Monday, December 11, 2023

HAF’s Wikipedia web page lies about us

The Hindu American Basis (HAF) is an American Hindu advocacy group, based in September 2003 by Sanjay Garg, Nikhil Joshi, Mihir Meghani, Nagendra Rao, Aseem Shukla, and Suhag Shukla.

The group describes itself as an schooling and advocacy group that goals to teach the general public about Hinduism and the problems impacting Hindus within the US and globally.

In response to its critics, HAF has repackaged Hindu nationalism within the language of “Hindu rights” in a strategy to go well with mainstream American politics. Such critiques aren’t substantiated and don’t deal with instantly HAF’s coverage stances on quite a lot of points starting from free speech to gun security reform.


Persecution of Hindus and human rights reviews

Throughout 2004–2005 HAF held occasions to teach legislators about problems with concern to Hindu Amerians. These included the abuse of Hindus in Muslim-majority areas of South Asia, together with Bangladesh, Kashmir, and Pakistan.

In 2005, the group launched its first human rights report, specializing in the standing of the human rights of Hindus, primarily in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Kashmir Valley. The 71-page report compiled media protection and firsthand accounts of human rights violations perpetrated in opposition to Hindus due to their spiritual id. The incidents are documented, typically quoting from well-known worldwide human rights organizations.

The report was offered to the co-chairs of the US Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-People, representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, and Gary Ackerman, a Democrat. Each of those members of Congress endorsed it.

From 2005–2021, the Basis expanded the scope of its human rights report and continues to launch an annual report entitled “Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora”. These reviews have lined Hindu human rights in eight nations plus the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 

In 2020, HAF organized nationwide candlelight vigils, achieved in partnership with different neighborhood organizations, to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Kashmiri Pandit Exodus. 

In 2021, in partnership with Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, and different Bangladeshi neighborhood organizations, HAF solemnly commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation Battle and accompanying genocide focusing on Bangladeshi Hindus, garnering statements of assist from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Ro Khanna (D-CA), in addition to former US Consultant and candidate for president Tulsi Gabbard. Due to this marketing campaign the HAF has been blocked by the Authorities of Pakistan.

HAF is an entirely impartial, American group duly registered within the State of Florida as a not-for-profit company and a non-partisan, non-profit tax-exempt public charity pursuant to Inside Income Code Part 501(c)3. HAF has completely no affiliation or ties to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or some other organizations or political events both right here within the US or overseas. All company and tax filings are publicly accessible and supply ample proof of HAF’s operational and monetary independence. HAF has a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Civil rights points and different activism in america

In 2004, the group took half in a courtroom case difficult the general public show of the Ten Commandments in Texas, the place it has appeared as amici curiae (good friend of the courtroom). It argued that the show represented an “inherent authorities choice” for Judeo-Christian religions over others and the state should be reminded of its obligation to take care of spiritual neutrality.

In 2005, it joined the American Jewish Committee to collectively sponsor a program at Stanford on “countering biases in opposition to Hindus and Jews on the Faculty campus.” In a gathering with the American Jewish Committee, Mihir Meghani drew parallels between the asserted endangerment of Hindus in India and that of Jews in Israel, and “the shared dangers they face from neighbors with lengthy histories of terrorism.”

In 2007, the Basis launched the first systematic reporting on hatred and bigotry directed in opposition to Hindus expressed on-line. 

In 2008, HAF, together with a coalition of different spiritual teams, filed a lawsuit and blocked the issuance of Christian themed license plates in South Carolina.

In 2010, the group launched the Take Yoga Again marketing campaign, as a response to the commercialization and secularization of yoga. They contended that yoga was excess of asana (bodily postures) and integrally tied to Hinduism, a reality HAF asserted has been sidelined by the trendy Western yoga follow and its presentation within the media. In backlash, this message was generally interpreted as which means that yoga couldn’t be practiced exterior of Hinduism, inviting criticism from Deepak Chopra and Meera Nanda.

