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New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Stand Against Hindu Fascism

Stand+Against+Hindu+Fascism

My dad is the odd one out in his family. While the rest of the family are devout, fundamentalist Hindus who support Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, my dad is a staunch atheist and absolutely loathes Hindu fascism. As the BJP has consolidated political power, I have watched my dad furiously rave about how much he despises the BJP and how fascism and religious fundamentalism are destroying India. Despite his admirably strong convictions, he is extremely reluctant to confront his BJP-supporting family members back home, likely because he wants to avoid stirring tensions. 

The BJP, India’s ruling political party — whose founders praised Hitler and Mussolini in the party’s early days — espouses the fascist ideology of Hindutva. Hindutva equates Indian national identity with Hindu identity and enables the forcible suppression of non-Hindus and low-caste Hindus. Recent policies put forth by BJP supporters include the Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by parliament in December. It provides a path to citizenship for refugees of every South Asian faith but Islam. Under the disguise of patriotism, Hindu fascists politically persecute and subject minorities who do not fit their Hindutva profile to violence. 

Hindutva has inspired terrorism and mob lynchings of marginalized people across India, especially targeted against Muslims and Dalits (low-caste people). There are some Indian Americans who have been protesting BJP fascism and the Delhi pogrom, as rallies of hundreds of people have been held across the country in the last week, including a protest organized by NYU’s South Asia Society — but this is not nearly enough. A crowd of about 50,000 Indian Americans showed up at President Trump’s “Howdy Modi” event held in Houston in September of last year, cheering and applauding raucously as the two far-right leaders who have both invoked anti-Muslim sentiment held hands and embraced. 

Far too many Indian Americans, especially Hindus, have been complicit in the BJP’s fascism through their support of Modi and their utter silence on Hindutva terrorism. 

But there is no room to be silent anymore. The last week of violence in New Delhi, India’s capital, was akin to a pogrom, a state-sanctioned week of riots and mob lynchings committed against a marginalized religious group and historically a precursor to genocide. Hindu mobs burnt down mosques and planted flags of Hindu deities on the ashes, set fire to Muslim-owned businesses and homes and beat and killed Muslims openly in the streets. These mobs were comprised of BJP supporters and even police themselves.

Hindutva has deep roots in the Indian diaspora. Prime Minister Modi, the leader of the BJP, and his Hindu fascist agenda have long been supported by many Indian Americans. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a terrorist organization according to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, who some call the paramilitary wing of BJP, has its largest overseas presence in the U.S. 

As Hindu fascist terror escalates, particularly in the wake of the Delhi pogrom, it is important to challenge Hindutva in every way possible — from confronting family back home to mobilizing in the streets. It is essential that diaspora Indians also challenge BJP-aligned organizations such as the Overseas Friends of BJP, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, and the Hindu Swayamsevak Sanghin, the international wing of RSS, in their efforts to help legitimize and spread Hindu fascism.

Ethnonationalism against immigrants and refugees along with Islamophobia and anti-Semitism as well as other factors seem to be fueling fascism’s rise globally. Common themes such as racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and militarism underlie the increasing popularity of the far-right and right-wing terrorism in countries such as India, Brazil, the U.S. and the Philippines. The BJP is part of the international rise of politicians weaponizing religion and nationality to foment hatred against marginalized communities to the point where hundreds have been attacked by its supporters. 

