sandeep’s Rediscovery of India for important research on anti-India and anti-Hindu forces.

So I was on Rediff last week to get a daily dose of some of my Indian news happenings when I spotted a short news article advertising a website called Pheku.in that supposedly exposes “lies” by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.  In Hindi, the word “Pheku” means someone who makes lofty statements, or lies, or a combination of the two.  The website maintains that Narendra Modi is lying about all the development in Gujarat and is therefore unfit to be the next Prime Minister of India.  Well, in a free country and free world, everyone has the right to comment about politicians and about issues that deal with corruption, development, etc.

However, the disturbing thing about this website is that it is the work of no ordinary person or “Aam Aadmi” of India but a creation of some of the most anti-India and anti-Hindu personalities out there!  The information below sheds light on the players behind this website, their agenda/ideological leanings, their current and prior stances and activities, etc.

Heck, it is not even registered in India but in Austin, Texas, to Raja Swamy of FOIL and CSFH!  Below is a snapshot of the website registration derived from WhoIs:

pheku site registration info

So, why do Shabnam Hashmi and the whole gang of so-called “social activists”, with all their crores of funding, not have the courage to host a site in India?  Why does the site need to be in the USA?  It is yet another clear example how such NGOs receive funding and support from outside of India in order to meddle into Indian politics and affairs to “Break India” as Rajiv Malhotra’s book “Breaking India” discusses.

Pheku.in’s Agenda – Bring Down Narendra Modi by Hook or by Crook:

The gang has been at this endeavor since 2002 – bring down Narendra Modi by hook or by crook.  In their hatefilled agenda, they have resorted to the lowest levels of lies, deceits and half-truths in spite of the fact that several Court Decisions, Special Investigation Team findings, etc. have concluded that Narendra Modi did not have a hand in the 2002 Gujarat Riots.

The link here (thanks  to http://teesta-setalvad-evidence.blogspot.in/) shows a handwritten note regarding Teesta Setalvad by the Muslim members of Gulbarg Co-operative Housing Society Limited to the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad, requesting prohibition of NGOs and outsiders entering their society.  Though Teesta Setalvad is not officially affiliated with Pheku.in (yet), it is important to note that Shabnam Hashmi, Harsh Mander and Teesta Setalvad continue to work together to take down Narendra Modi.

But, this crew will not sit until the truth bends their way and somehow, the “evidence” that they peddle becomes the truth.  And, this gang never advocates as loudly for the hundreds of Hindus that also died in Godhra and the subsequent riots as it does for the Muslims.  Nor have they ever advocated for the rights for the hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits that were victims of mass ethnic cleansing and riots.

As Narendra Modi’s popularity continues to increase in India, the gang has now concocted another scheme through Pheku.in.

Pheku.in’s Supporters and Sponsors:

In the “About Us” section of the website, one can find a list of Pheku.in’s backers.  For the sake of convenience, I have produced the list of the cast (as of August 25th, 2013) below:

