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The Indian American Muslim Council is at it Again: Targeting of the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation

The Indian American Muslim Council is at it Again: Targeting of the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation

Image courtesy: istockphoto.com

On November 27, 2022, the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) organized a dinner and fundraising event in Frisco, TX, a town that is part of the northern suburbs of Dallas, TX. The GHHF is the brainchild of Prof. V. V. Prakasa Rao (Dr. Prakasararo Velagapudi) who was an early Indian immigrant having arrived in the US in 1965 to pursue graduate studies. He had attended the Hindu College and National College in Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh and received his MA in Rural Development and Economics from Andhra University in 1963. Having worked briefly at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, he came to Michigan State University where he earned an MA in Sociology, and then went on to earn his PhD in Sociology from Mississippi State University in 1971. Joining Jackson State University in 1974 as an Associate Professor, he retired in 2006 as the Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology.

Dr. Prakasarao was one of the founding members of the Hindu Temple Society of Mississippi. As an academic and a Hindu devotee, he was active in Mississippi Hindu communities for more than three decades. He has been involved in interfaith debates, spoken to school children and college students about Hinduism, and spoken about Hindu ideals and the threats Hindus face in the US, and some of the dire developments in his native state of Andhra Pradesh where Christianity has taken deep roots, and Christians have been busy undermining the Hindu ethos of the people and the region.

In the flyer designed for the November 27, 2022 event, there is one item that seems to have caught the eye of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), which, funded by a variety of international Islamic/Islamist groups, has been aggressively pursuing a program of demonizing Hindus and Hindu American organizations. They were behind the Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee resolution, and they have conspired with a variety of anti-Hindu activists and organizations to push Hindus into a corner in the US. That they have conspired with Christian activists and Christian fundamentalist and mainstream organizations and leaders, along with mainstream academics, goes to show the nature and agenda of the anti-Hindu forces worldwide, and especially now in the US.

What was the line in the flyer that the IAMC plotters discovered, and what was their response? The line was this: “Demolition of Illegal Churches in Tirupati”. The response? A public rally ominously titled, “Dallas Against Hindu Supremacist Hate”. They claimed that the GHHF was involved in “funding forced conversions” and “demolition of churches in India”. The violent Islamists have sharpened their swords over 1,500 years now, and they have slaughtered hundreds of millions around the world in their pursuit of “Jannah/Jannat”. Their spread in Europe in the past few decades is sought to be replicated in the US but with a clever twist – join the forces they fought against and are fighting against in Europe, the Christians, to demonize Hindus in the US who are punching much more above their weight in a country that has enabled an international meritocracy to shine.

So, “Ghar Wapsi” – the return of converted Hindus to their original fold – becomes “forced conversions” for these religionists with a blood lust, and calling for the “demolition of illegally built churches in Andhra Pradesh” becomes “demolition of churches in India”. The GHHF has been working hard to inform people in the US and in India about the illegal encroachment on land and the building of churches on these encroached pieces of land in India. Read what they want people to do to take action against such illegal activities on their “What You Can Do” page. Among the actions they want taken are the following:

  • “Legally contest the sale or auction of Hindu Temples and other institutions by the state governments (including obtaining stay order and contempt of court order if necessary)
  • “Legally contest the overtaking of any Hindu Temples and institutions; and Hindu Temple lands by the state governments.
  • “Legally contest the advocated policies of the state governments allowing the people to occupy/encroach the Hindu Temple lands illegally.
  • “Take appropriate legal action to evict all the people or organizations that have already occupied/encroached the Hindu Temple lands illegally”.

Other than the idiosyncratic use of capital letters, what would one find problematic about these goals of GHHF for Hindus in Andhra Pradesh in particular, and in other Indian states in general? What is it about the IAMC’s agenda to speak for Christian fundamentalist groups and politicians in India that should make us pause?