If Modi supporters in the U.S. can turn up by the tens of thousands, even as the Indian government commits barbaric acts of violence in Muslim-majority Kashmir at the same time, how is it that demonstrations against BJP only draw hundreds in the U.S.? Resistance is so weak because Islamophobia and Hindu fascism are pervasive. With Hindu fascist violence threatening the lives of Muslims more and more each day, it is more urgent than ever to reject Hindutva, organize against BJP-aligned groups in the U.S. and stand in solidarity with the Muslim community.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March. 9, 2020 print edition. Email Asha Ramachandran at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Asha Ramachandran, Deputy Managing Editor
Asha Ramachandran is a junior studying journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis. They were born and raised in New England (but please don't ask about sports teams!). When Asha isn't obsessing over their two cats, they're probably either reading about obscure politics, tweeting about obscure politics, or cooking mediocre renditions of TikTok recipes. Email them at [email protected] or find them on Instagram @asha.rm.
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  • S

    Siva IyerMar 21, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    Good article, Asha. Agree with you, fascism in Hinduism fascism is rampant today. For starters, one can begin by taking note of the shameful comments leveled against this young girl who has bravely made her factual opinions public in a blog. All haters who have written foul comments on this post are merely proving the writer’s point.

    Reply
  • A

    Abrahmic_bigotOct 17, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    When will you stand against global political Islam and Christian led politics that have been occupying pagan lands, continue to persecute pagans and impose “Islamic” and “Christian” values on pagans? When will this be criticized?

    The amount of money funneled by these two religions into creating narratives should easily disappoint liberals.

    Unfortunately the liberal west have been taken over by Islamo leftist and abrahmic supremacists who are in turn occupying native American pagan lands. Such is the irony.

    Reply
  • P

    PcSep 9, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Pure propaganda masquerading as an opinion piece. I am sure this is not written by a student but some well
    Known Islamist authors who bat for radical Islam. Islam has been a curse on humanity since it was born and is responsible for genocides, murders and rapes on industrial scale. It’s a backward ideology. Hopefully secular nations realize the threat that radical
    Islam poses.

    Reply
  • D

    Deepak SharmaAug 30, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    What a shame on your parents who didn’t teach you about religion. And some foreigners barking about india, who even don’t know who is living the next door.
    Hindus are most tolerate in the world. Even we waited for 15 years for Supreme Court for our ayodhya temple. Half million kashmiri pandits were killed but we looked for judgment only.
    I don’t know why world against Hinduism even I never seen any hindu interfere in any other religion.

    Reply
  • P

    Pulkit SinghJul 16, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Please educate yourself and your data on 400k Kashmiri Hindu pandits still refugees due to Islamists pushing them out of Kashmir. Please educate yourself of thousands of Hindus leaving Pakistan and Bangladesh and the CAA being the only law protecting them. Also finally, BJP is not in power in Delhi, its AAP and it was Tahir Hussain who was arrested.

    Reply
  • R

    RitwikMay 20, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    You are misinformed ! Your understanding of RSS /BJP and Hinduism is limited to what you had gathered from internet search and what your rebel daddy had taught you.

    CAA doesn’t give citizenship to muslims because Pakistan is carved out of India exclusively for muslims ,where Hindus and other minorities are being persecuted on a daily basis since 1947 .Check the population growth of minorities in India and Pakistan ,you would see that muslimes have actually grown in number in India meanwhile Hindus of Pakistan have nearly became extinct . If it’s all about Hindu supremacy then why would CAA give Citizenship to all other religions

    Slaughter of Cows is banned in India ,pretty much for the same reason why Horse slaughter is banned in USA , Cows are dear to Hindus and Horses are dear to colonial european invaders who are now ruling the USA , so there is nothing wrong in stopping muslims from killing cows .

    Delhi riots was planned by islamists, Hindus only retaliated ,, read the book by Monika Aurora .

    Oh wait .. i see that you don’t have time for that , As a budding journalist you have to churn out articles one after another huh ? that’s how you get paid ,good luck on your next random article what ever it is

    Reply
  • B

    BharatMar 20, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Do people commenting here, like Janardhan Babboor even know what Hindutva is? Indian Supreme Court defined Hindutva years ago. Go look it up and educate yourself.

