Professor Geeta summarized the Hinduphobic publications and responses from the Los Angeles Times (LA Times) and suggested a comprehensive action plan for the media to remedy the situation in the future.

Hinduphobia is rife in the United States,  FBI Reports highlight that anti-Hindu hate crimes doubled in a year. Professor Geeta has been continuously responding to the hateful reports by the LA Times. Very recently, six Hindu temples in California have been attacked over two months between December 2023 and January 2024. Within a short period of five months, since October 2023, the deaths of 13 Indian students (primarily Hindu) from India or Hindu-Americans have occurred in the United States. Did they die or were they killed? Our Hindu minority community is devastated and looking for answers.  We have not seen any coverage by the mainstream media that has been quick to defame Hindus with the Caste legislation hoax.

Why did the LA Times decline to interview Sundar Iyer upon my request? Later, Sundar Iyer reached out to the LA Times and they still declined. By then, Sundar Iyer was fully exonerated when the CalDFEH (formerly CRD) dismissed the complaint against him and Ramana Kompella because their bluff would have been penalized for perjury if they hadn’t withdrawn. So, why, why, why? Here’s why? A brave and engaging interview that needs a full listen to understand how the state came after two Hindu Managers with fake charges.  Why was Sundar Iyer’s story not worthy of publication?  

Despite frequent requests, the findings of a new Pew Research Center report on “Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation were never published by the LA Times and other Western media outlets. Why? How could they? It did not suit the anti-Hindu hate narrative of the LA Times and the rest of the Western media. The well-respected Pew Survey results showed that India is a thriving democracy and not a fascist state. It revealed that all minorities in India (Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists) felt free to practice their religion. So why were these findings subverted by the LA Times? Furthermore, another study by Rutgers University revealed that social media was brimming with anti-Hindu hate Anti-Hindu Disinformation: A Case Study of Hinduphobia on Social Media. Its findings were never published by the LA Times or all of the Western media. Another scientific survey Social Realities of Indian Americans: Results From the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace by Rutgers University revealed that caste discrimination does not exist in the United States. Despite repeatedly bringing them to the attention of the LA Times, the results of these studies were never shared by the LA Times and the Western media outlets. Further, why were the results of the Australian study that found India is a pluralistic democracy by Professor Salvatore Babones never cited? 

The anti-Hindu hate posturing with malicious intent by the LA Times and the Western media must be investigated. Questions remain! Do the concerns of Hindus matter less to the LA Times than other ethnic groups? Are Hindus less equal than other ethnic groups? This moment demands from all of us that it’s time to talk to each other and to be mindful of what we say and how we say it. I have been very anxious to have this uncomfortable conversation with the LA Times and the Western media outlets, the Western Academics, and the US policy makers; on the rising corrosive Hinduphobia and Hindumisia in the United States!  And how can the media stop this perpetuation of anti-Hindu hate? What are the solutions? 

Five-point solutions for the LA Times and the rest of the Western Media

1. Stop publishing anti-Hindu hate articles. 

A recent example is the LA Times article published February 2nd, 2024, Page A 9 Op-Ed “Is Narendra Modi’s India still a democracy?” by anti-Hindu hate activist Bob Drogin. 

  • Cite the subverted findings of the new Pew Research Center report on “Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation.”  The findings of this independent and reliable Pew survey have been covertly subverted by the Western media. The Pew survey examined the religious identity, nationalism, and tolerance in Indian society under Modi’s leadership. A key finding was that all religious minorities felt free to practice their religion (Muslims 89%, Christians 89%, Sikhs 82%, Buddhists 93%, Jains 85% as did 91% of the overall Indian population).  Conducted in 17 languages, it covered nearly all of India’s states and union territories with face-to-face interviews of 29,999 adults during 2019 and 2020 – prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • Stop publishing articles that are written with intentional deceit from sloppy research by anti-Hindu hate activists. Cite well-respected research. For example, India’s democracy ranking has been recently portrayed as lowered by anti-Hindu hate groups and their media activists. According to Professor Salvatore Babones, who examined the state of India’s democracy at the University of Sydney, Australia. There are so many instances of intentionally biased reporting. The V-Dem in a new report has gone so far as to claim that Afghanistan enjoys more academic freedom than India. It behooves the LA Times to provide balanced reporting! 
  • Stop publishing Hinduphobic disinformation on the rebuilding and consecration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, India.  On January 22nd, 2024, while we Hindu Americans across the USA were celebrating the long-awaited historical event of the rebuilding and consecration of the Ram temple, the LA Times and the rest of the Western media were bombarding Hindus with its anti-Hindu hate propaganda through its biased media coverage. A factual analysis of international media coverage is available readily.  

