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HomeHeadline newsHindu Groups slam Indian-American think tank's panel selection for annual gala

Hindu Groups slam Indian-American think tank’s panel selection for annual gala

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A conflict has arisen between the Indian Americans Hindu Group and Indian American Impact think tank group for the latter’s choice of panellists for the annual gala ‘Desis Decide’. The Hindu group has alleged that two think tank panellists were allegedly involved in attacking Indian-American candidates and officials.

The objection was raised against the panellists from the Indian-American Muslim Council and Hindus for Human Rights. The two-day event ‘Desis Decide’ is set to kick off on Wednesday (15).

Deepak Raj, a prominent Indian-American, is among the co-founders and funders of the Indian American Impact think tank and has gained significant influence in Democratic circles.

In statements issued separately, various Hindu groups voiced their frustration over the invitation extended to individuals and organisations with what they term a “questionable past”. They accused the event of bias and of overlooking the rise of Hinduphobia in the United States.

The groups have alleged that such entities have publicly targeted Indian-American candidates and elected officials who contradict the mission of Indian American Impact.

“Where Impact’s core mission is building Indian-American political presence at all levels, it’s frustrating and confusing that Impact would platform organisations which have publicly attacked Indian American candidates,” said Rajiv Pandit, a board member of the Hindu American Political Action Committee.

Pandit highlighted a range of attacks directed towards Indian-American political figures, including accusations of double standards and xenophobic remarks about dual loyalty.

Notable targets mentioned include Raja Krishnamoorthi, Sri Kulkarni, Shri Thanedar, Niraj Antani, Padma Kuppa, Jenifer Rajkumar, and Bhavini Patel.

Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Punjabi-American elected to New York state office, attended the Sikh Day Parade as the Guest of Honor in New York City. After the event, an image shared by Jenifer Rajkumar where Khalistani flags are seen in the background.

Hindu Action said that the only ‘Hindu’ organisation being invited to ‘Desis Decide’ is a non-profit that targets Democrat members of Congress who speak up for American Hindus.

“You know that there is a problem of anti-Hindu bigotry in sections of the Democrat think-tank,” the HinduACTion, a Hindu group in the US, said.

Moreover, HinduACTion criticized the lack of representation, noting that the only Hindu organisation invited targets Democratic members of Congress who advocate for American Hindus.

Tahir Aslam Gora, the president of the Progressive Muslims’ Institute of Canada, expressed surprise and concern over what he perceives as the gala’s brochure unfairly portraying India and its government. Gora argued that India, under Prime Minister Modi, is committed to inclusivity and the advancement of all communities.

Geeta Sikand, a Hindu activist, voiced disappointment at the absence of genuine Hindu organizations at the summit. She accused the event of bias and neglecting the growing issue of Hinduphobia in the United States.

Sikand stressed the importance of addressing anti-Hindu hate crimes through dialogue, referencing FBI reports indicating a significant increase in such incidents over the past year. She noted that none of the invited organizations have publicly supported HR 1131 or denounced attacks on Hindu places of worship.

The absence of the Hindu American Foundation, CoHNA, and Hindu Action from the summit’s guest list drew further criticism from Sikand, who highlighted the exclusion of voices representing Hindu advocacy.

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