Activists disrupt Hindu supremacist conclave in Chicago, evoke violent reaction from extremists

Published on: September 11, 2018
The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), an umbrella organization of progressive South Asian groups across the United States in coordination with the local community, today lauded the activists who disrupted the plenary session of the World Hindu Congress, a conclave convened by organizations aligned with the Hindu supremacist ideology that is spearheading the violation of human rights and religious freedom of minorities in India.
 

The event has been deeply mired in controversy since the Alliance for Justice and Accountability, along with a wide range of Indian diaspora organizations have denounced it as an attempt to mainstream Hindu fascism in the United States. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard who had initially agreed to chair the three day Congress severed all connections with the event.

On Friday evening, 7th of September when the World Hindu Congress was in full swing, several young activists from Chicago South Asians for Justice raised signs and called out, “RSS Turn Around, We don’t want you in Our Town,” and “Stop Hindu Fascism.”

This angered some of the conference attendees and they reacted violently by spitting on the protesters, shoving them to the floor and even choking one of them.

Two protesters were arrested and charged with trespass and disorderly conduct, while one conference attendee was charged with battery.

“We endured extremely violent and demeaning behaviour from a bunch of self-righteous Hindutva fanatics who refuse to acknowledge their complicity in promoting and furthering fascism. Their response is indicative of their fascist mindset that brooks no dissent, and we refuse to allow it to be promulgated in our state without a fight,” said one of the protesters who courted arrest.

“This is deeply significant,” said Nesamani Rajamani of AJA. “These young leaders did what Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi could not, which is to speak truth to power. This courageous act confronting hate on its own ground is the first direct action against caste in the diaspora. The brave hearts made a choice as people of conscience to stand up to Hindu Fascism and Brahminsm, and we believe that as long as the RSS and the Sangh continue to go after Dalit Bahujan peoples, people of conscience will stand up and resist together,” added Mr. Rajamani.

On Saturday, AJA held a protest outside the conference venue, with the stated goal of “standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in India who are fighting against the #HIndutva rule and will not be silent in the face of mob lynchings, rapes, murders, and the targeting of our leaders and academics.”

AJA has even called for a boycott of the event, and reached out to a number of US politicians including Tulsi Gabbard, Ash Kalra, Jay Chaudhuri and Raja Krishnamoorthy, who had initially been slated to participate this event thinking it to be an event of interfaith harmony. But later  severed their connections after learning of the partisan and extremist nature of the event.

 The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago also condemned the appearance of fascists speakers at the conference.

AJA has launched a twitter campaign #StopHinduFascism, to shed light on the violence and demand accountability from speakers and sponsors of the event. The impact of the twitterstorm awoke many Americans to the rising issues of #HinduFascism in the world.

Courtesy: Two Circles