November 18, 2023


Hindutva Takes Root in America: Pieter Friedrich

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Pieter Friedrich
Hindutva Takes Root in America: Pieter Friedrich
Dialoguing on South Asia (DOSA)
Hindutva Takes Root in America: Pieter Friedrich

Nov 18 2023 | 01:47:17


Show Notes

An interview with Pieter Friedrich, originally conducted by Ambedkarites on Twitter/X, about the history and activities of the Hindutva — ie, Hindu nationalist — movement in America, what it's doing and seeks to do, and some ways in which it can be countered.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Dialoguing on South Asia. We explore the lives of its people, hear their stories and the histories of the land, discover its beauty and encounter its conflicts, complexities and harmonies in a search for liberty, peace and prosperity. Interacting with leaders, activists, academics and common folk from the South Asian sphere about their work and their passions, their dreams and their life journeys, their immigrant experiences, advocacy efforts, religion, politics and so much more. With this, your host, journalist and author, Peter Friedrich. Hand in hand, we meet and stand with South Asia. [00:00:38] Speaker B: This is DoSA. [00:00:43] Speaker C: I got introduced to Peter through Twitter, actually, and been following his activism. We was very vocal during the Manipur issue and we had the opportunity to host him once during the Manipur issue when he was doing his hunger strike. And, yeah, glad to have him here again. We're quite aware of your book, Saffron America. I guess if I'm not wrong, which is a very fascinating piece, I still haven't read it, but I'll get my hands on it soon. Yeah, we quite don't have an agenda other than curiosity. We have a lot of curiosity about how Hindutva has rooted well in the US and in rest of the world. Because we have firsthand information about its state in India. We are facing it every day, quite not aware of how the global political system is reacting to it, how well it is assimilated and things like that. I think that's the primary point of a discussion today. We'll probably have most of the space in English and it's recorded, so you're welcome to join us and also share it with your friends for listening back later. Thank you. Over to you, Peter. Take it away. [00:02:18] Speaker B: Well, yeah, thank you, brother. That's fantastic. I mean, as you mentioned, well aware of what Hindutpa is doing in a focus of my work, as you're aware, has been especially not just on what is happening in India with Hindutva, though I've focused on that quite extensively, but especially on how Hindutva has taken root in the US and why it matters in context of what's happening in India, and also why it matters in context of how it impacts us here in the US. And yes, my most recent publication is this book. It's on Amazon called Saffron America, which is really the only book in existence at the moment, which comprehensively details, investigates and details the nature of the main Hindutva organizations at work in the US, some of their goals and activities, especially also their liaisons with particular politicians, primarily at both the federal and state level, and then some ways in which the anti Hindutva movement in the US has been pushing back. And also some arguments which the anti Hindutva movement in the US has used successfully, can use successfully to push back, especially against this allegation, this fraudulent allegation of Hindu phobia which is raised by the Hindutvan movement against their critics and opponents. So, as you mentioned, no particular agenda. Same from my end. I'm here. I'm here to talk here to engage. One of the main things that I would say, I've said this increasingly over the past year or so in a number of public forums, is that what's happening in India right now is something that needs to be resisted. But here we are, especially for the people that are here gathered to the day, we're mostly in America, which is quite literally on almost the exact opposite other side of the world from India. And our ability to resist what's happening in India as we see this apparently unstoppable rise of Hindutva sweeping across the country, our ability to resist that from here in America is limited for many of mean, I know, especially for myself, I can't go to India. We can't send money there to support causes. By and large, there are some ways, especially hopefully, for humanitarian relief in places like Monipur. There are some ways that it might be possible to actually support that materially, financially. But in general, when it comes to the ideological struggle against Indutva, there's almost a complete cut off as far as what we're able to do in terms of supporting that in any way financially. So in terms of going there, like putting our bodies online, we can't really go there. Most of us, in terms of financially putting our pockets on the line, we can't really do that financially. And that kind of leaves the question of what can we do? We can continue talking about documenting, exposing the atrocities that are occurring in India itself, which I am continuing to do, and which we should continue to do. But many other people are doing that. And many people, organizations with large staffs and deep pockets, are engaged in doing that. And we as individuals, we should be doing it ourselves. And we should also be amplifying the work of those who have the greater material backing to be doing. Know, whether it's Human Rights Watch or U. S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, or Indian American Muslim Council or Hindutva watch or groups like this, they are doing great work about documenting and exposing what is happening in India, which we should amplify, we should even build upon ourselves as individuals. But beyond that, when it comes to how we personally in America when we're basically, we're locked out of India, there's very little we can actually do there. And there's plenty of other people that are doing the hard, essential work to expose what's happening in India. What can we be doing? What should we be doing? And what I've been saying is that we need to consider the impact and the influence and power of the song par here in America and the way that they have served as a very essential support base for the regime back there in India. And consider how here in America, because the American song Paravar is also based here in the same country, here in America, we have the freedom. We don't face any legal repercussions, by and large, certainly, at least not from the government. We don't face arrest or anything like that. We don't face mob attacks, we don't face infringement of our freedom of speech, of freedom of press, freedom of assembly, et cetera. Here in America, the most impactful thing that I believe that we can be doing on this issue is to work to document and expose the activities of the American song Paravar, whether they're illegal activities, which in some cases they might be, or unethical activities, which in many cases, I would argue they are, or simply, one could maybe phrase it as immoral activities, which I would say in almost all cases they definitely are, in terms of how they're supporting, aiding and abetting the regime back there in India and its atrocities, and that we should understand that the American song Paravar serves as the biggest pillar of support internationally