Hindus are enraged by the unfair reporting by the LA Times and the Western media portraying the Prana Pratishtha (consecration) ceremony at the Ram Mandir (Hindu temple) in Ayodhya on Jan 22nd, 2024. Why did the LA Times omit the basic historical facts, such as the peaceful struggle by the Hindus over the last 500 years to rebuild the temple; and the unanimous verdict in 2019 by the Supreme Court of India to hand over the disputed Babri structure? Both US and international media (LA Times, Bloomberg News, TIME, US NEWS, NBC, NPR, and BBC to name a few) covertly omitted the historical facts. No authentic Hindu scholars were cited in the media coverage of this grand inauguration. 

These indisputable historical facts about the Ram Mandir were deviously omitted by the LA Times and Western media outlets.

  1. There was a large Hindu temple for the past 500 years at the site before 1528.
  2. Islamist invader Babur destroyed the temple at the site.
  3. Over 400+ years Hindus have fought more than 75 battles to reclaim the temple.
  4. Court cases have been pursued by Hindus since the British era.
  5. In a court-ordered and monitored investigation, archeologists have discovered temple remains at the disputed site. 
  6. Construction of the temple has been taken up by a trust set up per the court’s judgment.
  7. A Five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India handed over the site to Hindus in a unanimous verdict in 2019.
  8. The entire cost of the construction of the temple has been borne with contributions from the people of India. 

2. Stop demonizing and shaming “Hindutva” (Hindutva means Hinduness)

Hindus have been pummeled by the flagrantly hateful anti-Hindu rhetoric in conferences such as  “Dismantling Global Hindutva ” and “Eradicating Hinduism.” These conferences have been orchestrated by the Hinduphobic American Indological Academia and anti-Hindu hate groups in the United States. This hyperbole style in American academia has left Hindus stunned and feeling vulnerable to Hindutvaphobia, Hinduphobia, Hindutvamisia, and Hindumisia.   

The World Hindu Congress took a timely and bold decision last year to confront some of the deeply entrenched parlance used by, for, and about Hindus – it called for Hindus to use the term Hindutva – the “tva” being a synonymous and more linguistically accurate replacement for “ism” – the essence of being Hindu. This was a direct answer to the ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ conference, supported by the American Indological academia, which skyrocketed the term Hindutva to new heights of both demonization and deliberate confusion. 

Authentic Hindus associate Hindutva with the essence of being a Hindu. Like orange juice is the essence of an orange. Likewise, Hindutva is the essence of Hinduism. Anti-hindutva myths must be dispelled, like, “Hinduism is practiced by Hindus, but not  Hindutva.” The definition of ‘Hindutva’ must be corrected by the media and the American Indologic Academia.  It means “Hinduness,” as ‘tva’ means essence, or ‘ness’ as in ‘happiness.’  Anti-Hindu groups must be stopped from equating Hindutva with ‘fascism.’ This is not true! We Hindus globally and proudly embrace ‘Hindutva.’ 

Meanwhile, the Media and Wikipedia shamelessly defame Hindus through their perpetual disinformation campaign on Hindutva – Wikipedia. To stop this disinformation, the World Hindu Congress replaced ‘Hinduism’ with ‘Hindutva’ in 2023. ChatGPT must also correct its false narratives of ‘Hindutva.’ 

3. Stop the  ‘Caste legislation’ hoax 

We abhor discrimination of any kind including caste. Current laws protect against discrimination by race, color, gender, and ancestry. The ancestry category includes protection against caste discrimination. 

The Unruh Civil Rights Act provides that all persons in California are free and equal, and regardless of a person’s actual or perceived sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status, everyone is entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments. (Civ. Code, § 51.)  

Last year, the reprehensibly bigoted “Caste legislation” (SB 403) was introduced in the California State Legislature by anti-Hindu hate mongers Senator Aisha Wahab and Assembly Member Jasmeet Bains. Supported by the California Democratic Party, the bill sailed through the Senate and the Assembly. Attributed to the grassroots efforts of the Hindu-American community, Governor Newsom vetoed the bill, thereby preventing the gaslighting of Hindus. 

Sadly, Hindu Dalits have already suffered because of SB-403. The Ambedkar-Phule Network of American Dalits and Bahujans (APNADB) is a vibrant and inclusive community for Dalits and Bahujans of all ages and genders. APNADB founder Milind Makwana vehemently testified against SB 403 at the Cupertino City Council hearing in July 2023. Sadly, minutes after his speech, he collapsed from a heart attack in the presence of his young children. His heart couldn’t take the stress of yet another colonial caste law. He died at the meeting venue.  

The Hindu American community was stunned by the strong support of many California legislators and anti-Hindu hate organizations for this discriminatory Hinduphobic legislation. And we continue to reel from this trauma with nightmares that it might get reintroduced by the same anti-Hindu hate groups. The bill was funded by Equality Labs, the South Asian Network, and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF). These were the anti-Hindu hating organizations that provided primary funding for this bigoted legislation.  