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A couple of weeks ago I visited the Andalusia region in southern Spain, rich in history, architecture, and with beautiful weather and gorgeous nature: from the rolling hills, dry, with olive plantations stretching as far as the eye could see, and from tall mountain peaks snow-clad, to the Mediterranean Sea shimmering, blue, in the distance, inviting. And there was Gibraltar, at almost the tip of the Iberian Peninsula, now a British Overseas Territory, but once considered a place of “religious and symbolic importance,” just eight miles away from Africa across the Straits of Gibraltar, with its magical and exotic “Rock” reminding one of the rich and bloody history of the region.

Andalusia, one of the seventeen principal administrative regions (autonomous communities) of Spain, and recognized as a “historical nationality,” has been ruled by the Romans (second century BCE to fifth century CE), the Visigoths (fifth to eighth century), the Islamic/Moorish rule (eighth to fifteenth centuries), and after that the Christian/Catholic/modern Spanish dispensation. The Moorish/Caliphate rule lasted from about the fifth century to the fourteenth, and you can read more about them here, here, and here.

Why bring this up as the introduction to this commentary on the Indian American Muslim Council and its machinations, and its latest attack being on the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation? It is simply to point out the nature of the monopolist, supremacist, and violent Abrahamic faiths, chiefly the Christian and Islamic, and their occupation of lands and depredation of civilizations. In the Andalusian region we will find that mosques were destroyed, and cathedrals built over them or incorporated into them, and we visited one of the most famous of them – the Giralda – the bell tower of the Cathedral Seville in Seville. The Cathedral Seville is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, but the Giralda, now labeled a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is a minaret completed in 1198, but which was incorporated into Cathedral Seville. In fact, when the Christians defeated the Muslims in Spain, most mosques were destroyed or converted into churches. The Christians did not destroy the royal palaces, but only the religious buildings, and we can therefore still see the great Alhambra Castle in Granada, another Andalusian city.

Ah, these sons of Cain have fought each other for millennia, have been genocidal in their fervor and in their actions, but share a lot in common too. They want the world to become Muslim or Christian, and they will join hands when convenient to destroy who they see as a common enemy or as an irritant on their journeys of “conversion,” and they will face off each other when they are the two left standing, as in Africa. The Popes and the Imams have colluded and collaborated, and conspired and plotted, as they both fantasize the “end times” and “Jannah”.

Muslims and Christians have fought each other, destroyed each other’s cities and nations, their churches and mosques, and converted the peoples of the rest of the world while destroying their cultures, undermining their spiritual and religious ethos. The newly converted, in turn, have turned out to be ones with sharper fangs, and more aggressive in their attempts to make the lands in which they are minorities to become Muslim or Christian majority states.

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We know that at least 1,800 temples were destroyed by Muslims in India or mosques built over the temples or material from the temples used in construction of the mosques. We also know about churches being built right next door to temples, imitating the architecture of the temples, so as to fool the gullible, or the fact that the richest landowners in India is the Catholic Church of India. We also know that Christian bishops and priests have worn the sacred garb of Hindus to fool Hindus about their Christian proselytism agenda and their demonizing of Hinduism agendas. Muslims and Christians have been at the forefront, and especially fervently since the BJP came to power in 2014 and as they saw in Prime Minister Narendra Modi a strong leader who could stare them down.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams are in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The wealthiest temple in the country, with the largest number of Hindu devotees flocking to get the darshan of Sri Venkateshwara, however briefly, is now sought to be infiltrated by Christian evangelists, as we noted in a 2015 article, and even the Devasthanam Board has had a Christian member. Another article in 2018 reported how Christians masquerading as Hindus have been working as administrators and staff at the temple. In 2019 another report pointed out how a Christian prayer was posted on the temple website. In 2012 the Devasthanam Board decided to ban the entry of all non-Hindus into the temple, as the avowed Christian Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh then, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, entered the temple without signing the visitors’ book, and his indifferent attitude inside the temple.

The illegal construction of churches continues in Tirupati as Jagan Mohan Reddy has established himself as the most powerful politician in Andhra Pradesh and continues as Chief Minister. His father, S. Rajashekhara Reddy, also a Christian, had begun the “Christianizing” project in the state, and it is believed that Christians in the state really make up about 25 percent of the population while the official figures show. A detailed and thorough analysis in Swarajya offered this ominous presence and expansion of Christians and Christianity in the land that has one of the most sacred of Hindu temples and the most sacred of Hindu religious centers. The official figures offered about the Christian presence in Andhra Pradesh is that they make up 1.35 percent of the population!