for the regime back in India. And as far as making an impact within the anti Hindutva struggle, that we need to consider how kicking out that pillar of support might be one of the most important things that we can do, and dovetailing off of that a little bit, especially in context of the anticaste movement and the embedkarite movement. I don't claim that I am 100% accurate, but my opinion is that Dr. Embedkar talked about the need to move the caravan forward and continue moving the caravan forward in the anti caste struggle. And what I would argue at this point is that the anti caste struggle, especially in India and also here in the US, as we've seen in context of what happened in California, will continue to be stalled. The moving forward of the caravan will continue to be impeded as long as the Hindutva movement is in power. Now, the Hindutva movement does not have to necessarily be eradicated in order for the caravan to move forward, but as long as it's in power, especially in India. The anti caste struggle, in my opinion, faces a stranglehold obstacle that cannot be overcome until that Hindutva movement is removed from the road, from blocking the road. So with that, I'll take my silence for the moment. [00:11:48] Speaker D: Peter, can you explain the structure of how this Hindu the moment works here in your book? Because I'm reading the book you mentioned like five organization of the Working year. Can you explain that one? Because that part, nobody knows how the organization here, how actually they are well organized, how they're doing. Can you explain it a bit on that part? [00:12:20] Speaker B: Yeah, sure, brother. And please interject if you would like any clarification or like me to expand upon something. So basically, in my book, I talk about what I call the name brand American Songpower of our organizations. When I say name brand, I mean those organizations which are identifiable as directly linked to the song in India. These are the HSS, which is the US wing of the RSS, the VHP America, which is the US wing of India's VHP, which is. I apologize if I'm probably going to say some things which you already know, but the VHP in India is the cultural or religious wing of India's RSS. Savea International OFBJP overseas Friends of the BJP, which is the US wing of the BJP back in India, which is the political wing of the RSS Seva International, which is the US wing of Seva Bharati, which is the charitable wing of India's RSS and Ekalvidyalaya, which is a kind of a little bit more of a unique organization which doesn't have a direct corollary to an organization back in India, but which is focused on floating from the US funding and then in India creating these one teacher schools in rural, especially tribal areas, which are staffed primarily by RSS affiliated teachers and which are intended to brainwash rural, poorly educated young people in tribal areas into the RSS ideology. These five organizations in America all began to take root around the 1970s. I believe the VHP America was the first organization founded in the late 1970s. If I'm not mistaken. The HSS USA, I believe, was the second organization founded in around 1989. And then the OFBJP. Overseas Friends of the BJP was the third organization founded in 19 92 93 when at the time, as I recall, I believe LK Advani from India's BJP came over to the US to Los Angeles, I believe, to preside over the establishment of the overseas Friends of the BJP to create a AmerICAN based subsidiary of the BJP which would serve as propaganda wing in America, in their words, and I'm paraphrasing, but in their words, to correct the narrative and tell the correct narrative about what the BJP wants and stands for thereafter. In the believe in the 2000s, Save International was founded, I want to say 2004, and I believe it might have been the 1990s, but from recall I think it was in the call video was founded now within the US. These five name brand song American Song Par of our organizations all have deeply let me preface that, they are all legally separate organizations. They are all legally separate organizations. However, their leadership is all deeply interconnected, intersectional, overlapping. One primary example is that the chair, for instance, of SaVEA International, this charitable wing of the RSS in America, the Save International, their chairperson is a man named Rumesh Bhutada. Rumesh Bhutata is also the vice president of the HSS USA. Another example is Chandru Bambra, who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Chandru Bambra has been the Northern California head of HSS USA, but he has also been, if I recall correctly, the Northern California head of the Overseas Friends of the BJP. And as one examines these organizations, there is increasingly exposed a deep cross pollination between these organizations of leaders and members where you do have five separate, legal, legally separate organizations, but they all have leaders and members who they're involved in one or two or three or four of all five of these American song power organizations. Beyond that, and I'm going to pass this back over to you, Dilly Babu, in a minute. In order to like, if you want clarification or want me to expand on something beyond that, organizations which, for instance in my book I touch upon include groups like the Hindu American Foundation. Now, I do not claim that the Hindu American foundation falls within the framework that I've created of these five name brand American song Par of our organizations. These five name brand American song Par of our organizations are all directly, on the surface linkable back to the song in India. There's a direct on paper ability to trace them back to the RSS or its affiliates in India. The Hindu American foundation is not one of those. It has, I would argue, kept its nose much cleaner. It was created as a relatively separate organization. It was, however, created by people who had long term relationships with or association with the song Parvar back in India. So the Hindu American foundation in America, the Hindu American foundation was created by people who had a long term association with the RSS or affiliates back in India itself. And it was created in 2002, which, for those who know their history was when the anti Muslim pilgrim occurred in Gujarat and was a pivotal moment in terms of, especially the rise of the Hindutva movement and also the rise of the anti Hindutva movement. And it was created. And I would sidebar that with considering what was happening in India at the time. In India, the RSS, for instance, oftentimes likes to boast that it has a Muslim wing. I'm blanking on the exact name of it at the moment, but it does. The RSS does have a negligible Muslim wing. That Muslim wing in India of the RSS was created in about November or I think November or December of 2002. The pilgrim against Muslims in Gujarat occurred in about March of 2002. So about six months after the biggest antimuslim pilgrim by the RSS in India occurred, they created a facade of a Muslim wing. Rushria Muslim Monch, I believe it's called. At the same time here in America, within that same year, there was established for the first time ever the Hindu American foundation, which has now emerged as probably the most powerful, the most influential, and the most deeply pocketed pro Hindutva organization in America. Many of the board of the Hindu American foundation currently and also over the