In 2010, HAF printed a coverage transient on Hinduism and homosexuality, asserting that  “historical Hindu teachings could enable Hindus to extra brazenly embrace LGBT rights and marriage equality.”

In 2010, the group additionally printed a report on caste, detailing how caste will not be an intrinsic a part of Hindu theology and that it was a social phenomenon present in all communities of Indian society to at the present time. The report characterised caste-based discrimination as a serious human rights downside, concluding that solely Hindus, by way of reform actions and schooling, can rid Hindu society of caste-based discrimination. It additionally castigates organizations like Dignity Freedom Community for arguing that Dalits aren’t Hindus. 

In 2013, HAF joined a coalition of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim organizations urging the Justice Division to research the New York Metropolis Police Division for discriminatory surveillance of American Muslims

In 2015, as part of the Hate Crimes Coalition, HAF participated within the drafting and submission of the edits to an FBI handbook to particularly monitor hate crimes in opposition to Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.

That very same yr, HAF joined a broad interfaith coalition as amicus curiae in US v. Windsor wherein the US Supreme Courtroom declared Part 3 of the 1996 “Protection of Marriage Act” (DOMA) unconstitutional.  In a detailed 5-4 choice, the Courtroom discovered that same-sex {couples} who had been legally married are entitled to equal remedy below federal regulation.

In 2016, HAF together with Indiaspora and different organizations efficiently petitioned the United States Postal Service to difficulty a stamp commemorating the Hindu pageant of Diwali.

In 2020, HAF filed a movement to intervene within the case of California Division of Truthful Employment and Housing v. Cisco Programs. The group’s movement alleged that the way in which wherein the State of California outlined caste, as a Hindu theological and social hierarchy, was unconstitutional, on the grounds that the State was defining Hindu beliefs for Hindus. As of February 2023, the case continues to be pending. 

In October 2022, HAF sued the California Civil Rights Division (previously often known as the California Division of Truthful Employment and Housing) instantly in federal courtroom, reiterating the factors made in its movement to intervene, that the state of California is performing in an unconstitutional method in trying to legally outline Hindu beliefs for Hindus.

Local weather change and our surroundings

In 2015, the Basis partnered with The Bhumi Undertaking (a Hindu environmental venture of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Research) and multifaith environmental group GreenFaith, to create the Hindu Declaration on Local weather Change 2015.

The Declaration “asks the world’s 900 million Hindus to transition to utilizing clear vitality, undertake a plant-based weight loss program, and lead lives in concord with the pure world.” The Declaration was signed by greater than 60 Hindu religious and social leaders and organizations from around the globe, previous to the COP21 Paris local weather talks.

In 2019, HAF partnered with Yale College and different Hindu environmental and neighborhood organizations for the “Hindu Earth Ethics and Local weather Motion” convention

Academic advocacy

In 2006, HAF was concerned within the California Hindu textbook controversy. On March 16, 2006, it filed a lawsuit contesting procedural violations by the California’s Curriculum Fee’s and its unequal remedy of Hindu teams within the textbook adoption course of. Members of the Fee held a collection of ex parte and closed door conferences which had been required to be public by California regulation to reject most of the Vedic Basis and Hindu Schooling Basis‘s advised edits to California’s textbook curriculum on Hinduism and India. The proposed modifications had been publicly opposed by Indologists organized by Michael Witzel, who renounced them as “politically and religiously motivated”.  In September 2006, a choose dominated that the CA State Board of Schooling had violated its textbook approval course of, however the courtroom additionally dominated to retain the textbooks, noting the numerous expense related to reissuing the textbooks.

In 2014, the Texas State Board of Schooling voted to undertake new textbooks that integrated over 100 corrections submitted by HAF working together with students and historians. Among the modifications within the textbooks embody protection of Hinduism and Hindus in modern world historical past and geography, better context within the clarification of caste, and the first-ever Okay-12 textbook point out of Hindu saint Adi Shankara.

