NEW YORK – An inter-faith coalition of civil rights activists and allies organised on Sunday a successful protest against the growing foreign intervention in US elections and expressed concern over the close ties of Sri Preston Kulkarni, a Democratic Indian American candidate running for District TX-22, with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), according to a press statement.
“Hindutva in no way should be confused with Hinduism or Indian. We will control our own elections. We will control our own vote. We will not let RSS to buy our candidates,” said Jada Barnard, an African American activist and video journalist. He said that RSS has been involved in more than 400 pogroms in India. He also condemned the persecution of the Amnesty India staff by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
RSS is a Nazi-inspired organisation founded in 1925 which aggressively promotes the ultranationalist Hindutva ideology championing caste supremacy, misogyny and second-class status for non-Hindus, especially Muslims and Christians.
Speaking on the occasion, MJ Khan, an Indian American activist stressed: “Sri Kulkarni does not denounce RSS, he keeps saying he is not a part of RSS, but doesn’t denounce them. We all know he is lying when he says he is not a part of RSS – his uncle was part of RSS, his cousin is in RSS, his biggest supporters are RSS, Ramesh Bhutada who he calls his father figure, is one of the most active RSS member in USA. He’s lying when he says he doesn’t have connections with RSS.”
Meddling of the RSS and its US proxies in American elections is dangerous, its funding of congressional candidates through its proxies is alarming and calls for broad condemnation, said Dr Shaik Ubaid, national co-chair of Alliance to Save and Protect America from Religious Extremists (ASPAIRE).
“Racist and neo-Nazi movements that feed off Islamophobia and xenophobia are corrosive and diminish American democratic and civil rights standards. They must be called out and condemned and driven out of American politics,” added Ubaid.
He pointed out that the RSS was banned thrice in India due to its militant ideology and its involvement in incitement of violence and promoting pogroms. “The assassin of Mahatma Gandhi was an RSS volunteer. RSS and its sympathisers in India continue to endorse and celebrate the rape of and lynching of religious minorities, mainly Muslims, Christians and lower caste Hindus called Dalits.”
“While the intervention by Russia, China and Iran in the US elections was discussed extensively in the final presidential debate, the intervention by the fascist forces in India was ignored. This fact makes the intervention by the Hindutva ultranationalists, who had openly announced it, even more dangerous,” suggested Saleema Gul, a community organiser
“Two days ago Texas News Todaypublished a detailed article highlighting Kulkarni’s links with RSS. Slowly the American media is waking up to the RSS threat. Kulkarni is losing support in this toss up election. RSS members in the US are hurting the image of Hinduism and India, and damaging the future of their children,” said Zeshaan Hussein of Muslim Voice.