Hindu American Foundation Responds to Assertions in India Abroad Letter

February 2, 2007

Source: Hindu American Foundation


A letter by a reader, P. Thomas, was published in India Abroad, January 5th, 2007. The writer asserted that the newspaper was publishing a large number of positive articles and reports on Hindus and Hindu-American organizations, and that those reports did not inform readers about the nature and culture of Hindu-Americans, and the agendas of Hindu-American organizations. The writer targeted the Hindu American Foundation in particular. The letter, in poor taste, and lacking credibility was printed prominently in the letters to the editor page, accompanied by a cartoon complementing the letter. India Abroad, in its subsequent issues, printed letters challenging the claims and assertions of P. Thomas. In its issue of February 2, 2007, India Abroad published HAF's letter rebutting Thomas' claims. It is unfortunate that mainstream media countenances bigoted and hateful attacks on Hindus and Hindu-American organizations in general, and the HAF in particular. Free speech is a precious right that Americans are guaranteed; however, HAF believes that the misuse of free speech rights to spread hateful and bigoted messages should be condemned.

Dear Editor,

Mr. P. Thomas (India Abroad, January 5, 2007) falsely accuses the Hindu American Foundation of being a "front organization of the Parivar". By claiming that the Hindutva organizations in India advocate "violence against Muslims and Christians", and that the HAF is a front organization of the Parivar, he is accusing HAF of advocating violence against Muslims and Christians. It is regrettable that you are helping purvey such mischievous and ignorant lies.

The writer claims that "these are people with an anti-American ideology". The directors of the HAF are all second generation Indian-Americans who are both proud of their Hindu heritage and their American citizenship. HAF's reports on human rights have been endorsed both by Republican and Democratic representatives and academics in American universities, and has gained the respect of federal organizations like the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. HAF's amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in the Texas Ten Commandments case was in support of the stand of American organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and Texas citizens who were seeking clear separation of church and state as guaranteed in the American Constitution.