The Alliance to Save and Protect America from Infiltration by Religious Extremists (ASPAIRE) has condemned the decision of the World Hindu Council of America (Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, or VHPA) to invite Yati Narsinganand Saraswati, to celebrate the festival of Vasant Navratri.
ASPAIRE, in a press statement, said these virtual celebrations, including the Ramayan Path (recitations from Ramchatmanas), by Saraswati from April 13-21, 2021, are to be streamed live on their Facebook page and their youtube channel.
Saraswati, a chief priest of the Desna Devi Temple in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, is a known hate monger and Islamophobe and a violent Hindu extremist who has been in the news recently for making several controversial comments encouraging violence against Muslims and insulting Prophet Mohammed and Shirdi Sai Baba.
“The VHPA and several of its affiliated Hindu organizations have claimed that Hindus in the US are subjected to Hinduphobia. And yet inviting such a hate monger and an Islamophobe on an auspicious event like this is inviting criticism from the Hindus themselves,” the statement by ASPAIRE said.
“VHPA’s invitation of Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati is a clear indication of the spread of Hindu extremism in the US. VHPA is registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit receiving federal funding, and therefore any attempts by it to contribute to the spread of Hindu extremism needs to be investigated by US authorities,” said Dr Shaik Ubaid, co-chair ASPAIRE.
Though the Hindutva groups in the US, especially the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and the Hindu Student Council, started by the VHPA claim to have no interest in Indian politics, it is very far from the truth, said Masood Rab, co-chair, ASPAIRE.
“Every attempt has been made to present the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi well to not only the Indian diaspora but also to the American politicians. For this, they have presented wrongful data of not only the 2002 Gujarat Genocide but also the 2020 Delhi riots. They have even attempted to downplay the negative impact of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and have dismissed the ongoing Farmers protests as “anti-India”, on various platforms in the US”, he said.