Project ACRPR: Cast of Characters
Though the Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project professes to take no political sides, it is in fact a fault-finding mission, determined to criticize and demonize India’s behavior, blame the Hindu community and ignore Pakistan’s violations in human rights, or the atrocities committed by Islamic terrorists on innocent Indian citizens.
Its end goal is to slander the Modi Government on international forums and to obtain Western intervention in Indian internal affairs, reminiscent of colonial times. This becomes evident from the profiles and record of the cast of characters who are running ACRPR.
The Head of the Snake: Angana Chatterjee
She is a self-styled anthropologist and political activist. She is mainly known in India for her anti-India stance on the issues of Kashmir, Gujarat and Odisha, among many.
She is an open supporter of the Kashmiri separatist movement, portraying Islamic terrorism in the valley as a ‘freedom movement’. Of extreme leftist persuasion, she wears her political orientation on her sleeve.
She is the co-convener of International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice (est. 2008) which aims to showcase ‘Indian atrocities’ on the ‘people of Kashmir’, while portraying Islamic terrorists as ‘combatants’ and as victims of the Indian State and Indian army. She supports Pakistan’s position on Kashmir and has been accused of being a pawn of the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI.
She is a contributor to a book titled, ‘Kashmir: A Case for Freedom’, which as the title suggests, argues for freedom of Kashmir from India, citing ‘human rights violations’ by India in the region. She chooses to criticize ‘human rights violations’ of India, which is the only democratic country out of three that control parts of Kashmir.
Of the other two, one is an Islamic theocracy and the other, a Communist dictatorship, with no regard for human rights. Angana turns a blind eye to both. She does not discuss the ‘human rights violations’ in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and China-occupied Kashmir.
Another of her book is provocatively titled: “Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present – Narratives from Orissa”. The book is concerned with another state in India taken under study in the report of Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project, Orissa.
The book is a lopsided account of religious violence in Orissa, which portrays the entire Hindu community of Orissa as vile and Hinduism as a violent ideology which provokes its followers to kill. Angana carefully ignores any discussion on Christianity and its history of violence against other ethnic and religious groups all over the world throughout its history.
She is widely known as a provocateur, known for inciting communal passions. Her husband Richard Shapiro was barred from entering India in 2010 for engaging in political activism in Kashmir valley. Her own radical views, with acute Hinduphobia, have earned her a notorious reputation across the political spectrum.
She is a vocal opponent of Modi, the BJP, the Sangh Parivar and the larger Hindu community. She was one of the few people who had worked relentlessly to deny Narendra Modi the US visa in 2005.
But it is not only in India that she is a controversial figure. She had been teaching in the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), a private, non-profit institution of higher based in San Francisco, California, since 1997 when in 2011 she was suspended and dismissed for ‘failure to perform academic duties’ and ‘unprofessional ethical behavior’.
Her husband Richard Shapiro headed the Social and Cultural Anthropology Department, while she was the only full-time professor. Between them, they ran the department like a personal fiefdom with no regard for professional behavior or academic regulations. After many complaints by students, an investigation was instituted, which found both Angana and Shapiro guilty:
“Based on this investigation, they became concerned that the department is not functioning within the academic policies of the institute. They discovered substantial complaints of lack of timely and thorough faculty evaluations or written work of students; lack of orderly administration or comprehensive examinations, grading activities outside of the institute policies; differential treatment of students without apparent or recorded basis; and failure to respond to student complaints.”
Reminiscent of a medieval Catholic school, her teaching techniques included coercing her students into imbibing her own ideology, and threatening them with punishment in case of non-compliance. Her no-holds-barred, unethical way of operating is revealed from the following charge leveled at her and her husband in the CIIS controversy:
“…they had breached student confidence, falsified grades, misapplied funds, and otherwise engaged in unprofessional conduct, generally to ensure the loyalty and obedience of those they taught and advised.”
She and her partner would coerce and bully their students into “…an intensive diversity course… [to] undergo a wrenching transformation that would turn them into better advocates for the downtrodden.”
The language used by them is worthy of a Bible thumper, tele-evangelist or a Christian proselytizer, straight out from the Medieval Ages. Their teaching “methodology” quite haughtily suggests that the students have a wrong world-view and they have to learn the ‘only right way of looking at the world’ which only Angana and Shapiro can teach them.
They were turning the students of an anthropology course into advocates and activists for a certain demographic group, making them favor one demographic group over another. The favored group is the Muslim community, centered on Kashmir and Pakistan. And they taught their students to hate India, the Indian state and the Hindus. They were in fact openly teaching racism in an American university.
Angana and Shapiro had destroyed the Anthropological Department of the Institute by making it nothing more than a training ground for activists for Islamic terrorists in Kashmir and many other secessionist groups in India. It is no wonder that she was sacked for spreading anti-Indian, pro-Pakistani propaganda and institutionalizing Hinduphobia and Islamophilia in American academia.
