A report by Professor Geeta Sikand, a Community Activist and Director of Communication at Americans for Hindus, a bipartisan Independent Political Action Committee.

An ongoing barrage of venomous hate-filled anti-Hindu narratives has led to the epitome of Hinduphobia, hate-mongering, and bigotry in North America. Of note, the Hinduphobia phenomenon is also known by its many cognate terms like Hindumisia, Hindutvaphobia, Hindutvamisia, and Hindudvesha. Pajeet is a racial slur frequently used in social media to target Hindus. 

A multi-faith Congressional Briefing against Hinduphobia was held by the HinduACTion Community, on March 13th, 2024 at Capitol Hill (Exhibit 1-2). Immense gratitude to our multifaith allies Billie Guarino (Meitei Hindu scholar), Se Hoon Kim (geo-journalist), Zeba Mohammad (President, Hazara Foundation, USA), Clifford Smith (Washington DC Director, Mid-East Forum), Puneet Sahani (research scholar), Sundar Iyer (victim of targeted hate), Geeta Sikand (community activist), Richa Gautam (community activist), Jay Kansara (political analyst), Pushpita Prasad (Coalition of Hindus of North America).  Thank you Congressional Rep. Shri Thanedar, Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs, and Congressional Rep. Greg Langsdon for sharing your thoughts. 

A Joint Declaration by Hindu Action Community and Namaste-Shalom Multi-faith Alliance (Exhibit 2). 

Several highlights from the Congressional Briefing on Hinduphobia

Hinduphobia was called out! The presenters highlighted how Hindus are being pummeled in the United States and Canada. Presenters from Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Christian, and Muslim communities called out Hinduphobia. It was a conversation on how Hinduphobia has manifested in the US.

1. Se Hoon Kim, a geo-journalist said, “More than ten Hindu students have lost their lives recently without so much as a mention in the US media.” 

2. Suhag Shukla, Executive Director of Hindu American Foundation said “Complacency and Unfamiliarity contribute to the rise in Hindu hate crimes.” 

3. Tejal Shah, Executive Director of Hindu Temple Empowerment Council (Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America) stated, “More than six Hindu temples were brutally vandalized over six weeks in California just two months ago.” Yet, there is no coverage in the media.

4. Puneet Sahani, Sikh American Human Rights Defender and scholar whose research focuses on the evolution of Sikh identity & Khalistani terrorism. Puneet presented the “Profile of the perpetrators and larger geopolitical concerns.” 

5. Geeta Sikand, a community activist, presented the ‘Challenges of Representation in the Media.’ She attributed it to journalistic malpractice by the ‘so-called’ mainstream media. Vitriolic hate-filled anti-Hindu narratives have become rampant in the US media outlets attributed to cultivated misrepresentation. Journalistic malpractice includes: 1) Devious projection of Hindus as oppressors, 2) Malicious subversion of the findings from well-respected studies that India is a successful pluralistic democracy (2021 Pew study Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation), 3) Rampant journalistic malpractice evidenced by the western media’s refusal to engage with Hindus about their Hinduphobia concerns, 4) Western media’s distinctly inhospitable attitude to airing the criticisms/rebuttals submitted by Hindus in response to venomous hate filled anti-Hindu articles and  5) Media observes a deafening silence when requested to invite authentic Hindu scholars to write about Hindus. It’s like having a conversation about us but without us. This can only be seen as a deliberate malicious action. The presentation slides are available for reference.

6. Jaanhavi Ganesh, a graduate student from Rutgers University and a victim of hate, shared how Hindu students on campus feel they cannot practice their faith and are being attacked for their identity. Yet, the media remains silent. 

7. Sundar Iyer, a victim of targeted hate, highlighted how he was a victim of state-sponsored anti-Hindu hate. He shared how the California Civil Rights Department targeted him for caste discrimination with a hoax lawsuit because of his Hindu Brahmin last name.    

8. Zeba Mohammad, a Muslim activist from Afghanistan summarized her own positive experiences with the Hindu community when she lived in India. 

9. Billie Guarino, a Maitei Hindu scholar, shared the plight of the Maitei Hindu community. The ongoing destruction of Hindu temples and homes in northeast India by neighboring anti-Hindu hate communities has terrorized them.  

Overall, various aspects of rising venomous hate-filled anti-Hindu narratives across North America were shared. Evidence and patterns often ignored in the ‘so-called’ mainstream conversation in the media were called out. This multi-faith conversation was about what the Hindu community can do to combat Hinduphobia and what the non-Hindu communities can do to thwart Hinduphobia. We are stronger together! 

Exhibits 1-2 (please scroll below).

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