Amit Sengupta, journalist, Delhi
Arma Ansari, Film Maker, UP
Anjum Rajabali, script writer, Mumbai
Anuradha Chenoy, professor, JNU, Delhi
Apoorvanand, Prof, DU, Delhi
Ashok Vajpaye, poet, Delhi
Avni Sethi, Designer, dancer, Ahmadabad
Azam Khan, entrepreneur, Hyderabad
Biju Mathew, Hyderabad
Cedric Prakash
Dev Desai, social activist, Ahmadabad
Ganesh Devi, Bhasha, Baroda
Gauri Lankesh, Lankesh Patrike, Bangalore
Gautam Thakkar
Harsh Mandar, writer, activist, Delhi
Harvardhan Hegde, Surgeon, Delhi
Indu Kumar Jani, writer, Ahmadabad
Irfan Engineer, social activist, Mumbai
Kalpana Kannabiran, Hyderabad
Kamal Chenoy, Prof JNU, Delhi
Kavita Krishnan,
Kedar Misra, journalist, writer, Bhubaneswar
KM Shrimali, historian, Delhi
KN Panikkar, historian, Trivandram
Lawrence Surendra, Bangalore
Mahesh Bhatt, filmmaker, Mumbai
Mahesh Pandya
Mallika Sarabhai, artist, Ahmadabad
Manan Trivedi, social activist, Ahmadabad
Manisha Trivedi, Social Activist, Ahmadabad
Mansi Sharma, Activist, Ahmadabad
Nandini Sundar
Naseeruddin Shah, actor, Mumbai
Neena Vyas
Noorjahan Diwan, Social activist, Ahmadabad
Parvateesha, Lankesh Patrike, Bangalore
Prakash Shah, journalist, Ahmadabad
Purnima Joshi, journalist, Delhi
Rahul Roy, filmmaker, Delhi
Ram Puniyani, writer, Mumbai
Ram Rahman, designer, photographer, Delhi
Seema Mustafa, journalist, Delhi
Shabnam Hashmi, activist, Delhi
Sukumar Muralidharan, journalist, Delhi
Tanzil Rahman, Delhi
Vani Subramanian, activist, Delhi
Vivan Sundaram, artist, Delhi
Yadavan Chandran, artist, Darpana Academy
Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, Hyderabad
Zakia Soman, BMMA, Gujarat
Zulekha Jabin, Chattisgarh

While some of the names are relatively unknown, many of the usual Hindu baiters and Leftists/Communists along with some high profile personalities have openly endorsed and sponsored this new endeavor.

manufacturing lies to accomplish the Mission:

To prove its point, Media Crooks exposed the intentional lies expounded by Pheku.in, Shabnam Hashmi and the crew.  This is a clear example of how the group works – lie in anyway possible; manufacture or blow up “evidence” to support the lies.

Pheku.in featured two pictures to supposedly “expose” the development work done by Narendra Modi in Gujarat.  For convenience, I have reproduced these pictures thanks to Media Crooks:

Phek site lie 1Phek site lie 2

The above pictures show that the images being used to portray Gujarat are actually from New Delhi and Chennai!

When questioned about these pictures, Hashmi issued an interesting apology, blaming it on her “technical team” because they were not able to find high resolution pictures of developmental problems in Gujarat.

ShabnamH-Apology

Pheku.in’s attempt to paint Narendra Modi as a “Muslim hater” is laden with selective information and deliberate rhetoric.  On August 20th, a Pheku.in article lashes out at Modi by giving one statistic of how the Gujarat Government returned Rs 3 Crore of funds provided by the Central Government for scholarships to minority students.  By parading this one statistic and the rest just rhetoric, Pheku.in’s writers conclude that Modi is communal!

Here is a great analysis by Madhu Kishwar, the founder of Manushi, a popular women’s rights magazine, that provides interviews and statistics about Narendra Modi’s engagement with the Muslim community after the Godhra riots.  In it, Kishwar, who was initially infected with the anti-Modi “virus”, discusses how she changed her mind about Narendra Modi.  She has interviewed many prominent Muslims, including Zafar Sareshwala (who once filed a case against Narendra Modi in the International Court of Justic), Najma Heptullah (the grand-niece of Freedom Fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad) and others to come to her conclusion about Narendra Modi.

Zafar Sareshwala, in his interview with Kishwar, remarked the following upon meeting Modi in London: “Maulana Isa Mansuri was very tough on Modi, but Modi treated him with great respect because the Maulana is a great scholar. Modi kept listening.”  Similarly, when Sareshwala asked Narendra Modi whether he considered 60 Lakh Muslims as part of 5 Crore Gujaratis, he replied: “Of course you are mine. Among the 5 crore Gujratis you are included. When I bring Narmada water into Sabarmati River, do I stop it flowing through Muslim settlement of Juhapura? Who are the biggest beneficiaries of Sabarmati waters near Nehru Bridge?”  In yet another instance, when Kishwar asked whether Sareshwala recorded any video of his conversations with Narendra Modi, he said: “We didn’t record anything because we did not think that the meeting would last two and a half hours, we thought we would only get five minutes. Normally a chief minister or prime minister does not talk to a common man at such length, they only ask them to submit a petition and leave. We spoke with him for two and a half hours, every small detail was discussed.”