years are children of, often you, oftentimes children of as in the case for instance, of Mr. Rishi Bhutata, who is the son of Ramesh Bhutata, who is Ramesh Bhutata is the vice president of HSS USA. Many of the board of Hef Hindu American foundation are the children of people who have been involved oftentimes as executive leaders in these five name brand American song par of our organizations. These include especially people like Rishi Patada, as I just mentioned. These include people like Kavita Palod, Kavita Pallod Saksaria, who is the daughter of Vijay Palod, who is a cousin by marriage of Ramesh Putada, who as I mentioned, Ramesh Putata is HSS USA vice president and also Savea international Chair. Vijay Palode, Ramesh Patada's cousin by marriage is a longtime activist in the OFPJP who actually in 2014 is on record. He traveled to India before the general election to serve as boots on the ground to campaign for Modi and the BJP. Vijay Palod this cousin by marriage of Ramesh Ritada Vijay Palod is also a longtime activist in the HSS and he's on record stating as far back as I think the 80s in Diaspora media, Diaspora newspaper articles in America. Vijay Pelode is on record saying that his first encounter with the RSS. And he says he uses the word RSS, not HSS but RSS. His first encounter with the RSS was going to his cousin's house and encountering a constant flow in and out of RSS people. And that's what got him involved. This guy, Vijay Palode, Ramesh Bhutata to name two. Right now, even before the 2014 election, both of these gentlemen, they live in Houston area in Texas. Even before the 2014 election, they are on record in Indian American diaspora media, newspaper outlets having traveled in December 2011 to India to go to an RSS summit hosted for HSS members. And they're on record being pictured Vijay Palode and Ramesh Pitada from Houston, Texas area. They're on record being pictured wearing the actual official RSS uniform, not the HSS uniform which is slightly different, but the RSS uniform, the khaki shorts, the white shirt and the black cap. There's other people who are also from the American song Paravar who are on record being involved in that similar picture. And in going there anyways wrapping up with the HAF, I set that aside as kind of separate category. That is yes, which is yes the strongest pro Hindutva voice especially at a federal level in America. Which is not actually from my perspective something that fits exactly into these five name brand song part of our organizations in America but which is founded by people who have association with the song in India and to a large extent led by people who are the direct children of American song par of our leaders. And with that I pass it back over to you. [00:26:33] Speaker D: Yes Peter, there are five organization. So here in US VHPA first started. That was started I think it's 1970 and then HSS came and then office of BJP came. Then Yek and then Seva and then Yek. Actually I see the organization is. So for these five organizations each one has separate agenda like I think VHPA it's a religious organization and office of BJP. It's a political wing of RSS actually as per your book and remaining two organization EK and SWAD. This one is like a charity organization where the fund is collected through this organization. So I would like to know this organization how they influence in the US. Actually see some of the things are getting influenced in the presidential, even the Congress and presidential and even they proclaim I'm regularly following their tweets and I see many places they proclaim like Dibali function and yoga and they term it and they get a proclaim. So how they walk that organization actually they work different way when you compare to other things, because everybody, I see some of the persons where they are executing two to three organization. So can you explain a little bit more on this organization, how they are influencing in the Congressal and the presidential level? [00:28:23] Speaker B: Yeah, of course. So to preface for. I think most of the audience here probably already has some conception of how the RSS or the song in India works. So at the top you've got the RSS, right? The original organization, the Fountainhead, the mothership. And underneath you have this whole spidery network going down of all kinds of different special interest subsidiary organizations. Now, in India, you have like the VHP America, or the VHP, which serves as the religious wing in India. So while the RSS is engaging in, it's dominating the streets, it's marching through the streets as a paramilitary, it's showing off its power. The VHP, within the religious context, is getting all kinds of religious leaders, like, linked into it within religious institutions. It's spreading its particular ideology, which is all about homogenizing Hinduism, et cetera, et cetera. Then you've got the Bajrang Dal, which people argue. I would argue the Bajrang Dal is like the youth wing of the VHB, which is the religious wing of the RSS. The Bajrang doll is like the foot soldiers of the song. The Bajrang doll does a lot of the dirty work. A lot of what, in context of these intelligence movies and agencies you call wet work, the Bajrangdal is the one, like, getting blood on their hands. Then you have the ABVP, Akil Bharatiya Pravasi ABVP. Anyways, you have the ABVP, which is a student wing. They're the ones working in universities, gathering students to the cause, like getting students agitating and protesting, getting students demanding certain things in the curriculum. You have other groups, you have like, groups for farmers, groups for attorneys, groups for, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Same thing here in the US, although we have a smaller collection of special interest sangha of our groups, because it's outside of India. You have the HSS. The HSS is the group that is involved in establishing itself in this country as the sole voice of the Hindu American community. They're the ones that are involved in going out to the offices of politicians, going out to interfaith groups, going out to places like that, and presenting themselves as we alone represent the collective voice of the entire Hindu American community. I would argue that the VHP America is probably the organization which is involved in things like spreading ideology, spreading Hindeva ideology among the Hindu American population. So while you have the HSS USA going out as a forward facing public face, presenting itself as the sole representative of Hindu Americans within the Hindu American community, I would argue that the BHB America is working on consolidating the Hindu American community and propagandizing them with Hindu ideology. The OFBJP then from the US, is using US soil to project outwards towards India primarily, and there's exceptions to all of these, but primarily the O of BJP USA is using American soil to project outwards towards India to help India or to help the BJP in India to get elected and arguably also propagandize Indians in India at the same time also doing some kind of a cross pollination where they're doing that from America to India. Well, from India to America. The OFBJP is also engaged in activities like bringing over BJP politicians to travel around, tour around the country and meet with, especially meet with already propagandized, already brainwashed elements of the Hindu American community and