Anti-India Sentiments in the US by Dr. Mohini Shinde
DisInfo Lab, a company with the motive of unveiling fake news, just came out with its own research report titled, “Operation Tupac – Decoding The Longest War” in response to the USCIRF (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom) report where USCIRF labeled India as a “Country of Particular Concern’ (CPC)” and clubbed India with known terrorist countires like China, North Korea, and Pakistan.
In the introduction of the report, DisInfo Lab listed a few events which took place throughout the world, but mostly in the US.
Here is a list of those events:
- The statue of Mahatma Gandhi was vandalized in the US and he was labeled as a child rapist, racist, and casteist; the campaign was spearheaded by an organization.
- A three-day conference was held on “Dismantling Hindutva” in September 2021 from the US.
- The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) blacklists India on the pretext of fascism, religious freedom, and oppression of religious minorities.
- An online boycott campaign is launched in the Middle East to boycott Indian products and is further supported by Pakistani troll machinery.
- In the US, a campaign is launched on ‘Caste’ by an innocuous organization gaining prominence.
- A series of seminars and conferences are held by some concerned individuals in the US on ‘Rising Fascism’ in India.
- A toolkit that was prepared for farmers’ protest for some unknown reasons mentioned to dent India’s soft image of tea and yoga.
- Organizations that lobbied USCIRF to blacklist India in 2018-20, also lobbied during 2013-14 when there was a different government in India.
- Several organizations in the name of helping India, raised funds during the COVID-19 crisis and failed to deliver any help, duping millions of Indians.
All these events seem unrelated to each other, but if you go deeper into each event and the people behind them, you will notice that they are interconnected and intertwined in some places and that they were all carried out by a handful of organizations, including the same set of people.
Main arguments condemning India:
CAA, cow slaughter and Kashmir conflicts
Note the hypocrisy:
India: CAA | US: Lautenberg | Israel: The law of return
India: Restricts cow slaughter | US: bans dog slaughter
Note the irony:
India: fighting terrorism in Kashmir, while the US has already banned most Kashmir terror groups
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Algeria, etc. are ranked higher in religious freedom according to these ’eminent’ experts from USCIRF.
In “The Unending War, Part 1” published by DisInfo Lab, it was noted how a handful of anti-India organizations based in the US and Pieter Friedrich campaigned against Indian-origin US politicians and publicly leveled unsubstantiated allegations against them. They targeted presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard and campaigned against her in different parts of the US intending to derail her election campaign. The same group again disrupted a campaign for Gabbard where she was addressing a group of people through a webinar. Pieter along with some supporters broke into the hall and raised placards with the title “TULSI, Mascot of India’s KKK.”
This anti-India group also targeted other Indian-origin US politicians from the democratic party such as Preston Kulkarni, Amit Jani, Sonal Shah, Padma Kuppa, and Raja Krishnamoorthi. Kulkarni was appointed as the new Chief of External Affairs of Americorp under the Biden administration. Friedrich launched a signature petition against Kulkarni’s appointment and accused him of receiving funds from the RSS-affiliated entities for running his campaign.
Friedrich and Shaik Ubaid also targeted Shah and Jani, President Obama and President Biden’s prominent campaign leaders. They created political pressure on the democratic officials. As a result, both of them were left out of the President Obama and President Biden administration. Other Indian-origin US politicians targeted by this group are Kuppa and Krishnamoorthi.
Most recently, US diplomat Atul Keshap, who was appointed head of the US-India Business Council, was publicly chastised by Friedrich. Furthermore, Friedrich has also started a signature petition to remove the recent appointment of Shah to the Homeland Security council.
Let us talk about Discrimination.
The US must first get its own house in order before it gets “particularly concerned” about India.
The US Constitution famously prohibits any religious test or requirement for public office. Still, almost all of the nation’s presidents have been Christians. In the history of the United States, there have only been two Catholic presidents, one black president, and we still have to elect a woman president. If there is any discrimination in the US within people following Abrahmic faith in electing the presidents, they have no right to talk about discrimination in India which has elected Muslim, women, Sikh, and Dalit as presidents, vice presidents, and prime ministers of India.
As per the PEW research report, nearly half of Americans (46%) say there is “a lot” of discrimination against black people while about 3 out of 10 see a lot of discrimination against Hispanic people (30%) and Asian people (27%). The birth of organizations like BLM (Black Lives Matter) is the result of widespread discrimination against black people especially after 200+ years of independence and 50+ years of passing The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
A survey conducted at Northwestern University in Chicago reported that 23.7% of the respondents complained of discrimination based on race and religion. The rates were highest among African Americans at 70.7%, followed by Asians (45.9%), and Hispanics (25.3%).
According to an article in the Washington Post, African Americans are dying at higher rates due to the coronavirus. There’s an assumption that African Americans are immune to the flu. When they show up at hospitals with signs of infections, they have to deal with biased white doctors. Ethnic discrimination is being experienced by a large proportion of non-white surgical residents as well as medical school graduates.
Would the USCIRF dare to put the USA on such watch lists? If the answer is no, it has no right to be concerned about other countries, especially India.
The list of Organizations who Oppose Indian American politicians and who feed false information to USCIRF.
The list of Organizations to Oppose Indian American politicians and feeding false information to USCIRF.
- Ambedkar International Center
- Ambedkar King Study Circle
- American Muslim Physicians of Indian Origin (AMPI)
- Association of Indian Muslims of America, Washington DC
- Boston South Asian Collective
- Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR)
- Coalition Against Fascism in India
- Coalition of Seattle Indian Americans
- Dalit Solidarity Forum in the U.S.
- Friends of South Asia (FOSA), San Jose, California
- Hindus for Human Rights
- India Civil Watch International
- India Foundation, Michigan
- Indian American Alliance Against Caste
- Indian Muslim Council (IMC), Morton Grove, Illinois (www.imc-usa.org)
- Indian Muslim Education Foundation (IMEFNA), North America
- International Service Society, Michigan
- International Society for Peace and Justice
- Justice For All
- National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (NCSAO)
- Non-Resident Indians for a Secular and Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI), Michigan
- Progressive India Collective
- Sikh American Heritage Organization, Wayne, Illinois
- South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
- South Asian Left Activist Movement
- South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Greater Vancouver, Canada (sansad.org)
- Students Against Hindutva Ideology
- Supporters of Human Rights in India (SHRI)The Coalition for a Secular Democratic India (CSDI), Chicago. Illinois
- Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment, Michigan
About the Author
Dr. Mohini Shinde is a professor of religions of India and has taught Hindu religion and world religion in several US universities before her retirement. Her research was on religion and politics in South Asia. In her research engagements, she lived several years in India where she studied vedas and upanishads. She lives in California with her husband. The views expressed here are author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Desh-Videsh
Media Group or any of its employess or the owners.