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2. Coalition Against Genocide
A group of anti-Hindu Yankee Indian Leftists earning their bread, butter, jam and caviar in American universities in the world´s ultimate capitalist paradise, organised themselves, American Indian Muslims, Indian Christian missionaries, and four once-born ´Hindus´, three from the same Poddar family operating between themselves five ´organisations´, into a group called ´Coalition Against Genocide´ to lobby the American StateDepartment to deny Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi a diplomatic visa to visit that country in May 2005. They didn´t have to campaign very hard. The US establishment was just dying for an opportunity to teach Indian Hindus a lesson for daring to respond proactively to Islamic jihadi terrorism against Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya; the visa was denied with great alacrity.
What all Hindus know but do not dare to articulate is that communal riots (a euphemism for Hindu retaliation to Muslim provocation) were not unique to Gujarat 2002. India´s ´secular´ intellectual elite continues to insist on the fiction that all was well between Hindus and Muslims until the advent of the British. This ´anti-Hindu´ elite has also perpetuated the intellectual tradition in public discourse that communal harmony is the responsibility only of the Hindus. This means no matter what the provocation from Muslims and Christians, as long as Hindus maintain self- destructive tolerance and patience in the face of repeated assaults against our dharma and our society, India will always remain the garden of ´communal harmony´; but if the Hindus retaliate with equal force then the ´minorities´ are the victims of majoritarian fundamentalism, Hindu fascism.
As stated by me in the introduction to the book, the NGOs and activists under the scanner in this book share a cosy partnership with the US establishment - it is they who depose before the US State Department´s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and also before the American bi-partisan commission for international religious freedom, the USCIRF. Nirmala Deshpande, Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University that is communism´s last intellectual bastion), Sumit Ganguly (expat ´journalist´), the ubiquitous John Dayal, and Teesta Setalvad have been among the other regular Marxist, Muslim and Christian usual suspects who have run sniffing to the US with their complaints. By running to a third country for intervention in India´s domestic affairs, these ´civil society leaders´ have signaled that they have no social charisma or moral stature of their own and also that they lack faith in India´s democratic institutions. B Raman, one of India´s leading experts on counter-terrorism, puts it bluntly. ´Who were the people who ganged up against Modi to humiliate him and teach him a lesson?´ The answer: ´Sections of the so-called secularists in India and the US, many of them Hindus, who cannot stand the sight of any party which seeks to articulate the feelings of Hindus and give them a sense of pride in their identity as Hindus´.3 Now Raman is neither RSS nor BJP. He, in fact, retired as Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat and is perhaps a remnant of a dying or an already extinct species—the quintessential faceless, colorless and odorless bureaucrat - scrupulously honest and objective to a fault. Yet even he thinks that it is only the anti-Hindu bias of these NGOs which powered this anti-Modi campaign.
Commendably, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rose above petty politicking on this issue and, in the Rajya Sabha, expressed disapproval of the US State Department´s decision to cancel Modi´s visa. The Prime Minister´s nationalist stand enraged this network of anti-national activists who promptly wrote to him condemning his ´defense´ of Modi.4
This anti-Hindu group, which called itself Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) included the following organisations:
Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia (ASDSA)
American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI)
Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM)
Association of South Asian Progressives (ASAP)
Center for Study and Research in South Asia (CERAS, Montreal)
Federation of Indian American Christian Organisations of North America (FIACONA)
Forum Of Inquilabi Leftists (FOIL)
Friends Of South Asia (FOSA)
Hindu Vaishnava Center for Enlightment
Indian Christian Forum (ICF)
Indian Muslim Educational Foundation of North America (IMEFNA)
Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA)
Indian Muslim Relief and Charities (IMRC)
International South Asia Forum (INSAF)
Muslim Youth Awareness Alliance (MYAA)
NRI´s for Secular And Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI)
Policy Institute For Religion And State (PIFRAS)
Sikh American Heritage Organisation (SAHO)
Sneha (A network for women of South Asian origin)
Vedanta Society of East Lansing
World Tamil Organisation (WTO)
Supporting organisations included:
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
DC Collective for South Asians (DCCSA)
Institute on Religion and Public Policy (IRPP)
Interfaith Freedom Foundation (IFF)
To be noted: The description ´South Asian´ which seeks to dissolve Hindu India into the Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh. Also that there is one Sikh and one Tamil group which, for the only reason that they are based in the US and in partnership with this motley gang, are probably separatist Sikh and Tamil groups. And the two ´so-called´ Hindu groups - the Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment sometimes calling itself Hindu Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment (as though Vaishnavam can be anything else other than Hindu) and the Vedanta Society are both one- man shows. Or shall I say two-men shows both of them officiating for both organisations as and when required? Dr KS Sripada Raju and the self-styled ´Acharya´ Shrikumar Poddar are both from East Lansing, Michigan and, to the best of my knowledge these groups have no websites of their own describing themselves or their work.
There are three Poddars, all from the same family, with six organisations between them - Shrikumar Poddar, President, India Foundation, USA (this is besides his avatars in the Vedanta Society and Hindu Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment), who is also co-founder of the pompous-sounding NRI SAHI or Non-Resident Indians for a Secular and Harmonious India (whatever that may mean); Mayurika Poddar, Vice-President, Seva International, USA; and Devesh Poddar, Treasurer, Coalition for India, Undergraduate Students, USA. There is no other information about Shrikumar except that he happily signs any letter drafted by the anti-Hindu Marxist, Muslim and Missionary gang in the USA to lend their various causes a Hindu touch. He is the ´Hindu´ drop that flavours the pretentious and blatantly false ´multi-religious´ claim of this NGO coalition against the RSS. The three members of the family besides Sripada Raju can ensure four signatures amongst themselves citing four organisations, or four names citing six organisations, to all letters and petitions drafted by this group. Similarly, while these two so-called ´Hindu´ organisations have at least the two names, Poddar and Raju as signatories, the Dharma Megha, which is also a part of the Coalition Against Genocide has neither a website nor a person´s name. We also do not know if it is another pretentious ´Hindu´ or even a pseudo ´Buddhist´ drop.