connect them back or make them feel connected back to plug them into the BJP back in India. Seva International here in the US, which is actually the most deep pocketed organization, deep pocketed Hindutva organization in the US, I believe. Don't quote me on this because this is from recall, but if I recall correctly, Save International has maybe like $20 million in assets on hand as of the latest reports, something like that. They have deep, deep pockets. They raise a lot of money, millions and millions of dollars. Save international raises money in the US, which from what I understand, what I've seen appears to be mostly sent back to India and sent back to India to be distributed by RSS linked personalities or organizations. I have a primary example of that in my book, which was during the pandemic where Saba International money was sent back to India. It was raised for oxygen, I believe, and it was sent back to India and distributed on more than one occasion by one of the top RSS executives. So it's sent back there and it's used by RSS linked people in India to fund particular charitable. This. I'm going to pause for a second and clarify this. Both in America and in India, the HSS and the RSS, the entire Sangh Parabar, especially the, do they do engage in actual charity, the HSS in America, for instance, especially, and I think they're especially limited here in America by American law to doing it on a more equitable basis. They engage in a lot of things like, for instance, food banking, which is fantastic. But the fact that they do that does not change their ideological parentage, does not change the reality of who they are as song power of our organizations. Anyways, with the money that save international in America sends back to India, there's a lot of evidence that over the years that money has been either unfairly distributed, distributed with prejudice and discrimination only to Hindus, not to other people. Support for Saver International from figures here in America, like Rajiv Mahotra in New Jersey, for instance, to give money to savea because they only give money to Hindus. Or evidence that say, for instance, after 2002, if I recall correctly, the pilgrim in Gujarat, that money raised here was used back there to actually help to propagandize further Hindutva radicalization. And then again now lastly with Yalaya, e K or EV, that they are raising money here. The money here, as far as I know, raised is not used in any way whatsoever here in America. It's all sent back to India, but it's used back there in India to create these schools which are used to brainwash young students into Hindutva ideology. I hope that answers your question. Dilibabu. If there was aspect I didn't touch on, please let me know. [00:37:46] Speaker D: Yes, I would add additional point to your data. Actually, as per the data, 2021 sward, the revenue is 47.2 million. Expensive is 28, but total assets is like 28 billion. [00:38:05] Speaker E: Actually. [00:38:05] Speaker D: Same like what you pointed out. [00:38:08] Speaker B: And this is for Saver? [00:38:10] Speaker D: Yes, Saver and for Egg, it is like their total asset is 8.3 and VHP is like 5.3 billion. And HSS, it's 5.5. But all the record. [00:38:25] Speaker B: Thank you for pulling up the exact. Because that's one of the things I actually just started looking into that and talking about that kind of on the road earlier this year is, I think that's one of the very important things for people in the anti conductive movement to understand is not to get discouraged by, but to understand is this is the realistic place where we're at, is that one understand that these groups are deeply interconnected. These Hindutva, American song Paravar groups, I argue, represent a vast minority, tiny little fringe minority, of the actual entire Hindu American population. But they're the most vocal, they're the most active, they're the most organized, and they're the most deeply pocketed. And when we look at, like HSS, VHP, America and SaVea, I think those three put together the numbers you just threw out, but they have like 40, $50 million in assets on hand. As of the latest reporting. Which is public information. I think the latest reporting is 2021. And I would emphasize that's assets. That's not like income. That's what they have in the bank. [00:39:57] Speaker D: Okay. South, can you hear me? Yes. [00:40:08] Speaker F: Okay, so there is another organization called the BAP which primarily handles the temple. And if you recall, this organization was under the scanner during the FBI raid in the New Jersey temple where they were using the lower caste Dalits as slave laborers. So I'd like to draw your attention to PAS, which is associated with this parivar. And there is another organization called Akshay Patra which is also doing a lot of charity. And then there is another organization by the Jain community which is also connected to recess. But primarily the BAPs, which handles all the temples is a big one and they have a lot of money. And they are also involved, as I said, in slave labor of Dalits and money laundering to India. I just wanted to draw your attention to that. Thank you. [00:41:32] Speaker B: Yeah. Thank you. South Asian Journal. I'm very aware of BAPS. BAPS and the incident or incidents that you mentioned. I think it was in New Jersey and Texas where they were raided by the FBI and they were apparently engaged know, de facto slave labor. They were bringing over Dalits or lower caste people from India to work as laborers on the temple, confiscating their passports, paying them like a dollar a day or something like that and confining them to the premises, de facto slave labor. And BAPS has, from what I understand, a long history of being very promoting, very pro BJP and deeply associated with them. I have not done the work yet to actually trace if they can be confirmed fully as RSS affiliated, but they definitely appear to be pretty much Hindutva aligned, whether they are or not. Certainly they do fall in line with being problematic to say the least, as far as being horribly castist, which is not one and the same thing with Hindutva, but often has overlap with these other organizations you mentioned. They're definitely worth investigating. One thing I would argue is that at the moment I think that there's still a lot of legwork to be done, a lot of heavy lifting to be done when it comes to taking what we already know about these name brand American song Power organizations. So like setting aside BOPS, setting aside these other organizations you mentioned, just looking at these five name brand ones and taking what's documented about them, what's already been exposed about them, what's on record, and presenting that to the American public and in particular to American politicians. And that while we can continue and we should continue to investigate and go after groups like this, including groups especially like BABS, which are engaged in actual, on American soil exploitation of marginalized, vulnerable people. When it comes to making headway with the anti Hindepa struggle in the US, especially on a political level, where we still have to convince the US government that they need to be concerned about this issue. I think that there's still so much work to be done as far as taking that work that has already been compiled as say for instance in my latest book, Saffron America, about the existence and nature and activities