“Hindus for Human Rights” Deconstructed

HfHR uses their Hindu sounding name to turn unsuspecting Hindus against their own interests

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The organization called “Hindus for Human Rights” is neither concerned with Hindus nor human rights. Their name itself is a double fake! 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. Here we discuss the background of this anti-Hindu syndicate. A majority of the material reported here is taken from a public-source report by Disinfo Lab titled “Operation TUPAC – Decoding the Longest War.”

Their mantra: “Hindutva and Fascism

In 2019, a new non-profit organization, “Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR),was registered in Brooklyn, United States[1]. It was co-founded by two individuals, Sunita Vishwanath, and Raju Rajagopal, both with long histories of anti-Hindu and anti-India activities. As per its official website, HfHR claims to“advocate for pluralism, civil and human rights in South Asia and North America[2].”  

Do not be fooled by “Hindu” in its name or by its founders’ Hindu-sounding names. This organization is neither for Hindus nor interested in human rights. Like other pro-Pakistan and anti-Hindu organizations of its kind, its idea of human rights is Muslim rights at the expense of Hindus. It often engages with the Jamaat-e-Islami linked organizations, including ICNA, JFA, IAMC, and CAIR (with alleged Muslim Brotherhood links), which leads the fight against India over the Kashmir issue[3]. Its founders have never spoken up against genocide and massacres of Hindus.

Backgrounds of the Founders

Raju Rajagopal, one of the two co-founders of HfHR, had previously founded EKTA and Coalition against Communalism (CAC), both of which were partners of CAG (Coalition Against Genocide) founded by Angana Chatterji and Shaik Ubaid. IAMC, which was founded as IMC-USA by Shaik Ubaid, was also part of CAG. EKTA and CAC were largely inactive digitally for many years. However, their paper-based identities were used to lend support to campaigns and coalitions like the CAG.

Websites for CAC and EKTA have a similar DNS name- www.cac.ektaonline.org and www.ektaonline.org – suggesting that both websites are managed together. This is very typical of how the IAMC and its partners create groups that sound and look independent but are not. For instance, Pieter Friedrich, another known actor in this space, used two separate identities to promote an event arranged by his original identity on the premises of Stanford University.

Rajagopal was also a speaker at the 2003 IAMC event and is listed as the president of CAC in the press release. The press release has now been removed from IAMC’s official website[4]. However, the same can be accessed in the blog section of their website[5].

In 2005, Rajagopal actively opposed Hindu parents in the California Textbook Controversy, which depicted Hinduism in a pejorative way vis-à-vis other major world religions. Rajagopal argued that such views were important because “…exposing our children to India’s vibrant pluralistic and ‘argumentative’ traditions, and encouraging classroom discussions on the legacies of racism, caste and gender bias, will serve them better as future citizens, whether of the US or of India.

Once again, the word “discussion” hides the real intent, “denunciation.”

Sunita Viswanath (aka Sunita Mehta) is the other Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR) co-founder. She was married to the award-winning author, Suketu Mehta, had two sons with him, then divorced him and married a Jewish man, Stephan Shaw. The latter is a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which works with the pro-Muslim Brotherhood organization Americans for Palestine (AMP)[6].

Viswanathan has founded or co-founded a number of organizations. In 2002, she co-founded Women for Afghan Women (WAW), which describes itself as “a grassroots civil society organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and New York[7].”  This organization receives funding from several groups, including The Ford Foundation and the Open Society Institute[8].

In 2011, she co-founded Sadhna: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, self-described as “a grassroots tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization of the U.S.-based Hindus who are committed to the heart of Hinduism[9].” In a now-deleted blog, a Sadhna writer tried to interpret the Ramayan story of Sita’s agnipariksha through the lens of feminism and marginalization, stating that Rama “a god-king [who] isn’t grown-up enough to simply ignore idle gossip after the first trial…” and then went on to write an extremely insulting narrative about Sita. This episode exposes their real agenda: insulting and angering Hindus in the name of human rights.

Viswanathan is the Associate Director and Religious Life Advisor at Columbia University and held the position of ex-Associate Director at Soros Reproductive Health Fellowship[10]. She is also associated with a relatively new organization formed in the Netherlands, Foundation The London Story, and serves on its board of advisors. This organization was registered as Stitching The London Story on March 26, 2020[11]. According to its website, The Foundation London Story focuses on “misinformation, disinformation, hate speech, and online propaganda that leads to violation of core human rights to life, liberty and health around the world[12].”

Once again, you see the verbal sorcery: engaging in “misinformation, disinformation, hate speech, and online propaganda” themselves but accusing Hindus of it. These tricks are the standard operating procedures for traitors to Hinduism.

Another key member on the board of Foundation London Story is Rasheed Ahmed, the executive director of IAMC since 2010-11[13] [14], previously served as the Executive director of the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) between 2008 and 2017. IMANA gained notoriety for siphoning off millions of dollars in the name of helping India during the Covid in 2021 via its fund-raising campaign #HelpIndiaBreath[15].