Najma Heputallah had this to say about Narendra Modi: “At the height of riots, I got a phone call from the Aga Khan’s office that a colony of Khoja Muslims in the midst of Hindu areas, feared attacks. She phoned Advani who was then the Home Minister in Vajpayee’s NDA government. Advani in turn talked to Modi. Within minutes, Narendra Modi called me and said: ‘Najma ben, please don’t worry. I will personally oversee this and ensure their safety.'”

And Mahesh Bhatt, who is a supporter of Pheku.in, had the following to say about Narendra Modi after the latter offered to meet Bhatt and as many Muslims as Bhatt can bring: “There was a kind of sincerity when the Chief Minister said this, don’t ask me why I say so. The heart listens to a voice and knows that it is a sincere voice, even though it comes from a person who you have taken on in public. I said, thank you for saying that.”

Kishwar shares the following stats she gathered from various media outlets as well as the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court of India:

  • 5000 people were saved from Noorani mosque by Ahmedabad Police
  • 240 persons were saved at Sardarpura in Mehsana district and shifted to safe places
  • 450 lives were saved in Pore and Nardipur villages and shifted to safer places
  • 200 persons were saved in Sanjoli village
  • 1500 persons were rescued from Fatehpura village in Vadodra district
  • 3000 people were saved and shifted from Kawant village

One could go and on with such testimonials.  But, it is sufficient enough to expose the sinister and vicious agenda of Hashmi, Pheku.in and the entire gang.

On a somewhat unrelated note, it is interesting that Biju Mathew (you can read about him here), a known Hindu baiter and one of the founders of FOIL, CSFH and other Leftist/Communist groups, signs his name from Hyderabad.  Mathew is an associate professor at Ryder University in New Jersey and not in Hyderabad.  He may be born there, but he has been living in the USA for a very long time.  Is he attempting to somehow mislead people that the individuals associated with this website are all from India and therefore have some “genuine” concern for their country’s political happenings?

Receiving Christian Missionary Funding:

Shabnam Hashmi, Harsh Mander, KN Pannikar and Ram Puniyani – All four are Trustees of ANHAD (Act Now for harmony and Democracy), an NGO that purports all sorts of lies and half truths about the 2002 Gujarat Riots as well as as other “social activism” issues.  Interestingly, ANHAD  receives funds from Christian Aid, Oxfam India and many other Christian Organizations who are notorious for conversion activities in India under the guise of “social development” and who have spewed substantial venom against Hinduism and Hindus.  According to an April 2013 article by Japan Pathak of Desh Gujarat, ANHAD received foreign donation of Rs 1,65,25,433. Christian Aid donated around Rs 84 lakh in 2010 alone!

Similarly, Harsh Mander’s Centre for Equity Studies (CES) receives substantial sum of cash from organizations such as DAN Church Aid (established by the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church), the Partnership Foundation of Netherlands, Association for India’s Development (AID) (I have written about AID’s dubious activities and positions here), etc.  The Partnership Foundation is a development organization started by Dutch businessmen to provide education and shelter to little girls who have been stranded on streets so that they can get a chance for a better life ahead.  In yet another example of foreign Christian Funding into India, since 2007, the Partnership Foundation has provided funds to Loreta Day Schools in Kolkata.  According to Loreta’s website, “This School is a Catholic Institution under the  management of the Sisters of the Institute of The Blessed Virgin  Mary (Loreto Sisters), which was founded by Mary Ward in the 17th  century…”.

Supporting and Pleading for Terrorists:

Members of this group have a history of sympathizing and pleading for terrorists and jihadists.  There is never such a “sincere” plea for Hindus in any of their writings, even though they parade themselves as “community activists” or “social activists”.  Not one of them has ever waged a serious campaign for the Kashmiri Pandits, the Godhra Train victims and other Hindus that have been subject to extreme cruelty, rape, conversion or other horrors.