Angana’s involvement with anti-Indian and terrorist forces is not limited to this. She has been involved with Forum of Indian Leftists (FOIL) and Friends of South Asia (FOSA), organizations openly funded by Pakistan’s ISI.
She is also associated with FeTNA, the academic front of LTTE in the U.S. It appears that Angana is a supporter of a whole slew of terrorist organizations that are fighting democratic countries.
Before joining the CIIS in California, she worked with Indian Social Institute (ISI), an anti-Hindu institute run by Jesuits, which stokes communal passions intended at violence and subsequent conversions to Christianity. The ISI website states that it “bends its research methods in order to inflate the magnitude of the social problem.”
She has also lobbied in the U.S. for stopping the funding of IDRF (India Development Relief Fund) because the organization is providing a secular alternative to Christian schools in India. IDRF is in fact denting the efforts of Christian missionaries at proselytizing Hindus in the rural heartland by force and treachery. Angana, being an advocate of all things anti-Hindu thus campaigned against IDRF.
Such behavior is not just a result of ideology; financial motivation by powerful patrons is often behind such activities. She has collaborated with Pakistan’s ISI spies in the U.S. who have been trying to influence the U.S. policy against India’s position in Kashmir.
Many of her colleagues are now in American prison, apprehended by the FBI. There is strong evidence to suggest that after the fall of many of her ISI associates, she became the pointsman of ISI in American academia and this is why she got herself fired from the CIIS.
She is not at all discomfited by the Islamic theocracies like Pakistan or Communist totalitarian dictatorships like China or the violation of human rights there. Destroying democracy is her intended goal.
The selfsame Angana P. Chatterji is the primary editor of the report of Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project. She is not only anti-Modi, anti-BJP or anti-RSS; she is virulently anti-Hindu and goes to the other extreme of supporting Islamic and Christian terrorist organizations.
A possible spy of the ISI, or at least working in complicity with Pakistan-based terrorist organizations, she is bound to be ill-disposed towards the entire Hindu community.
Teesta Setalvad needs no introduction in India. She styles herself as a ‘civil rights activist’ and ‘journalist’. She is also the Secretary of the NGO, ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’ (CJP), which she founded herself. She presents herself as the martyr who fights for the cause of the Muslim victims of the Gujarat violence of 2002.
More infamously, she is known as the politically motivated journalist with vested interests, who has maliciously hounded Narendra Modi, the BJP and the larger Hindu community for the past fourteen years without any evidence. She is also known as the lobbyist for the Muslim community, as someone who has turned a blind eye towards the Hindu victims of the Gujarat violence of 2002.
She is one of the most hated political figures in India, universally reviled for her complicity with Islamic terrorists and for maliciously hounding the Indian government, Narendra Modi and the BJP on international and national forums.
She has been implicated in many serious crimes. She has been accused of tampering with evidence. Her former aide, Rais Khan filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, alleging Teesta of manipulating statements of the witnesses of the Gujarat riots.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the Supreme Court of India accused her of very serious crimes such as “cooking up macabre tales of killings”. The team accused her of inventing tales of cruelties of Hindus against Muslims, in order to ‘spice up the story’. She was accused of completely fabricating many stories. When many witnesses, carefully coached by Teesta were questioned by the SIT, it was found that they had never witnessed the events and were given a fabricated ready-made version to parrot in front of the Court.
The lurid story which Teesta pedaled in front of the entire world—that Hindus pierced a pregnant woman with a sword, killing her and then removing the foetus, turned out to be a fabrication of Teesta.
Even as the SIT proved and declared the above story to be completely fabricated, the Report by the ACRPR in 2015 pedals the story in all its Hinduphobic lurid details, multiple times in the report.
The SIT head R K Raghavan said that Teesta prepared false witnesses and tutored to give them false evidence about imaginary incidents. In all of these cases, Hindus were demonized. Raghavan said that “many incidents were cooked up, false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents, and false charges levelled against the then Ahmedabad police chief P C Pandey”.
Apart from this, she has been accused of embezzling crores of public funds, through her NGO. Her NGO Sabrang Publications has also been accused of violating FCRA norms and receiving lakhs of funds from foreign countries without authorization from the government. She has worked very well with the UPA governments as a result of her malicious hounding of the BJP, and has received many awards from the UPA regime, including the Padma Shree.
The image that comes up after sifting through all the evidence related to Teesta is as follows: following the Gujarat riots of 2002, she geared up her NGO machinery for lobbying for real and imaginary Muslim victims of Hindus. In the process of ‘acquiring justice’ for them, she exaggerated and sometimes completely invented the stories of Hindu cruelty, manipulated the testimonies of the witnesses, doctored and forged evidence, embezzled funds, accepted illegal donations from anti-Indian foreign organizations and slandered India, Narendra Modi, the BJP and the entire Hindu community on many international platforms.