    Reply
  • J

    Janardhan BabboorJan 21, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    I just wanted to further add that the Ideology of Hindutva is the most gross and distorted version of what Hindu/Indic culture originally was. In order to create a homogenous Hindu identity, they are trying to push an agenda of India being a nation of pure Hindi Hindu Hindutvaadis. Forget about the rich and diverse culture of the South, East and Western part of India, their idea of the Hindu identity is purely cantered in the Hindi belt of North India. They are no different to the deep south Rednecks you find in the United States of America.

    Reply
    • M

      Masuam KvFeb 1, 2021 at 4:49 pm

      Very well said.

      Reply
    • A

      Abrahamic_bigotOct 17, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      Wrong parallels. How much of service do you owe to your abrahmic supremacists colonial masters?

      Hindusim is a broad term used for the cultures around Indian subcontinent, south of central asia and Southeast Asia and around that were developed around the concept of Dharma, karma and other philosophies that hold them together.

      If anything politcal then BJP is an answer to global political Islam and church politics that have been occupying pagan lands around the world and continues to push their colonial narratives

      Reply
  • J

    jayNov 23, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Can someone name one good thing about hindusim ? Can you name any single achievement other than the google search engine ? Why do hindus think they are great when no one else agress ? Why do hindus practice inbreeding/ marrying their own family ? Why is india a dirty country which never invent a sewer pipe ? I mean this is a country who inherited everything from the british and admit it ? Why hindus love talking about their great civilization ? Where the hell are the ruins that back this up ?

    Seems to me hinduism is just a strategy to differnetiate itself from the “goys” or non-hindus ? We are we hindus we eat a special cuisine and try to study our way to the top ? What are you studying ? There is no hindu corpus of knowledge !! They never invented it !! Waste country and people ! !

    Reply
    • A

      Abrahamic_bigotOct 17, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      Seriously? Your decimal system is literally called Hindu system and the term you use karma is a bitch is Hindu. What have abrahmic supremacists given to the world? Colonization? Death? Loot? Massacres? Religions to fight on? Just the dirt pushed under your rug?

      Reply
  • A

    AbhishekOct 18, 2020 at 12:59 am

    Dear Asha, you clearly do need to some more research. Before making an opinion, why don’t you read about the other side of the story and also learn a bit more about the history of India. Also when you do you research, I suggest you evaluate the validity and credibility of resources before you come to a conclusion.

    Reply
  • D

    DevayaniAug 12, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Really? Just, really? I’m a swayamsevika in the US, and let me tell you that you are absolutely wrong, dear. Like others have said, please go learn more about the situation you wrote about and then come back and see if you’re still right. Shame on you.

    Reply
  • N

    NickAug 8, 2020 at 2:02 am

    Hell I am yet to find a Muslim writing anti Islam article. And then the same anti Islam article getting supported by ‘moderate’ Muslims.
    On the other hand
    Many naive Hindus wrote anti Hindu article, get famous and get support from not only Muslims who has nothing to do with India or Hinduism, but also from ‘moderate’ Hindus. Strange world of Muslim!
    PS: try writing anti Islam article based on factual wrong done by Islam and see who loves you and who kills you(Islam don’t hate- they go for kill)

    Reply
  • D

    DiogenesAug 7, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    The population of Bangladesh in 1960 was around ~60M and today it is 160M. We can say an average of 110M ~(60+160)/2 ~ during that period. The Hindu percentage has declined from ~20% in 1960 to 9% today. 10% of Hindus out of 110M have disappeared. That is 10M people. You might quibble with the 20% to 9% decline or my straight-line approximation. Even if the number is off by 90%, it is still 1M people. Did they go to India, were they converted or were they killed? The high estimate of the Yazidi population decimated by ISIL was between 10,000 and 25,000. The cost of the ongoing human cost in Bangladesh is *horrific*. Pakistan has seen something similar but the numbers are hard to get. Even a decimation of 10% of Pakistan’s Hindu population of 3-4M will result in 300,000 people converted, killed, raped, or fled to India. The most common method of conversion in Pakistan is abduction, rape, conversion, and marriage of girls. The ongoing human cost is absolutely horrific.