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The GHHF notes that anti-Hindu activists who have assembled under the Indian American Muslim Council banner have been “peddling misinformation about the demolition of unauthorized churches in Tirupati in India”. GHHF notes that more than one hundred people went to Frisco City Council, TX, and made a series of false statements contrary to the official pronouncements of the Tirupati Urban Development Authority.

GHHF has said that the statements made at Frisco City Council and the provocative messages on Twitter as misinformation and false propaganda, and that these activists had “conveniently falsified the information about the demolition of churches, purposefully altered the facts, intentional lied, deliberately accused GHHF as anti-Christian, and made provocative statements against GHHF to create hatred and fear”.

Texas is the land of mega-churches, and there is enough history about these churches and the church activists who have funded “mission trips” for the young and who have seduced their old parishioners to donate their hard-earned money to support “church planting among the heathen populations”. The Joshua Project, which is the most brazen of Christian proselytism movements, is headquartered in next door Colorado.

The IAMC colluded with local Christians to demonize the Hindu-American candidates for political office in 2020. Sri Preston Kulkarni, a Democrat, was painted as a supporter of “Hindu nationalists,” by Muslim activists and organizations, who are some of the biggest influences in Democratic Party politics. “The Siasat Daily” an Islamist propaganda media outlet titled its “report” on the 2020 election, “US Elections: RSS backed Preston Kulkarni loses in Texas”. Thus the IAMC and its activists delivered “Democrat” votes to Kulkarni’s Republican challenger!

These very same Islamist groups know that many churches in Andhra Pradesh are built without obtaining any building permits. These activists have criticized the Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) and misinterpreted the order issued by the vice-chairman of TUDA. On July 15, 2022, TUDA had issued an order titled, “Demolish the unlawful construction and immediate stoppage of the unlawful operation — Churches in Tirupati without lawful permission and likely endanger public safety, peace, tranquility and order- Municipal Corporation Limits – Take necessary action – Regarding.” The vice-chairman of TUDA had said that GHHF’s lawyer had brought to their notice “that several churches… were constructed unlawfully and are operating in… Tirupati without any valid permission or licenses from the competent.” The Islamist IAMC criticized the TUDA statement, misinterpreted it, and cleverly omitted the words “unauthorized, and unlawful.”

***

This latest plot by the IAMC is another indication of the tight spaces into which Hindus are sought to be cornered in the US. Hindus have become cannon-fodder in the deadly conflict between the right and the left, the Democrats and the Republicans, Blacks and Whites, Christians and Muslims, and what really are the ways out for us Hindus?

  1. We need to wake up the apathetic Hindus who spend all their time building up their little fortunes, buying more gold and land, and talking about their children’s academic achievements when they meet in temples or at parties. That many of them even look down upon those of us who are worried about these civilizational battles should tell us that the biggest problem we face are our own self-centered, ignorant, or apathetic Hindus.
  2. We need to begin engaging in our local communities, build bridges, participate in local elections, get to know our neighbors, and pitch in with help and support when needed.
  3. We need to support organizations like the Hindu American Foundation, the Coalition of Hindus of North America, the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, HinduPACT, and local and regional Hindu American organizations.
  4. Beware those organizations that label themselves “South Asian,” because they are among the ones that have effectively sought to marginalize Hindus if not demonize Hindus.
  5. Watch and keep track of the actions and messages of the coalition of anti-Hindu groups – from the Christian and so-called Dalit organizations to the Muslim and Sikh organizations that have found common ground in demonizing Hindus.
  6. Write, speak, challenge, inquire, educate yourself and your children.
  7. Think strategically, speak with care, and learn more about each other.
  8. Pray for the welfare of the world!

Dr. Ramesh Rao

The author is Professor of Communication Studies, Department of Communication,  Columbus State University, Columbus, GA. He serves as the Chief Editor of India Facts at present. Views expressed are personal.