It is important for Hindus to combat Hindutva as what is happening in India today is just a “start of genocide”, said Sunita Vishwanath, executive director of Hindus for Human Rights, a civil society group based in the United States.
In an interview with The Wire, Vishwanath with expressed her worries about what is happening in India against minorities, Muslims, and Christians. In her interaction with journalist Karan Thapar, Viswanath discussed key issues, including why Americans thinks that it is important to protest against India’s “mistreatment” of minorities, particularly Muslims.
Explaining why her organisation, along with 16 other civil society organisations in the US took the lead in lobbying with the US Congress against the persecution of Muslims and minorities in India between January 12 and 26, Sunita Vishwanath said, ”The world needs to recognise something is happening in India… India is on a perilous road.”
She said that such groups have the ability to persuade US senators and the Biden Administration to speak out as well on this issue. “It hasn’t occurred enough. The India that the government talking about is the opposite India where they are fighting for creating is a fascistic India where only upper caste Hindu have rights and everybody else is second class citizens,” Vishwanath added.
She has also denied charges levied by the External Affairs Ministry, Arindam Bagchi, about “bias” with regard to the issues being raised. “India talks about bias? I would argue that accusations of bias are biassed in and of themselves,” she retorted, and further stated that her organisation had a moral obligation to “raise awareness of India’s failing democracy and human rights.”
She stated that she was speaking out in defence of authentic Hinduism, a faith she adores, which would not condone or support Muslim othering. Vishwanath also also asked “which India is accusing” them of being anti-India. ”Is it Gandhi and Ambedkar’s India or the India where only an upper caste Hindu’s have the rights?” she questioned.
Furthermore, Vishwanath also spoke about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) and said those are laws that makes religion the criteria for citizenship. ”The lynching of Muslims has increased, specially on the youth.” she added.