 Since its inception, HfHR has been engaging with Bhajan Singh Bhinder & Pieter Friedrich’s Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI). HfHR, along with OFMI and IAMC, co-sponsored a briefing “1984-2002 Justice Delayed and Denied” held at Capitol Hill, Washington DC, on October 30, 2019. The speakers at the briefing were Human Rights Lawyer Rajvinder Singh Bains, Sukhman Dhami of Ensaaf, Jennifer Presthokdt of The Advocates for Human Rights, and Sunita Viswanath of HfHR.

At present, OFMI has become inoperative after the Disinfo Lab’s report “The Un-Ending War Part 1 [16]” in February 2021 revealed their history of terrorist activities. The Twitter handle of OFMI has seemingly become inactive and appears once in a blue moon only to retweet the tweets of Shaik Ubaid, IAMC, Audrey Truschke, CJ Werleman, and its founder, Pieter Friedrich.

HfHR is also a part of AJA (Alliance for Justice and Accountability), an umbrella coalition of several organizations across the United States. HfHR, IAMC, and OFMI are some of the major groups under AJA. AJA was one of the leading fronts to have protested during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Houston on September 22, 2019. IAMC, HfHR, and Pieter Friedrich participated in the protest. Some participants also wore merchandised t-shirts of #FreeKashmir, which is actively promoted by Jamaat-linked organizations and Pakistan at the same time[17].

It is extremely important to understand the sources of their hate against Hindus. One is the orthodox Muslim commitment to annihilate idolatry from Earth. The other is the Marxist-Leninist commitment to annihilate religion, focused on the religion that they consider the weakest. Using Hindus against themselves is not incidental, it is their core strategy. Their holy grail is “the power of narrative,” and the entire reason for existence is to deploy it against their enemies. Make no mistake: for the reasons given above, their enemy is Hinduism.

Examples of HfHR’s Anti-Indian and Anti-Hindu Activities

  1. Opposition to Article 370 Revocation: On December 12, 2019, IAMC organized a Congressional Briefing event criticizing the Indian government for revocation of Article 370 in Kashmir[18,19]. HfHR and several organizations were also a signatory supporters of Stand with Kashmir (SWK), a front formed to propagate the agenda of secession of Kashmir from India[20].  
    It should be noted that while these organizations use the term ‘Congressional Briefings’ to sound more legitimate, these events are mostly populated by their own people and occasionally by a politician or two.
  2.  Koregaon Violence Support: HfHR was among the 5500+ signatories (organizations/individuals) who protested the arrest of Dr. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, convicted in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case[21]. Both Navalakha and Teltumbde were accused of inciting violence and conspiring against the Indian government and being involved in a Maoist plot to assassinate the Indian Prime Minister[22]. They were also charged with the Unlawful Prevention Act (UAPA) and other convicts in the case for having links with the extreme left Maoist rebels[23].
    Gautam Navalakha was one of the regular attendees of Ghulam Nabi Fai’s conferences in the US. Their names were in the list of Indians prepared by the ISI handler and shared by Brig Javed Aziz Khan with Fai, an organization that FBI investigation has shown to be guilty of receiving funds from the ISI for pursuing the Kashmir agenda in the US[24].
    Milind Teltumbde, Anand’s younger brother, a top Maoist leader, and member of the banned CPI (Maoist) organization, was recently killed in an encounter by the Indian security forces on November 14, 2021[25].
  3. Congressional Resolution on Kashmir: On January 31, 2020, HfHR endorsed Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s Resolution (HR745) on Kashmir. It also encouraged the United States and the rest of the world to keep up the pressure on India to “ease the suffering of the Kashmiri people.”
    True to the form, HfHR was only advocating for the Kashmiri Muslims. In fact, January 2020 also marked the 30th Anniversary of the brutal ethnic cleansing[26] of about 400,000 Kashmir Hindus; HfHR had little to say about these Hindus’ plight.
  4. Campaign against CAA/NRC: HfHR, AJA, and Equality Labs (which has been instanced in the UNENDING WAR Part 1[27] report for its association with Bhinder and OFMI) have worked together to launch social media campaigns against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC)[28].
  5.  Dismantling Global Hindutva’ conference[29]: Held in September 2021, this three-day online event was convened by well-known Hindu haters like Audrey Truschke, Suchitra Vijayan, Dr. Meena Kandasamy, and Meena Dhanda, and duly promoted by organizations like IAMC, HfHR, Pieter Friedrich, and many Pakistani handles as well[30]
  6. Holi Against Hindutva: In 2020, HfHR, along with IAMC, endorsed Holi Against Hindutva, applauding its “creative approach and…the youthful energy[31]
  7. ‘India on the Brink’ Conference: Most recently, Foundation London Story, along with HfHR, IAMC, JFA, and other organizations had jointly co-sponsored an event, “India on Brink”[32], a three-day event that took place from Feb 26-28, 2022, to suggest that India is on the verge of Genocide. The speakers associated with the event were part of the intricate network of Jamaat-e-Islami and other terror groups. Working closely with the Jamaat-e-Islami linked organizations, HfHR’s co-founder, Raju Rajagopal, had an hour-long interview with Hena Zuberi, Director of JFA, on September 15, 2020, where he talked about the Delhi riots and the CAA violence. The video recording of this interview has subsequently been deleted from the HfHR’s website but can still be accessed on the YouTube channel of Muslim TV and JFA[33].