of the name brand American song Paravar, and taking that to the American public, to the American politicians and getting them to wake up. And that if that work is done, if that legwork is done, if some of these American politicians start to wake up, if we start to see cracks in the facade that India has created around itself, that the Modi regime has created around itself, if we start to see cracks in that facade here in America, in the socio and political scene, that there is huge potential for making headway on combating the problems with some of these other organizations. [00:46:02] Speaker D: Again, I have a question. I see here the Congressman or any person, even the councils, they were not awareness of these groups. Actually. I see whether it is due to awareness or they don't want to do it, actually, I got lot of confusion on their agenda because in the same state, one place they banned it, other place they allow it actually. So can you explain, Peter, if you. [00:46:40] Speaker B: Know it, 30, 40 members of Congress active, doing something, speaking out, the backlash they faced would be diluted. But if we're in the position we're in now, where there's almost nobody speaking out, if anybody speaks out, the backlash they face will be very focused and intensive. They will face backlash being called Hindu phobes, being accused of anti Hindu bigotry, being accused of being anti India, being accused of this thing, that thing, being accused of being in the pocket of the ISI, being accused of all kinds of things like that. Right. So from that perspective, we have to understand that politically they face a negative incentive to action. The positive incentive to not act is also that they don't see an advantage to it. Unless they see that, because they're politicians, Unless they see that there is going to be advantage to them speaking by gaining votes or by gaining campaign funds or by gaining positive press, then there's no positive incentive for them to speak. So there's no positive incentive for them to speak. There's a lot of negative incentive for them not to speak. Additionally, I think a lot of them on both sides of the aisle, left and right. It's so mainstream now. And hopefully it might change, especially after we saw Xi Jinping, what he came and said and did in California recently. I'm no fan of the CCP, but I also don't want this unnecessary enmity and hostility with China. And I was happy to see what he said. And so maybe that might hopefully influence American foreign policy in some way. But the reality is right now on left and right, that everybody's mainstream sold in, bought into this idea that India is the necessary geopolitical lever and balance against the expansionist power of China. And so unless one can convince the politicians otherwise, then it's going to be a losing battle. Now, I think I would argue that one of the best ways to convince a politician otherwise is to help them to understand that setting aside all matters of principle, setting aside all of our personal ideologies, that looking at it from a Machiavellian, utilitarian perspective and hypothetically, for the benefit of the doubt right now, accepting. Okay, fine, you guys want to use India as a balance against China, whatever. Go ahead. Hypothetically accepting that. The reality is that if we can get these politicians to accept this reality, the reality is that the direction that India is headed, as they're headed towards fascism, we're already fascists as they're headed towards a massacre of their own citizens, as they're headed towards. I mean, within that context, they're not ultimately going to be economically successful and viable. They're also not going to be a strong nation. Well, then the argument is if we can get our politicians to accept from a Machiavellian utilitarian perspectIve, the argument is that India will not be a useful ally or balance or lever against an expansionist China, even if that's what you want. Now, as far as the don't know. So that's on the don't care side. As far as on the don't know side, yes. I would also argue that a lot of these politicians don't know. Some of them definitely do, and they're setting it aside. I would argue people like, in that category are people like Congressman Rokana. He definitely knows, but he's choosing not to act. But there are people, I've sat in the offices of members of Congress in the past and shown them videos of the RSS marching in the streets in India. And they're like, wait, what is. Are these. Are you there? There are Hindu militants in India. And I'm like, yes, there are Hindu militants in yeah. And so I would argue from my experience, from my understanding, one has to realize that a lot of these American politicians have had no exposure to South Asian culture or politics, especially Indian culture or politics. And they're still locked into this. And I call it like, this unintentionally prejudiced or unintentionally bigoted perspective that India consists of nothing more than Gandhi, yoga, Bollywood, and maybe also, like, that's what a lot of Americans, they're so ignorant about the complexities of, like, they don't even grasp. In the north, you got roti. In the south, you got DosA. In the north, you have people that are tall, by and large. In the south, people tend to be shorter. You've got like 25, 30 different languages across the entire country. There is no major indigenous language that's, like, universal to the subcontinent, et cetera, et cetera. They don't even grasp basic things about India like that, let alone the complexities of the problems in India. And so it's a combination of both. Don't care and also especially don't know. [00:53:21] Speaker D: Okay, South Asia, can you speak? [00:53:27] Speaker F: I mean, it's not just the Muslims who are at the receiving end of the Hindu military in India. [00:53:37] Speaker B: The Christians are also facing a lot of persecution. [00:53:42] Speaker F: There have been a lot of attacks on the Christian pastors and the missionaries all over North India in particularly in Strait school by the BJP. So, I mean, why has the conservative American woken up to this? [00:54:06] Speaker B: Yeah, good question. [00:54:11] Speaker G: Look. [00:54:13] Speaker B: I believe from my years of involvement in this that one of the biggest problems is that the conservative Christians in America are not being approached by Indian Americans, asking them to raise the issue. I just spoke last weekend at the National association of Asian Indian Christians Annual Banquet. And this is one of the things that I spoke about. And it touched a chord from what I perceived as the feedback, it really touched a chord with my audience, speaking primarily to Indian Christians, Indian American Christians, is that I'm saying you as Indian American Christians are not doing the work of approaching your fellows here in America. So, I mean, it's one thing, like, I can have people come to me. And actually, I have had people come to me many times over the years. I've had Sikhs come to me and tell me, like, hey, Peter, you're a. Like, can you please go and outreach to the American Christian Church and ask them to speak about Indian Christians and what's happening to them. I've had Muslims come and say, peter, you're a Christian. Can you please go and outreach to the American Christian Church and ask them to speak about what's happening to Indian Christians. I've had Christians in India