Hindu Human Rights Watch at New York (Aug 17) &
New Jersey (Aug 10) India Day Parades in 2008
Click on photos below to see the albums
Click top photo for NY Parade album and bottom photo for NJ Parade album
|Video – New York Parade 2008|
Video – New Jersey Parade 2008
Note: The banners in the parades referred to Hindu Human Rights Organization in UK.
However, activities in US will be covered at a new website www.hinduhumanrightswatch.org (hhrw.org)
Press Release on Hindu Human Rights Watch at NY and NJ Parades, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lalit Kaul
New Jersey: Hindu Human Rights groups such as Protect Religions Organization, Save Temples Organization and advocacy groups such as Indo-American Kashmir Forum, participated in New Jersey India Day parade On August 10th and New York Parade on Aug 17th, highlighting the human rights violations of Hindus in India after 60 years of independence. The human rights abuses covered the plight of half million Kashmiri Hindus, global terrorism during last four years, large scale illegal conversions of Hindus, government control and looting of Hindu temples, Amarnath, Kashmir land issue and pseudo-secularism. The participation consisted of banners, placards and dramatization. Photos, Video and the press release are available at www.protectreligions.org.
Highlights of the events include the dramatization of Islamic terrorist targeting a Kashmiri Hindu with a gun and dramatization of Mahatma Gandhi speaking up against missionary conversions. The presentation pointed to the plight of half million Kashmiri Hindus who are living as refugees in their own country in sub-human conditions for the last 18 years. It is pathetic state of things where multiple governments have done nothing in addressing the situation and the media is completely silent about their state. Unfortunately, the apathy of Indians, particularly Hindus, to this situation is also contributing to the state of affairs. The whole situation is a great shame on India and is a blot on our independence.
Terrorism in India, particularly during last 4 years where 3785 were lost is another form of Human Rights abuse faced by Hindus in India. The primary targets of terrorists are Hindu Mandirs, Hindu festival shop-goers (e.g, Delhi), Hindu Gujarathi businessmen (e.g, Mumbai train blasts). It is shameful record where the number of lives lost is as close to the number of deaths in Iraq. According to Indian Express article dated Aug 2, 2008, “It is a spectacular four and half years of mayhem when not one terrorist has been caught, not one major case solved. Even by the modest standards that Shivraj Patil’s home ministry may have set for itself, this is a spectacularly disastrous record.” The same article quotes, “Ask senior police officers investigating – even Congress Chief Ministers if they would dare to speak the truth – and they will tell you how they pulled away in fright, under pressure from the Center for targeting and upsetting Muslims (Voters) in their investigations. This proceeded neatly alongside the utterly communalized discourse on the Afzal Guru hanging issue.” Life is precious no matter who lost their life. It is the duty of Government to protect the lives of every Indian, no matter what religion they are. However, vote bank politics is taking precedence over loss of lives, particularly Hindus (and to smaller number the Muslims where two mosques were targeted during last 4 years).
Religious conversion is another issue facing Hindus (including Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists) in India. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India was so passionate and unequivocal against missionary religious conversions and called it the deadliest poison that ever sapped the fountain of truth. He scorned at use of social service as a pretext for conversions and called it deception and denationalization. The banners sought to bring these messages along with a message denouncing Reverend Pat Robertson who publicly declared in 2001 at Dallas Pastor Conference that 100 million Hindus would be converted to make up for losses in Europe. Projects such as Joshua Project are incessantly targeting Hindus in India using millions of dollars with detailed information of every tribe, sect in every single village in India. Today, in states like Andhra Pradesh, churches are springing up in thousands of villages with the tacit support of evangelical Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh along with that of catholic Ms. Sonia Gandhi.
Government control and looting of Hindu temples and Hindu devotee offerings is another form of abuse occurring in India that was highlighted at the parade. In democratic India, only Hindu temples are in control of Government where as Mosques, Churches, Gurudwaras were free to manage their own worship places. Governments in India particularly in Southern Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, large scale selling of temple lands for political patronage, votes and offering for building churches, looting of devotee offerings is continuing unabated. In one reported event, an acre of temple land worth 1 Crore was sold away for about 4 lakh rupees to political patronages. According to India Today magazine few years ago, out of 72 Crores collected at Karnataka 207,000 temples, 6 Crores were given back to temples for maintenance, 50 Crores for Haj trip to Muslims, 10 Crores to Churches, 6 Crores for secular activities. At the same time hundreds of temples in the state are in dilapidated state.
Recent ongoing Amarnath, Kashmir issue is another unfortunate result of vote bank politics. The same Government that would not allow 40 hectares of land to be purchased for Hindu devotees for 2 months use in a year, to provide basic facilities during a strenuous trip to their holy pilgrimage would spend 500 crores rupees annually providing the best facilities in the country for Haj trips to Muslims.
Media psuedosecularism is another problem affecting Hindus in India. The same media that has covered about Godhra Muslim victims numerous times have never found reason to highlight the plight of half million Kashmiri Hindus who were brutally targeted. The sad state is even in Godhra coverage, the same media would cover little about Hindu victims in the train as well as in the riots (where one third of the riot victims were Hindus). While Rama Janmabhoomi gets wide attention, every day temples are being destroyed in Kashmir and other places but get little attention. Media’s responsibility is to highlight issues of all Indians, irrespective of their religion. Most Indian English media is pseudo secular and anti-Hindu. This rally is to bring awareness to media bias with the hope that Indian Americans demand objective coverage or stop supporting biased media.
No country can be strong when its majority population is weakened. When Gandhi emphasized the well being of minorities, it is his desire to make sure all Indians have equal security and share of progress in India. But Indian Politics combined with apathy of Hindus is causing this pathetic situation where the majority lives are threatened every day, their institutions destroyed and are divided for vote banks. Gandhi ji once said, he does not desire a so called ‘Free India’ where white sahibs are replaced by brown sahibs who follow the same policies. Unfortunately, that is what is taking place in India, in spite of best efforts of Indians.