Concluding Remarks

The Hindus, who are the objects of HfHR’s hate, make a big mistake when they treat the anti-Hindu industry as a collection of small shops. They are all aligned in one direction: to paint Hindus and Hinduism in the darkest colors possible. Their hate for Hindus is comparable to the Nazis’ hate for Jews a century ago. The joke is that they call Hindus Nazis – the cruelest form of verbal sorcery!

Many of these outfits reached their heyday under Nehruvian anti-Hinduism and continued to thrive under subsequent anti-Hindu governments. But the pluralist, development-oriented BJP has no use for these people. Now they are taking their case to the original anti-Hindus, the Anglo-American academy. That’s why you don’t see them that much in India. They claim it’s because India is throttling free speech, but it’s because they’ve been found out!

  1. AMC: American Muslim CouncilCAC: Coalition Against Communalism
  2. CAG: Coalition Against Genocide
  3. CAIR: Council on American Islamic Relations
  4. IAMC: Indian American Muslim Council
  5. ICNA: Islamic Circle of North America
  6. HfHR: Hindus for Human Rights
  7. JeI: Jamaat-e-Islami
  8. JFA: Justice for All
  9. MAS: Muslim American Society
  10. OFMI: Organization for Minorities of India

  1. https://corponline.dcra.dc.gov/BizEntity.aspx/ViewEntityData?entityId=4250725
  2. https://www.hindusforhumanrights.org/en/our-vision
  3. https://www.icna.org/social-justice/icna-csj-helps-coordinate-massive-rally-at-un/
  4. https://iamc.com/press-release/imc-usa_to_hold_first_ever_convention_of_its_kind_on_india-related_issues
  5. https://iamc.com/imc-usa_to_hold_first_ever_convention_of_its_kind_on_india-related_issues/
  6. https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/mehta-sunita-sunita-b-mehta
  7. https://opencorporates.com/events/466486874
  8. https://womenforafghanwomen.org/funding-partners/  
  9. https://www.sadhana.org/mission-vision-values
  10. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Sunita_B._Mehta
  11. https://www.kvk.nl/orderstraat/product-kiezen/?kvknummer=77721306
  12. https://thelondonstory.org/about-us/
  13. https://twocircles.net/2010dec16/imcusa_now_indian_american_muslim_council_iamc.html
  14. https://web.archive.org/web/20201028134057/https://www.iamc.com/iamc-announces-new-executive-team/
  15. IMANA raised funds by exploiting India’s goodwill during Covid crisis (Part II) | CanIndia News
  16. THE UN-ENDING WAR: From Proxy War to Info-War against India – DisinfoLab (thedisinfolab.org)
  17. https://iamc.com/aja-indian-americans-announce-protest-against-modis-houston-visit/
  18. https://en.shafaqna.com/126803/dr-gregory-stanton-genocide-of-muslims-in-kashmir-assam-a-step-away/
  19. https://twitter.com/IAMCouncil/status/1207718147643650049
  20. https://web.archive.org/web/20210411101220/https://standwithkashmir.org/statement-of-solidarity-with-kashmir/
  21. https://web.archive.org/web/20200424165934/https://www.hindusforhumanrights.org/blog/statement-by-hindus-for-human-rights-and-global-indian-progressive-alliance-protesting-the-arrest-of-dr-anand-teltumbde-and-gautam-navlakha
  22. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/varavara-rao-gautam-navlakha-sudha-bhardwaj-arrested-1325320-2018-08-28
  23. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/elgar-case-activist-teltumbde-arrested/articleshow/75148112.cms?from=mdr
  24. https://groups.google.com/g/alt.education/c/ZAcp7c96-bY
  25. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/naxals-killed-cops-injured-encounter-maharashtras-gadchiroli-7621407/
  26. The Kashmiri Pandits: An Ethnic Cleansing the World Forgot (satp.org)
  27. THE UN-ENDING WAR: From Proxy War to Info-War against India – DisinfoLab (thedisinfolab.org)
  28. https://www.hindusforhumanrights.org/en/blog/mass-resistance-actions-against-nrc-and-cab
  29. Dismantling Global Hindutva (dismantlinghindutva.com)
  30. https://nationalhistorycenter.org/about/program-descriptions/congressional-briefings/  
  31. Holi Against Hindutva – South Asian Activism And The Peddling Of Hinduphobia (hindupost.in)
  32. India on the Brink
  33. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Justice+for+all%3A+India+Delhi+pogram  

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