Take steps against Hinduphobia in US: Indian-Americans to US lawmakers

During the Second National Hindu Advocacy Day event at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, a group of eminent Indian Americans urged lawmakers to take steps against rising Hinduphobia activities in the US and protect the rights of the Hindu community in the country.

Hindu Americans from 12 states who attended the day-long conference
Hindu-Americans from 12 states attended the day-long conference. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@CoHNAOfficial

As many as 21 Congress representatives attended the event, during which they said that there is a need to pay attention to discrimination against the Hindus in the US.

There is need to pay attention to how, "there is discrimination not just by race but also by religion and Hinduphobia and intimidation of the Hindu community is an old problem," Congressman Rich McCormick told attendees of the day-long conference at the US Capitol organised by Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA).

McCormick said that bills like California's SB403 "are racist, discriminatory and divisive, since they seek to classify people in ways that the people themselves reject."

This is not American and needs to be opposed, the Republican Congressman from Georgia said.

"I believe strongly in freedom of religion for every individual and stand against any kind of attacks and phobia," said Congressman Sri Thanedar.

He spoke of the importance of ensuring representation for diverse groups and freedom of religion.

"The Hindu religion is a peaceful one, yet it has been attacked and needs to be protected. Like others, Hindus deserve to be able to practice their religion without any kind of hate, prejudice or phobia. As a Congressman, I myself noted the lack of a Hindu caucus and therefore helped create one," Thanedar said.

Hindu Americans from 12 states who attended the day-long conference were Hank Johnson, Tom Keane, Rich McCormick, Thanedar, Buddy Carter and Sanford Bishop, as well as Ohio State Senator Niraj Antani. "Hindus are under attack in the US," Atani said.

According to Nikunj Trivedi, president of CoHNA, there has been growing awareness about the Hindus in the US.

"It's been a productive year of advocacy for the Hindu community with states like Georgia and cities as far apart as Fremont, California and Memphis, Tennessee, seeking to educate about the problem with resolutions and proclamations against Hinduphobia.

"We also witnessed history as the growing popularity of Hindu festivals like Diwali led to the successful declaration of the festival as a holiday in New York City public schools," he said.

The idea of caste discrimination' in America is strange at best, given the lack of proper data of any actual discrimination, said Prof Babones, executive director of the Indian Century Roundtable.

"How do California lawmakers plan to figure out someone's caste in the US, given that there are over 1100 scheduled castes, over 700 scheduled tribes and over 2500 castes in the OBC category just in India alone? Dalit is not a caste'," he added.

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India – Writer

The Press Trust of India Ltd., commonly known as PTI, is the largest news agency in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi and is a nonprofit cooperative among more than 500 Indian newspapers. It has over 500 full-time employees as of 1 January 2022, including about 400 journalists.


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