come and tell me the exact same thing and ask, Peter, this is Christians from India. In India. They asked me, Peter, why are Christians in America not talking about what's happening to. And here's the thing, is that I'm a single, solitary voice, and I am happy, eager to spend as much time as possible raising that voice about what's happening to Christians in this particular case, or to Muslims, or to Sikhs, or to Dalits, et cetera, et cetera. Or to secular Hindus, progressive Hindus in India. But in this particular context, like talking about conservative Christian communities in the US, my voice only makes real world impact if it is raised in partnership with the voices of Indian American Christians. So if I go knocking on the doors cold calling the churches in America, I can call a thousand of them. Maybe one might listen to me. Maybe if I work hand in hand in partnership with Indian American Christians, and they go within their own local communities where they already have established relationships in their local communities in New Jersey and California and Texas and Illinois, and they go and they make those contacts, and then they bring me in and they say, hey, this is our friend Peter. Can you listen to him? Because he can lay out the issue for you in a way which you can understand with the details, but we want you to listen to him because he's going to talk to you about what's happening to our Indian Christian brothers and sisters back in India. That sort of thing is what needs to happen. But I'm seeing that happen very rarely. And I would argue that that's the primary reason why these conservative or conservative Christian voices in the US aren't paying attention is because there's not enough on the ground community mobilization happening. There's a lot of concern about what's happening in India that I've seen among the Indian American populations at all levels, from all religious backgrounds. But as far as the organization, the mobilization, it sadly pales in comparison to what the American Hindutva groups have, which is also disappointing, because the Indian American Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Dalit and Bedkarait, et cetera population actually outnumbers not only the American Hindu, but especially the American prohandatva population by far. [00:59:42] Speaker E: Hi, Peter. Welcome back to our Tamil space once again, thanks for joining us. I just wanted to tell you that you remember that two years ago or three years ago, there was a bulldozer that happened in New Jersey on an Indian national parade. Actually, the Hindus were the largest community who asked for an apology from the municipality and most of the people, not most, except one councilman. Everybody asked for a public apology in front of everyone. So Hindus are also with other people and fighting with Hindutva. But the problem with us is we are all belonging to different states and we all are in different groups. There is no one such group like HSS to come and fight for us. That's the biggest problem that I could see. So what are your thoughts about it? [01:00:46] Speaker B: Yeah, thank you. My thoughts on that. I do recall actually the bulldozer incident in Edison, New Jersey was last year, August of 2022. And as far as the fighting back aspect, my thoughts are. I've said this before, I'll say it again. We have to consider that if what we argue about the RSS is true, which is that the RSS is fascist, here is one of the things that fascists have going in their favor, which is that as fascists, it's easy to get them all on the same page at the same time. It's easy to get them all walking in lockstep. Fascists are all about this group think where everybody thinks the exact same thing. It's homogeneity, it's uniformity. The opposition to fascism tends to be premised on realization. That's, among many other things, that's atrocious denial of the beauty of the individuality of humanity and how we are all different. We're all diverse and we want to be different from each other. Within that context, the opposition to fascism, broad generically, and the opposition to Hindutva specifically, is always going to be opposition which is fractured, which is not homogeneous, which is not uniform. And if it ever becomes homogeneous or uniform, I think that that should be worrisome to us because we don't want an organization like the HSS to be opposing the HSS. We don't want an organization like the RSS to be opposing the RSS, because that means to become like the monster that we're fighting. That means to become like the fascists that we're fighting. I think that we need to learn to do two things. One is appreciate. What we're trying to preserve is the beauty of diversity and difference, which the enemy wants to eradicate. And that two is to understand that that diversity, indifference, is actually the strength that we have. It's the strength that we have in fighting a fascist movement. So the RSS, the Hindatva movement, it's fascist, it's uniform, it's homogeneous. Homogeneous. It's easy to get them all on the same page, walking in lockstep, all at the same time? Well, they're like what we consider to be a standing army. They're this giant, standing, uniformed army, which is highly recognizable most of the time. How do you defeat a standing army? Historically, you defeat a standing army with guerrilla tactics, fighting like insurgents, with people operating autonomously with the opposition, which we are, with the resistance, which we are behaving in such a way where we are not all on the same page. We're approaching it from different angles. We're approaching it for different reasons and different motivations. We're approaching it with different tactics. We're sometimes fighting very different battles. Like, I might be fighting a battle here or you might be fighting a battle way over there, but we're all fighting against the same army, the same enemy. And I think that from more of a philosophical perspective, that it's important for the anti Hindatta movement to have that self visualization of itself, that self image, that it is diverse, disparate, different. We don't have a lot in common oftentimes. And sidebaring this, despite the fact the Hidata movement likes to talk about this Break India coalition. You may have heard of this before. Rajiv Mahotra, I believe, invented the term, but it's been picked up in India. And they conceptualize this idea that the people who are against the Hindutva movement and they conflate the Hindutva movement with the Nation of India, which is incorrect, but they conflate it with that. And so they call it a break India movement. And so they conceptualize that the anti Hindutva movement consists of, and bear with me, Muslims, Pakistanis, jihadists, Islamists, maybe people from the Middle East, Christians, missionaries, the Vatican evangelists, Sikhs, Khaleistanis, Dravidians, Tamil nationalists, Dalits. Oh, who else? The Tukte Ducte gang leftists, Maxlites, Maoists, Chinese, ISI. Then to that I have tongue in cheek on many occasions, including this one, I'll add, and Martians and the women of Venus and cats, those troops of monkeys, not the Indian monkeys, but the destrohi monkeys. And it just gets to be, to the point of ridiculous, to the point that it deserves to be ridiculed, where their argument on one side is that everybody who happens to have a problem with Hindutva and its fascism is all somehow linked up, partnered in a conspiracy