    Reply
  • S

    Sachin ShahJul 4, 2020 at 7:12 am

    Asha, excellent article. I fully agree with you and your father. We need to educate the Asian Indian diaspora about the problems with Hindu Fascism. In addition, you must know that their is greater problem with a Fascist Hindu rule is the use of nuclear weapons in their arsenal. The question is whether India will be a problem of concern for the other countries such as the US in the future? With the crises in hand of communalism and the Indian constitution ready to be trashed- what will the condition of women rights,human rights, the welfare of children, and will security in that region of Asian be stable? We as progressive Asian Indians must look at religion mixed with government as a toxic mixture. In a secular democracy there is no room for religious laws such as Sharia Law. Human rights are paramount and supercede religious doctrine be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, and Zoroastrianism. A secular democracy would look at population control for all religions, women’s rights, human rights, cleanliness and health, modernizing infastructure, affordable housing, well funded public education, equal food production and distribution, jobs and workforce training, and revamping of police effectiveness and ethical policing and governance. But when religion takes preference there is nothing squabbling that leads to terror and racism not only in the realm of Hindutva- but in all directions in our very interesting world.

    Reply
    • A

      Abrahamic_bigotOct 17, 2021 at 5:37 pm

      Then talk about Hindus being persecuted in history and today. Where the f are those article? These genocides are happening in since centuries. Where is the documentation? The empathy? Abrahamic supremacists majoritarian world has gone bonkers with little no sympathy towards pagans. Many are decimated by these colonial abrahmic supremacists impsiungytheri “Christian” and “islamic” values on pagan lands.

      Reply
  • S

    SuhailMay 11, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Great article… We are all humans first any government that differentiates between citizens based on religion, cast or color is unacceptable. All low income citizen deserves govt support. My heart goes out to Migrant laborers and other poor souls who are under lockdown with no food and medicines

    Reply
  • S

    ShradhtaApr 13, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Shame on you and your father whose daughter you are..wish your parent have taught you about Hindu religion….Hinduism is the way of life and it is only one region on the earth who never force anyone to convert.. recently had riots in Delhi ..innocent Hindus were chopped and have been through in gutter. It is not your fault ..It is a problem for all parents who don’t properly educate their children about our religion. And after the age when they grow up they are misguided by others because their roots are so weeks for our religion.

    Reply
    • S

      SuhailMay 11, 2020 at 4:00 pm

      Hindu is the most savage religion under RSS-BJP. People like you have changed the image of India from a peaceful Gandhi loving country to a fascist where minorities are lynched everyday, forced to say jai Sri ram, to save their lives from Hindu hooligans… Hindus are forcibly converting during COVID19 lockdown for some food. You will not get away with this. You will force the people to rise against RSS-BJP govt. you watch

      Reply
      • D

        DevayaniAug 12, 2020 at 3:20 pm

        Funny comment. Have you seen at all how Muslims have wreaked havoc on Hindu minorities? Are you really that uneducated in this matter?

        Reply
  • R

    RamMar 10, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Disgusting, you are living in dream world and have perhaps never seen or visited ground situation infested by jihadis. I suggest you go and live in Kashmir, you will be dead or converted to Islam in a week. Take this challenge, all your *Hawa Mahal* that you have created by reading stupid news will.be shattered.

    Reply
  • K

    Kalyan TMar 10, 2020 at 12:52 am

    Unfortunate to see young kids Like you are coming to conclusions without knowing history. Please do yourself a favor and educate yourself about the real history and then put the pen on the paper. The sad state of Hindus today is just because of their universal acceptance and belief in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. We can clearly see how it is being exploited by writers like you. Shame on media.

    Reply
  • P

    PrasannaMar 9, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Good article. Very important to criticize Islamophobia and the resurgence of right-wing ideology, hopefully before it’s too late.

