On September 12, New Jersey’s Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee (TDMC) passed a resolution against Hindu nationalist hate groups operating in the United States, calling for an FBI and CIA investigation into their operation.
The resolution was passed in view of scholars receiving threatening emails from Hindu right-wing organizations for organizing the “Dismantling Hindutva” conclave in 2021.
“All people should be able to live without fear, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.” the resolution said. The committee pointed out that some right-wing groups, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad America and the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, operate across the United States and are tax exempt.
The committee further stated that these groups along with several others have direct or indirect relations with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in India. The resolution was passed following the recent Independence Day parade held in New Jersey where ‘Daddy Bulldozer’ with photographs of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were paraded.
“A bulldozer that was weaponized against minorities was part of New Jersey’s Independence Day parade in India with giant photos of Yogi Adityanath as ‘bulldozer dad,’ responsible for demolishing the homes of peaceful protesters” , indicates the resolution.
TDMC also said that “controversial BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra served as Grand Marshal”, in support of the demolitions.
Democrats further cited Amnesty International which urged the Indian government to stop the demolition of Muslim-owned properties. They went on to cite a 2017 World Watch List report that ranked India 10th out of the 15 most dangerous countries in the world for Christians.
The resolution also pointed out that VHP America had invited hatemonger Yati Narsighanand to a temple. He has stoked anti-Muslim feelings in India in recent months. Democrats expressed concern over the inflation of such groups in politics, saying right-wing extremists had successfully blocked Resolution No. 417 which warned of the growing effect of Hindu nationalism in the United States.
This has prevented the authorities from acting against Hindu extremists. It should be noted that Hindutva groups have also targeted scholars such as Audrey Truschke, threatening them with millions of emails calling for their rape. This came at a time when 50 US universities backed the online conclave on ‘dismantling hindutva’.
The TDMC further referred to United States Code 22 in which Chapter 38 defines terrorism as “premeditated and politically motivated violence against noncombatant targets by subnational or underground groups, generally intended to influence a audience “.
The TDMC urged Representatives Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, and Congressman Josh Gotthiemer to ask the FBI and CIA to investigate foreign organizations and threats sent to scholars regarding the dismantling of the Hindutva conference.