against India. Even though if we start to break down all the groups, they're talking like, what do any of these groups have in common? None of them have anything in common. Like, what does the Vatican have in common? With the ISI. What do Khalistanis have in common with Christian missionaries? Nothing. That's what they're conjecturing on that one side, on our side. I think what we need to do is recognize the reality is that there are so many people who understand the fascism and the evil of Hindutva and that many of us have nothing in common whatsoever, which is the beauty of the anti Hindutva movement and which is where the power and the impact of it can come from in combating fascism. That we don't need to be like them. We don't need to create, like, an RSS alternative that's anti Hindutva. What we need to do is embrace our disparate nature and fight like an insurgent type tactic. Where we are autonomous, we're oftentimes collaborating, especially where there's overlap between us or where we can find friendship or where we find value and alliance and partnership. But we don't have to be always walking a lockstep with each other. And if we choose to embrace the anti Hindutva movement that way, that is where our effectiveness can come from. That is where the ultimate downfall of the conductive movement will happen. [01:10:13] Speaker C: Thank you, Peter. That was very elaborAte. Thank you very much. I had one question from the audience. They want to know your view on how Hindutva, if it continues to be the way it is, will affect America's democracy and its communal harmony in the future. If you have anything to add on that. Thank you. [01:10:43] Speaker B: Sure. Well, let me pull out my crystal ball real quick and rub it off. I can only conjecture, but if it continues down this path, it won't be good. I can detail some of the ways in which it's made particular inroads, but we've seen Hindutpa in California. We had the lower and upper legislatures of California pass this bill banning caste discrimination. It was a democratically passed bill in California, which is where I'm from, and then it goes to the governor's desk. And the governor is apparently influenced by visits from Hindutva linked or Hindutva aligned organizations and pressured to veto it after it's democratically passed. That's one way in which we could conceptualize how Hindutva, if it continues to grow in America, might influence our socio politics is by being able to twist the arms of our politicians, to bend them to the whims of, you know, other levels, like we've seen in Illinois, we've seen in the past couple of years. Apparently, Hindata backed movements mobilized to oppose the construction of new masjids of new mosques. And again, they finally, as I recall, they did not succeed, but they mobilized at mass for months and months. That's one way, is we could see the Hindutva movement, especially through its people power in America, its organizational and mobilizational power in America, be able to take to the streets and take to the halls of power and prevent or intimidate other religious minorities whom they don't like. We have seen, of course, the way that they've influenced school curriculum in California and Texas, and as they continue to grow in power and embed themselves. And I would emphasize it's not just grow in people, it's because they're not necessarily growing in terms of size of population of people power. What they're really doing is growing in terms of accessing positions of influence, which we've seen in the past year, year and a half, where in the past year, I think it's just one year, we've had three separate people being appointed to positions within the Department of Homeland Security who are people who have very extensive ties, very documentable ties to the American song Paravar, not just as sympathizers, but as actual involved in the American song Paravar. It's in the past year. Have we seen in the past one year actual policy changes from the DHS, which we can interpret as impacting on American sociopolitics by propagating Hindutva ideology? No. But now that these three people are there in those positions of power, what will they do? Will they also, now that they are in those positions of power, be able to help bring on other Hindutva sympathizers or associates into similar positions and begin to stack the deck, as it were, over the next several years, it was possible. I mean, that's what we saw happen in India with DRSS. The RSS was founded in 1925, but the RSS didn't take power over India until 2014, almost 100 years, 90 years. Right. Like, from 1925 through the rest of the 20th century, mostly what the RSS was doing was it was stacking positions of power and influence with its people, and it was propagandizing, brainwashing, spreading its ideology here in America. If we don't stand up and push back right now, when we have people like this getting into positions of power and influence in the Department of Homeland Security, or we have people running for us, Congress, like, we have a new player in Ohio, Niraj Antani. Niraj Antani. He's a Republican. He started as a member of the State assembly of Ohio. Now he's a member of the State Senate of Ohio. Now he's running for US Congress. We have people in Illinois, like Raj Krishnamurti, who's already in the US Congress, and he's on the House Intelligence Committee. And not only that, he's actually also the chair of the newly created US House Committee on China, which is sidEbar, but which know a weird conflict of interest because if he's being funded by pro Hindutva people, if he's linked to pro Hindutva people in America, then how is this congressman expected to be objective when he's sitting on, when he's the chair of a committee on China? For those of you who know about the, we have. And this guy Raja in Illinois, he wants to run for. So, like, if he runs for Senate, maybe not this term, but next term he's going to be leveling up, leveling up to position of influence. And then if you have a US senator who's in Dutva aligned, he's in a position where not only what he can do policy wise, but also what he can do as far as endorsements for other campaigns. If he looks down from his high position of power as a senator and he picks out, well, this person's running for state Senate, this person's running for US Congress, I endorse them. I will go on the campaign trail and campaign for them. Even though they're a Hindutva person, they have the position of being like a little bit of a kingmaker to help bring up other Hindutva associated people. So long term, if we don't push back, I don't have a crystal ball, but I would say the outlook is, I don't know how negative, but certainly negative. These people already are getting in positions of quite a bit of power and influence politically in the US, and they're controlling the narrative to a large extent at lower levels, in schools and places like that. As far as who is a Hindu? What is Hinduism? Who gets to decide what Hinduism is? What is the history of India? How are we allowed to talk about India and things like that? And then also, even beyond that, outside the borders of like, can we ban discrimination based on caste? That sort of thing? It's an issue that is of concern. [01:19:06] Speaker C: I think that was a very fair evaluation. They have a very good crystal ball at hand. Baseback. You're welcome to talk if you have any questions. Do you have any