    Reply
    • R

      RunaMar 10, 2020 at 7:58 am

      Agreed. Any thoughts on hinduphobia ? Any knowledge of recent history of the region ? Any objective assessment of things over a period ?

      Reply
  • A

    amrikMar 9, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Please educate yourself and your data on 400k Kashmiri Hindu pandits still refugees due to Islamists pushing them out of Kashmir. Please educate yourself of thousands of Hindus leaving Pakistan and Bangladesh and the CAA being the only law protecting them. Also finally, BJP is not in power in Delhi, its AAP and it was Tahir Hussain who was arrested.

    Reply
  • Y

    YPMar 9, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Asha,

    You are brave girl with bright future.

    I assume you are also seeker of the truth. With that I suggest you go deep into this before making conclusion. It requires study of following:

    1. What is the history of India and why it was partitioned?

    2. Why natives of India went through genocide at the hands barberian invaders centuries after centuries?

    3. Why innumerable mosques were built on top of temples? (There are ample proofs of this in present times).

    Let’s ignore history for a bit even though it is relevant today. Since you can verify something similar happening in PRESENT TIME

    1. Condition of Hindus and their temples in neighboring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    2. Condition of Hindus in India itself. (They are kicked out from Kashmir and their temples demolished. Similar situations happening in West Bengal, Kerala and many states of India where they have become minority).

    3. Actual data of violence against Hindus vs violence by the Hindus. The data confirm that even in the region where Hindus are majority, they are-more at of receiving end of violence at the hand of minority).

    Now here is big question?

    Does the ideology or religion which caused the destruction and partition of India still present on the ground?

    The answer from the perspective of most Hindus living in India is resounding YES. Hindu see day in and out how their rights and lives are trembled upon by bigoted but determined minority.

    In such scenario of merciless attacks, any human with survival instinct will act for defending himself.

    Hindus very well know that what future holds for them when they will become minority in India. It will be nothing different than conditions of Yazidis at the hand of ISIS(subject of research for you).

    It is unfortunate that people relying on propaganda declare Hindu resistance as fascism. From their perspective Hindus should stop their survival efforts and opt for outright suicide instead.

    Reply
  • S

    SSMar 9, 2020 at 11:21 am

    Asha, glad you wrote this and made your position clear.

    Let me appeal to the student in you who is open to new ideas and is not an ideologue.

    First some homework –
    https://youtu.be/ihqwB_D9IbE
    Watch this video and read the book on the topic by the speaker- Dr Rajat Mitra.

    Once you have done the homework reflect on this –
    The video is about a genocide (and I am using this term very responsibly, unlike the “pogroms” that you see in media these days) that happened 30yrs ago in Kashmir. Then your dad was likely around your age now.

    Did he tell you anything about what happened in Kashmir? Did he get worked up about it then like you are getting worked up about Delhi riots today?

    I can bet the answer is no.

    Modi and CAA did not happen suddenly. There is a history here which I am afraid you will likely not learn from your dad or your professors or NYT.
    But I can assure you that you will find it in your university libraries.

    So make use of your privilege as a student and do some serious and honest research into the subject. Don’t just fall for the propaganda.

    Reply
  • M

    Mukesh GargMar 9, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Radical Islamiats killed many Hindus in Delhi and that started the riots.
    You are fulfilling agenda of radicals, who want to make Indians fight each other.
    I challenge you, go live in Afg/Pak/Bangladeah or even Kashmir. Can you do it? If not, then think for a minute, why not?

    Reply
  • D

    Dharma Palaniappa SabhaMar 9, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Asha, please educate yourself instead getting deluded by motivated fake news. Making victims to be oppressor will only leave you wearing a burkha. Under Sharia there are no minority rights. Would you support a radical idea such as Uniform Civil Code for all Indians?