In 2016, HAF launched its first report on bullying on Hindu college students in US faculties. Based mostly on preliminary knowledge collected the earlier yr, Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias In opposition to Hindu College students in American Colleges discovered that half of the scholars surveyed felt awkward and socially remoted attributable to their spiritual id, with one-third of scholars having skilled bullying attributable to spiritual id. 

From 2014–2017, HAF participated within the California state course of for creating new content material requirements for state-approved textbooks. Working with different neighborhood teams, together with the Hindu Schooling Basis, and a coalition of students in social research and non secular research, HAF submitted intensive line edits and advised language on how Hinduism and the historical past of India could be offered to some 2 million center and highschool college students within the state. These efforts had been protested by some South Asian lecturers and Neo-Buddhist activists who posited that HAF and its allies had been trying to whitewash California’s historical past textbooks, particularly the historical past of caste in South Asia. On November 16, 2017 the California Board of Schooling voted to undertake textbooks from 10 publishers incorporating most of the edits supported by HAF and its allies, and rejected textbooks from 2 publishers which didn’t incorporate them. 


Allegations of connections with Hindu nationalist organizations

Allegations of operational connections between HAF and the assorted Hindu nationalist teams recognized collectively because the Sangh Parivar have been leveled on the group since its founding to at the present time.

In 1991, whereas on the College of MichiganHAF co-founder Mihir Meghani was a cofounder of the Hindu College students Council (HSC), a nationwide community of scholar societies affiliated to the Vishva Hindu Parishad America (VHPA). He is also credited because the creator of an essay titled “Hindutva: The Nice Nationalist Ideology,” on the web site of the Bharatiya Janata Celebration, which asserted that Hindus and Hinduism had been denigrated by the Indian Nationwide Congress and that Hindus rose as much as demand a “true secularism.” The essay drew a parallel between the Hindu expertise and that of Jews, African People and colonized teams, in addition to characterizing the demolition of the Babri Masjid as the discharge of “1000’s of years of anger and disgrace.” 

Meghani wrote in a Letter to the Editor printed within the print version of India Overseas on April 27, 2006 that he could have written the same essay in faculty a long time in the past, however lengthy disavowed it and didn’t stand by the tone of its content material. He additionally acknowledged that HAF was cofounded by practically half a dozen others, and what he could have written in an essay lengthy earlier than HAF was based and had no connection to different cofounders, the muse, and the Basis’s monitor document of schooling and advocacy.

As well as, it’s recurrently reported that Mihir Meghani has been a member of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA. Not solely does Dr. Meghani don’t have any formal ties to this group, HSS USA doesn’t provide membership.

In 2021, Georgetown College’s Bridge Institute famous that “HAF board member Rishi Bhutada served because the official spokesperson of ‘Howdy Modi’, a rally for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held in Houston, Texas on September 22, 2020 that introduced collectively a number of hundred Indian American neighborhood teams, representing the Christian, Hindu, Jain, and Muslim communities, trade associations, in addition to company sponsors similar to Walmart. The Basis confirmed in a letter to the President of Georgetown that whereas Bhutada did certainly function a spokesperson, however in his private capability.

Following two April 2021 articles printed in Al Jazeera, which alleged that HAF had monetary connections with Hindu nationalist teams in India and had used US Covid aid funds to advertise “sluggish genocide”, HAF sued a number of sources quoted within the article for defamation and conspiracy to defame. 

Named within the lawsuit had been: Hindus for Human Rights co-founders Sunita Vishwanath and Raju Rajagopal, Indian American Muslim Council government director Rasheed Ahmed, Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America chairman John Prabhudoss, and Rutgers College professor Audrey Truschke.

In December 2022, the case was dismissed on procedural grounds, with the judging noting that although among the defendants did make arguably and verifiably false statements in opposition to HAF, and that a few of these statements did trigger authorized hurt to HAF, the defendants didn’t have enough ties to the courtroom’s jurisdiction for the case to proceed.

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