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Substantial rise in attacks on Hindus: Indian-American Congressman

April 16, 2024 09:01 IST

Observing that there is substantial increase in attacks against Hindus and Hinduism in the United States, an Indian-American Congressman warned that this was just the 'beginning of a coordinated anti-Hindu attack'.

IMAGE: A Hindu devotee offers prayers at a temple in Robbinsville, New Jersey. Image used only for representation. Photograph: Bing Guan/Reuters

"Today, I am seeing in the United States a substantial increase of attacks on Hinduism. A lot of misinformation is being circulated whether it is online or otherwise," Congressman Shri Thanedar told reporters at a news conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Monday.

Thanedar and four other Indian American lawmakers -- Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ami Bera and Pramila Jayapal -- had recently written to the Department of Justice seeking an investigation on the recent surge in attacks on Hindu temples and places of worship.


At the press conference organised by HinduAction, a non-profit body, Thanedar complained that no action has been taken against those responsible for the attacks and no arrests have been made either.

"We have experienced substantially more events of this kind in recent months. I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of a very coordinated attempt against this community and the community must stand together. The time has come and I will stand with you," Thanedar said.

"Having practised Hinduism, having grown as a Hindu in a Hindu household, I know what Hinduism is. It is a very peaceful religion," he said, adding that it is not a religion that attacks others.

"However, this community continues to be misrepresented, misunderstood, sometimes deliberately so. I recently joined four of my Indian-American colleagues to write to the Department of Justice. You know, one of the concerns that we had was the rising attacks on places of worship.

"We've seen those happening in California, we have seen those happening all the way in New York and all across America. It appears to be a very coordinated effort to attack these places of worship, which has created a lot of fear in the community," he said.

Thanedar alleged that often local law enforcement enters into these investigations which goes nowhere.

He said it leaves the community feeling like they have nobody who cares about them.

That means that the community continues to live in fear. The community continues to live in an adverse situation with essentially no help from law enforcement, he added.

Thanedar said that there is a need to coordinate efforts between the local law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Justice.

"A higher priority needs to be assigned to such hate crimes against this peaceful community," he said.

"That is what we have asked the Justice Department to do and it is time for the whole community to come together and make sure that we demand equality, that we demand justice. We we will not tolerate such hate against Hinduism."

Thanedar said he has introduced a resolution in the United States Congress on 'anti-Hindu attacks'.

"Through the resolution and the letter that we wrote to the Department of Justice, we continue to put pressure on this administration to ensure that the Hindu community has a right to live in peace," he said.

Utsav Chakrabarti from HinduACtion described it as a historic resolution in the fight against 'anti-Hindu crimes' in the US.

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