Of note, the caste discrimination hoax bill (SB 403), parlayed by Equality Labs, an anti-Hindu hate, for-profit organization, to defame Hindus is linked with DMK, an anti-Hindu hate political party based in Tamil Nadu, India. Recently, a leader of DMK called for the eradication of Hinduism.   

A scientific survey Social Realities of Indian Americans: Results From the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace established that caste discrimination did not occur in the United States. This information was deviously omitted by the media (LA Times, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and others) when we were fighting our battle against SB 403.  

Ironically, the amount of false propaganda about Hindus is legion, because almost nothing in the western media about Hindus is ever written by authentic Hindu scholars themselves. It’s like having a conversation about us but without us, a journalistic malpractice!

4. Stop the brutal attacks on Hindu Temples (Mandir) 

Very recently, six Hindu temples in California were attacked over two months between December 2023 and January 2024) in the San Francisco Bay area.

  1.  Sri Sai Temple, Pleasanton CA (December 2023)
  2. ⁠SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Newark (Dec 22nd, 2023) 
  3. ⁠Vijay’s Sherawali Temple in Hayward (Dec 24th, 2023, 
  4. ⁠Shiv Durga Temple in Santa Clara (Dec 30th, 2023) 
  5. Shree Ashta Lakshmi Temple in Fremont (Jan 5th, 2023) 
  6. Pancha Mukha Hanuman Temple in Dublin (Jan 11th, 2023) 

Additionally, Hindu individuals and Hindu landmarks have been attacked.

  1. A local NBC station reported a Hindu American individual at a Taco Bell restaurant in Fremont endured verbal abuse and was spat on because of his religious identity (2022).
  2. Two episodes of vandalism and arson were reported at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, CA (March 2023 and an arson attack in July 2023, ).
  3. Two episodes of desecration of Mahatma Gandhi statues at the Tulsi Mandir in New York (2022) and in the city of Davis, CA (2021), 

Attacks on Hindu temples (Mandir) are attributed to the media’s ongoing propagation of its anti-Hindu hate propaganda. The media has created an environment of hate, and distrust and made Hindu Americans vulnerable to physical, emotional, and mental harm. Anti-Hindu hate is anti-Hindu hate, whether it comes from the media from the policymakers, or from anti-Hindu hate groups.

5.  Stop the vile and hateful tropes that demean Hindus on the basis of our identity, our deities, and our religion 

Shame! Shame! Shame! On who? On the LA Times! Los Angeles Times – eNewspaper Why?  For the mockery of a Hindu Goddess that it published in the Comic section on September 2nd, 2023. Countering Hinduphobic Media Coverages in the US – Voice of Hindus  

An apology was offered the following month by the LA Times Assistant Editor and the Readers’ Representative at a meeting. Why was a retraction not made by the LA Times?  The emotional damage to my Hindu community still needs to be undone by the LA Times. 

6. Stop stigmatizing/labeling Hindu Americans who stand up to Hinduphobia as ‘Right-wing Hindu Nationalists’ who have ties to right-wing Hindu nationalist groups

This stigma is about semantics. In India, being a ‘Nationalist’ has a positive implication. It indicates someone who is a patriotic person who is opposed to the balkanization of India. The West continues to demonize this cliche to describe Hindus as bigoted. This Journalistic Malpractice has perpetuated Hinduphobia. It behooves the media to make this correction now. 

7. Use authentic Hindu scholars to write about Hindu issues. Reach out to The Hindu University of America (HUA) and Dharma Civilization Foundation (DCF)

In summary,  the fake ‘Human Rights Activists’ have been shouting Dismantle Global Hindutva,’ the ‘Politicians’ have been making malicious announcements about ‘Hindutva,’ the ‘Lawyers’ have been making judgments about ‘Hindutva’, the ‘Journalists’ have been writing reams of anti-Hindutva disinformation, the ‘Academes‘ have been shouting ‘Dismantle Global Hindutva’. Sadly, the only voice that has been denied a platform, a group that has not been consulted, are us (authentic Hindu Americans), a microcosmic law-abiding model minority that continues to be targeted by the anti-Hindu hate groups because we embrace Hindutva or the essence of Hinduism.

Of note,  the well-deserved umbrage of the LA Times and the Western media cannot hide the fact that it screwed up here, or that the entire Hindu community is paying for the media’s unforgivable mistakes. The LA Times should take the lead in breaking this trend and recruit authentic Hindu scholars to report the news related to Hindus and to be our voice and not the anti-Hindu hate activists who come disguised as journalists. I say this to the LA Times: The real threat to us Hindus is right here, right now! Do something! Imperfect, frustrating, depressing, and slippery as it may be, this discourse is all we have. 

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