And she is an important part of ACRPR of Berkeley University. Why?
Shashi Buluswar – Philanthropreneur
Shashi Buluswar, another senior editor of the Project Report is also a known supporter of Pakistan’s position on Kashmir and many other issues. He is a prominent member of the ASHA NGO which raises funds for various projects in India. His area of research is ‘armed conflict in India’. He is also part of the new crop of philanthropic ventures described in detail in the first part of this series.
There is a new term to define such ventures in our times: philanthropreneur. These people turn donations into investments by bringing ‘positive social change’ which reinforces their business position one way or other.
Sahshi Buluswar is one such philanthropreneur. Considering that Shashi has very strong anti-India and pro-Pakistan views it makes it highly improbable that his interests in ACRPR are neutral and just philanthropic stemming from the purity of his heart.
Another substantive guide and advisor, John Dayal is a radical Christian fanatic, a communalist rabble-rouser who regularly tries to incite violence between Hindus and Christians by demonizing Hindus and depicting them in racial overtones.
He has been accused of communal hate speech against the Hindu community. Depicting Hindus in racist overtones, he played a phenomenal role in drafting the Communal Violence Bill which put the onus of all and every future riot on the entire Hindu community. Such a polarizing and fanatical figure is an important member of ACRPR. He has the direct support of the Congress Party. He was associated with the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC).
Harsh Mander is a notorious Hindu-baiter who has relentlessly hounded Narendra Modi on national and international forums for over a decade. He is a trustee of ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) a Congress-funded Islamist-leaning organization led by Shabnam Hashmi.
The forum as well as Harsh Mander regularly spews venom against Hinduism and the Hindu society as a whole. ANHAD has also received funding from various international Christian organizations like Christian Aid, Oxfam India etc.
Harsh Mander’s own organization Center for Equity Studies (CES) regularly receives funds from DAN Church Aid, established by Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church).
Mander was a known supporter of Islamic terrorists like Azmal Kasab and Afzal Guru, signing their mercy petitions. He supports freedom for Kashmiri Muslims from the Indian State and typically ignores the human rights violations of Pakistan.
He has links to Ghulam Nabi Fai, the ISI spy in the U.S. and through him, the ISI itself. Harsh Mander was also associated with Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC).
Cedric Prakash is a Jesuit Priest based in Ahmedabad Gujarat; he is in league with Teesta Setalvad and John Dayal. In 2002, he called for foreign intervention in Indian internal affairs, when he testified before the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in Washington. He has won many awards from various national and international fundamentalist Islamist and hardcore Christian organizations. Quite predictably, he is anti-Modi and anti-Hindu.
Meenakshi Ganguly was the South Asia correspondent for Time Magazine in 2002 when the Gujarat riots happened. She wrote a highly biased article in the magazine, blaming the Hindu community, quoting inflammatory and violent lines from Hindu eyewitnesses and perpetrators.
It later turned out that she had not interviewed any single eyewitness and that most of the information that she had provided was false. Such falsification of evidence in a communal riots case which went global should debar the journalist from writing any such report forever.
But the global anti-Hindu industry ensured that no such thing happened and Meenakshi Ganguly is now the South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, another organization suffering from acute Hinduphobia. Needless to say, she is vehemently opposed to Modi and the Hindu community.
Many other members of ACRPR are also diehard anti-Hindus like Homi K. Bhabha, Parvez Imroz, Urvashi Butalia, Khurram Parvez, Sudhir Pattnaik etc. All of them, without exception are known to have extreme anti-Modi, anti-BJP and anti-Hindu views.
This then is the panel which was chosen by the University of Berkeley in the Haas Business School Project ACRPR which intends to look into ‘human rights violations’ by the Indian State and other Hindu organizations.
[The next part will provide a detailed analysis of the ACRPR report titled ‘Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal.’]
2. Joseph, George. “Angana Chatterji, Richard Shapiro sacked from California Institute”. India Abroad. Dec 16, 2011.
3.Bauerlein, Mark. “The Worst College Professors Ever?” Minding the Campus. Jan 31, 2012.
7. ET Bureau. “Setalvad in dock for ‘cooking up killings’”. The Economic Times. Apr 14, 2009.
8.One India News. “Guj Riots: Activist accused of ‘cooking up tales’”. www.oneindia.com. April 14, 2009.
9. ZeeNews Bureau. “‘Teesta Setalvad minting money in riot victims’ name’”. Zee News. March 01, 2013.
12. Jain, Sandhya. “Separatists in High Places: Harsh Mander”. SandhyaJain Archives. 20 February, 2013.
13.“Eight anti-India Intellectuals and Academics you must be Aware of”. Indiafacts.org. 20 Nov 2014.