In September 2001, Ram Puniyani wrote an article on FOIL’s website on the reasons behind the terrorist attack on the United States.  He essentially sympathizes with the terrorists and concludes that America had it coming.  He praises Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and agrees with his views that “American establishment itself has given encouragement and even sponsored terrorist groups in different countries at different times.”  Interestingly, Puniyani can only find one praiseworthy voice of restraint among all the people and leaders of the world – the Communist dictator Castro.

In the same article above, Puniyani considers the terrorists, Taliban and Al Qaeda as “disadvantaged groups” and opines that “[surely] the present dastardly act of terrorists is a sad reminder that even disadvantaged groups, who are nowhere equal to the might of the most powerful nation can occasionally puncture the high handedness of bullies.”  Thus, according to Puniyani, the attacks of 9-11 are really out of desperation and retaliation against the ‘bully’ United States and have nothing to do with fundamentalist views of Islam.

Similarly, Harsh Mander, Raja Swamy, Shalini Gera (of FOSA, FOIL and CSFH, and a close associate of Biju Mathew, Raja Swamy and Angana Chatterji) and a whole host of them sent a petition (hosted on SACW’s website; SACW is an affiliate of FOIL) in 2007 asking President Abdul Kalam of grant immediate clemency to Afzal Guru, one the people convicted of the 2001 Attack on the Indian Parliament.

Even more disturbing – Harsh Mander and Anuradha Chenoy from the list above along with a 201 others signed a petition (full list available here) floated by Ajmal Kasab’s lawyer Yug Mohit Chaudhary to President of India Pranab Mukherjee(Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani Terrorist that killed scores of people in the 2008 Mumbai Attack).  The petition argued “….keeping Kasab in jail for the rest of his life and treating him like a human being allows for the possibility of him regaining his humanity, repenting his crime and atoning for the harm he has caused…”.  Similarly, it stated: “In the land of Buddha, Mahavira and Gandhiji, let it not be said that there is no place left in our hearts for mercy or that the national conscience can only be satisfied by the killing of Kasab”.  It is appalling and saddening that these people and groups argue with such fervor and lofty philosophical points for a terrorist that was parading around the town killing people ruthlessly and enjoying doing so!  The fact that all of India (save these 203 people and a handful of other sympathizers) was shocked and angered by such blatant attacks and was rightfully seeking to teach a lesson doesn’t matter to these individuals.

Sandhya Jain, in an article here, exposes yet another side of Harsh Mander.  Mander is a member of the Working Group of Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre of UK, according to the Foundation’s website.  This Foundation, (which was determined as one of three “Kashmir Centers” that are linked to the Pakistani ISI during Ghulam Nabi Fai’s arrest – full FBI Affidavit with shocking details is available here), works to pressure British Government’s policies towards India on Kashmir and publishes information that is heavily biased against India while remaining silent on the Pakistani side of Kashmir.  The “attrocity literature” highlighted on the Foundation’s website is entirely against India.  Furthermore, there is no mention about the attrocities against the hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits.

It is also imporant to note that Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was sentenced for two years in prison by the United States for being a Pakistani ISI spy, was also a prominent officer of the Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre according to World Kashmir Awareness Forum’s website.  You can also see Fai sharing a photo with Pakistani PM at a Kashmir Conference on this website.  Similarly, according to an August 2011 article in the newspaper The Hindu, the Foundation ‘helped to fund a trip to Kashmir by Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer; Andrew Griffiths, a Conservative MP; and Simon Danczuk, a Labour MP’.

We see Shalini Gera of FOSA, FOIL and CSFH again showing up on this list to passionately plea for Ajmal Kasab, along with Harsh Kapoor (of SACW, an affiliate of FOIL and Teesta Setalvad) and Colin Gonsalves (of the Magazine, Combat Law, and sympatizer of Naxalite violence).

Pheku.in has dedicated a page to terrorist Ishrat Jahan, who was gunned down in a police encounter.  The page looks like an amateur’s writing and just lists a bunch of rhetoric without citing any reports, evidence, etc.  It then concludes with the following words: “Ishrat is my hero. I have an image of her – her gentle face determined – at the moment of her death.”  The Ishrat Jahan case has been an example of true political motives of the Congress government, which has released the CBI against the country’s Intelligence Bureau, thereby jeopardizing the sanctity of the country’s national security setup.  It is as if a US political party in power releases the FBI against the CIA for mainly political moves.