    Reply
  • R

    RASHMI SHALIGRAMMar 9, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Shame on you Asha Ramachandran for shaming an ideology which you are obviously clueless about. The very fact that you are able to do this fearlessly is because of the essence of the principles of Hindutva- tolerance !! One suggestion if you dare- if you are true to your and your dad’s atheist salt – write a similar article about the genocide of minorities in Islamic countries, write about the terrorism propagated and the loss of innocent lives around the world by the jihadi ideology. Gotta have guts !! Write about the Catholic Church and the pedophile pastors!
    This will clear up your brainwashed brain !

    Reply
    • A

      AmitJun 9, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      @Rashmi: You are no Hindu. You preach an alien ideology that is intolerant to anything but the same ideology – the definition of fascism. That is however, beside the point that the RSS and its sister organizations are just a front for crony corporatism. You can’t even stomach an article without attacking the author or her family – convincing proof that you know nothing about Hinduism. Lord Vishnu lives in all beings and things in the Universe, irrespective of their faith or lack thereof.

      There is no difference between the British Raj and the BJP regime.

      Here is a link to the Gita: https://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/chapter-01.html
      Read and live by it.

      Om Namo Narayana!

      Reply
    • K

      KaliNov 4, 2020 at 3:09 am

      Hindus are one of the most racist group of people on the earth, which is why Hinduism is dying and never appeals to anyone. The best part is you proudly wear your casteism, sexism, misogyny, and what not on the sleeve. The reason it appealed to some in the past was because it looked and worked on its own flaws rather than pulling other faiths down to its level of filth. Majority browbeating won’t help. And, stop daring others. Why don’t you write an article if you have the guts? You won’t and you can’t because you are comfortable in your pool of ignorance. You don’t have facts and data to support your claims and you chose to ignore what the majority is doing to minorities in your own country.

      Reply
    • T

      Temujien KhanJan 5, 2021 at 12:30 am

      Rashmi, people usually write about what they feel strongly about not what you dictate, it’s a free world you know. Ample has been said and is being said about the PETRO-TERRORISM that you allude to. Terrorist acts around the globe and terrorism is highly condemned in any form whatsoever. Now YOU say that you “CONDEMN TERRORISM IN ANY FORM, WHATSOEVER”. You coming here and daring people will not make you appear strong. Trust me WE KNOW, how strong you are. The talk from the leaders is for internal consumption only. And what is this about you permitting people to talk “you are able to do this fearlessly is because of the essence of the principles of Hindutva- tolerance”. How benevolent. Go read your scriptures. Go see a real enlightened being and then talk. What is being passed as “Hindutva” is the collective Hindu “UNCONCIOUSNESS”, superstitions and collective ignorance. The truth is that someone screwed them ages ago and they just realised it so they are taking their anger out on hapless minorities. They have no ECONOMIC, SCIENTIFIC, EDUCATIONAL VISION for the nation except harassing defenceless people going about their daily business.

      Reply
    • I

      INDIAN_ANTI_HINDU_ANTI_BRAHMINMar 13, 2021 at 4:47 am

      what are HINDU’s capable of? Other than BEGGING FOR VISAS of CHRISTIAN, MUSLIM AND BUDDHSIT Countries?
      HINDU BRAHMIS are THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMALS IN THE UNIVERSE AND SHOULD BE DONE WITH.
      HINDUS MAKE DIRT AND SHIT IN THE COUNTRY, INDIA, WHERE THEY ARE 75%.
      HOW CAN SUCH A DIRTY AND INCOMPETENT PEOPLE ADD ANY VALUE TO “dEVELPED COUNTRY”?

      THROW HINDUS OUT OF DEVELOPED COUNTRIES. MAKE THEM LABOURS IN AFRICA.

      Reply
      • A

        Abrahmic_bigotOct 17, 2021 at 5:41 pm

        And these anti Hindu comments are not flagged? Why am I not surprised?

        To clear your confusion. All the abrahmic majority lands are occupied pagan lands. Just get out of there and make way for pagans to restore it’s glory, you petrol munching machines

        Reply