“Hindus for Human Rights” Attempts to Suppress Hindu Voice

Unsuccessful attempt by HfHR to prevent me from speaking at the G20 Interfaith forum

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“Hindus for Human Rights” (HfHR) – neither Hindu, nor for human rights!

The name itself is a double fake! Do not be fooled. They cynically deploy the term Hindu to turn Hindus against their own interests. Verbal sorcery of this type is the stock-in-trade of many “stealth” anti-Hindu interests.

Recently, this organization tried unsuccessfully to prevent me from speaking at a G20 Interfaith forum. Details of their nefarious attempt to silence me are detailed here.

As you read this article, ask yourself this question: Why do these jokers hate free speech?

The G20 or “Group of Twenty” is a well-known intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union to address major global issues such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development. IF20 is the interfaith arm of G20, designed to promote global harmony by engaging with religious thought leaders and political representatives.

Recently the author was invited by IF20 to participate in a panel discussion on the discriminatory experiences of Hindus around the world. The following excerpt from their press release gives a sense of the panel’s mission:

“The ARI (Antiracial Initiative of IF20) now turns its attention to the largest Asian religious tradition extant in the West – Hinduism. This South Asian spiritual tradition is growing exponentially in Western Europe and North America. Our panelists will be drawn from the diaspora Hindu communities in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Canada. We intend to concentrate on three particular aspects of substance in the relationships between the Hindu diaspora communities and their geopolitical and multicultural contexts. The first is to increase the awareness of the non-Hindu communities in these three national regions to the presence, the nature, and significance of Hinduism within their bounds. The second will be to demonstrate the increasing experience of discrimination towards Hindus and to note particularly egregious examples of societal, governmental, and corporate aspects thereof. Our objective is concerned more with the prevention and limitation of damage and somewhat less with an expose of particular incidents.

Having said that, we anticipate addressing four recent and ongoing cases of discrimination against the expat and diaspora communities. In Canada alone, four serious instances of anti-Hindu sentiment and discrimination have and are being addressed. There is ongoing contention between the Hindu community and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); the distinction between the beloved Hindu symbol of good fortune and welcome, the swastika, and the justly loathed and reviled Nazi parody, the Hakenkreuz; the unintentional misuse of Hindu symbols and images by the Metropolitan University in Toronto (formerly Ryerson University) and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto; and the ongoing controversy on the employment of religious symbols in the Canadian province of Quebec. The third objective is to spark a new dialogue demonstrating the almost natural capacity of the Hindu community worldwide to engage in both bridge building and peace building.

“Hindus for Human Rights” Gets a Tummy Ache

True to form, HfHR, born and bred on the concept that freedom-of-expression is but a one-way street, suddenly developed a bad case of indigestion. They could not bear the thought of Hindu leaders being offered a prominent global platform to talk about the issues of concern to the Hindu society at large. The letter from the executive director of HfHR, to the IF20 organizers, expressing strong opposition to this author’s presence on the panel, is reproduced here in full. The content of this letter clearly shows their mission of suppressing Hindu voice on the world stage. Here are some excerpts from this letter to daylight their mindset:

“I am writing on behalf of our organization and concerned Hindus from around the world to express our horror and disappointment at the speakers and framing for your upcoming webinar on “Hinduism and Discriminatory Experiences,” scheduled for September 15, 2022.”

“For example, one of your speakers is Jai Bansal, Vice President of Education for the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA). Among Hindu American communities, the VHPA is known for perpetuating hardline anti-Muslim rhetoric.”

“Bansal’s organization, the VHPA, openly collaborates with organizations such as the Middle East Forum (MEF), a conservative think tank that has been described as “the center of the Islamophobia network” in the United States.”

“To platform the VHPA as a credible voice to discuss discrimination and hate would mean to ignore their public role in contributing to hate against our Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters.”

“We agree that discrimination against Hindus is a serious issue, one which we at Hindus for Human Rights focus on. However, the incidents of anti-Hindu discrimination you list are deeply questionable.”

Hindus everywhere are strongly advised to educate themselves about these organized anti-Hindu syndicates, especially those with Hindu-sounding names like “Hindus for Human Rights” and “Sadhana.”

Dr. Jai Bansal is a retired scientist, currently serving as the VP Education for the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)