To make its point on Ishrat Jahan case, Pheku.in (along with many media outlets) conveniently ignores the following piece of news, where the IB Chief, Asif Ibrahim, in a true patriotic manner, speaks out against Congress’ agenda.  “Vehemently opposing the CBI move to chargesheet Kumar Ibrahim has communicated to the office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that CIB has enough evidence to prove that Jahan was a part of a Lashkar-e-Toiba ISI module [emphasis mine] out to kill Narendra Modi and LK Advani and that even David Coleman Headley, an accused in the Mumbai bomb blast case, had pointed this out to the FBI in US during his interrogation.”  The IB Chief’s statement above should itself have the weight to quiet any doubts and let the country’s intelligence framework do its work!  However, until the likes of Hashmi, Mander, Mathew, Puniyani and all the supporters of Pheku.in have it their way, they will continue to peddle theories, half-truths and many other manufactured “evidences”.

In conclusion, Pheku.in is yet another dubious attempt by the anti-India and anti-Hindu nexus and their supporters to malign Hindus and India domestically and internationally.  They don’t care about the human rights and sentiments of Hindus but polarize the country by their vitrolic attacks on the majority community in India.  Their biggest agenda is take down a popular Chief Minister (and a surging Prime Ministerial Candidate) that has been democratically elected again and again since 2002.

Introduction

  • Do you think Hinduism is spiritual fascism?
  • Do you think that the Ramayana is a book of colonizers?
  • Do you agree that the lives of Hindu deities are filled with all kinds of outrageous, deceitful and incestuous acts?
  • Do you think that Hinduism is a religion of violence where the killers have become Gods?
  • Do you think NRIs (non-Resident Indians) are slaves of corporate America that are motivated by issues of exploitation and oppression of “desis” and others in the US?
  • Do you agree that the Patel community of Gujarat sponsored or played a major role in the 2002 riots in Gujarat that killed many Muslims and Hindus?

The Forum of Inqualabi Leftists (FOIL) and its affiliates subscribe to the above views on Hinduism, India and the Hindu diaspora.  FOIL, an organization with deep Communist connections, is a part of a nexus of Indian Communist/Christian Missionary/Islamist organizations that work in tandem to demonize Hinduism and India.  According to them Hinduism has nothing good to offer and Indian society is nothing more than a mishmash of conflicting identities that should not exist together.  All problems of India are due to Hinduism.  Hence, a dire need exists for the West, led by the US, UK and other countries, to intervene in India’s internal matters and ‘emancipate’ the disadvantaged groups.

This site is dedicated to  exposing the malicious intentions of this nexus and has blossomed as a result of the report Forum of Intentional Liars: The Indian Communist/Christian Missionary/Islamist Nexus and Its Anti‐Hindu/Anti‐India Agenda, which was released on July 31, 2011.  You can download the full report in PDF here.

In the report, I illustrate the agenda of such groups as well as the key individuals, organizations and groups that are a part of this nexus.  In what is an extremely disturbing find, organizations such as Asha for Education and Association for India’s Development (AID) are also a part of this nexus and subscribe to a Communist/Marxist ideology.  Under the name of education and development, these organizations work with groups and individuals with known criminal records as well as history of violence (e.g. Naxalites of India).

Similarly, the FBI arrested Ghulam Nabi Fai of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC) on July 19, 2011 for being an agent of the Pakistani spy agency the ISI and for influencing US foreign policy on Kashmir against India (the eye-opening FBI Affidavit is available here).  KAC worked with FOIL and its affiliates like Friends of South Asia (FOSA) and Angana Chatterji  to routinely demonize Hindus, India and its government under “human rights abuses” while completely ignoring the plights of Kashmiri Pandits or the role of Pakistan in Kashmir.

Furthermore, I illustrate that this nexus is busy shaping the worldview on Hinduism and India.  And, it is not a pretty worldview.  Therefore, I urge you to please read the report and share it with all Hindu community members and organizations that you know.

I also welcome any feedback.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and share your thoughts.