questions? [01:19:20] Speaker H: Thank you very much. Just want to do a quick mic check. [01:19:23] Speaker B: Can you hear me? [01:19:25] Speaker C: Yeah, all good. [01:19:26] Speaker H: Awesome. Thank you very much. Peter, I want to give you a quick background about me. I'm a Pakistani immigrant to Canada, largely very ignorant about all of these things that you're talking about. And I actually came across. [01:19:46] Speaker B: The stuff. [01:19:47] Speaker H: You talk about after the alleged assassination of a Sikh in Canada. And then, obviously, I just went down a bit of a rabbit hole. So I have a two part question for you. I hope you'll allow me that privilege, which is, how ambitious is the Hindutva foreign policy? Do you think they would fund a conflict that would be advantageous to them, for example, do you think they would be, through some back channels, be funding an attack on, for example, what happened on Israel? This is just an example. I'm not making any accusations, but I'm just saying, would you think it's possible that they may have funded Hamas to attack Israel, to basically create this rift in global politics, to strengthen their own agenda? And then the second part question I have for you is, what's the credibility of these things? There's no documentation. I haven't seen any newspaper clippings or anything, no big publications talking about these things that you're talking about. And I have personally seen just a slow, creeping takeover of the institutions, just through legal immigration and sometimes illegal immigration and funding of politicians. The Hindutva movement that you're talking about seems to have completely occupied the sort of Trumpian MAGA populist dialect, and they seem to be very aligned, because this is a movement globally that is happening. Right. We saw that in Italy with Georgia Maloney and then Trump, and then in Canada, we have a similar populist sentiment. And obviously, I've seen Hindutva really capture onto that, or people that are just Indians and Hindus. I don't know if they're Hindutva necessarily. So I'm just curious, do you think there's a slight psyop here as well? Just wanted to get your thoughts on what I've asked. [01:22:01] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. Interesting question. First one, we can conjecture and speculate. There's no evidence, and I'm very much focused on premising the anti inductive struggle on hard evidence, because there's so much of it that can be very effectively used to convince people to at least understand the Hindutpa movement internationally, globally as problem, to understand the takeover of India by the Hindutpa movement as the reality, and to understand the Hindutpa movement as fascistic at its core. I would argue that we cannot underestimate the ambitions of this movement. There's been a lot of evidence, for instance, in the past several years globally, of Indian consulates working hand in hand with the Hinduta organizations. We have many examples of Indian consuls, for instance, participating jointly with groups like the HSS, which is the international wing of the RSS, at their events, and promoting them and promoting these Hindutva groups on. On foreign soil, as far as their psyops on foreign soil. We do have now, most recently, and this has been kind of the biggest windfall in terms of allegations that has emerged that I've ever seen. We, of course, have this allegation that there was this Canadian citizen who was a Sikh who was assassinated on Canadian soil at the behest of or by India. And if that's true, which it may very well be, that would strongly suggest that Indian intelligence services are very active, at least here in our own relatively democratic, relatively free countries. How active they might be in taking that and then contextualizing that to other countries which have less protection of democratic freedoms, which have less stringent protection in general of human rights, at least for their own citizens, which have relatively more corruption. How active might Indian intelligence be in those countries? That is an issue to consider, which we have no hard and fast proof on at the moment, but which I think should be taken into consideration that, well, they're in the Middle east, for instance, like all of many of these Muslim majority countries, which still continue to side pretty closely with India, despite what's happening to Muslims in India itself. What is India actually doing to get that cooperation? We don't know exactly. I'm sure there's a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on. What is India doing in places like Israel to aid in a bet like the conflict that's happening there? Well, what we do know is what we can see in India, where after the conflict arose, there's this mass movement by Hindutva personalities and sympathizers to unconditionally support the Zionist side of the conflict, to even volunteer to send people over to fight for the Zionist cause. Now, even in the past few weeks, we've seen this proposal which would in some ways be probably some kind of an economic benefit to India, this proposal to have Israel bring over 100,000 Indian laborers to Israel to replace all of those Palestinian laborers. And on that, it's all speculative at the moment, but it's speculation based off of what we know is already happening. What we know, the motivations and the desires are what we know as far as the influence that the Hindupa movement has openly been having on a sociopolitical level, especially in North America. On your second question, I'm trying to recall exactly the nature of your second question. But you were talking about seeing the evidence. Well, here, especially in the US, most of my research has. My deep research has focused on the US, where I'm from, but I'm peripherally aware and have seen some evidences that I have not personally had the chance to compile. And unfortunately, they have not been compiled by other people mostly yet in Canada, UK and Australia. But here in the US, there's strong evidence of these groups engaging in basically getting politicians completely in their pocket in a way which is legal, in a way where the organization itself was not doing it. It's instead the leaders and members of the organizations. But they're doing it in a way which no rational person should be able to deny. Seems to be systematic and highly organized. So hope that touches on your question. Please let me know if I missed anything you want me to clarify. [01:29:18] Speaker C: Okay, he's not in the panel with this. [01:29:21] Speaker D: Clifford. CL has one question. After this question, we can wind up. [01:29:27] Speaker C: Yeah, we'll take one more question. CL is not in the panel anymore. Should we invite her? [01:29:30] Speaker E: No, I'm here, Peter. I'm just going back to your question about the school Board of Education that you said a lot of Indians are coming to the power, especially the educational department, and they would change the history. I don't think that we don't have to or you don't have to or we shouldn't be afraid of that. Since the population, Indian population is growing in certain cities. So naturally they will ask for Diwali holidays and other holidays. And it's not only happening with the Hindu people, even the Jewish. We have Jewish holiday. We have Chinese newer holiday. You know that. Right? So why should we be afraid of every Hindu that comes into power? I think that is like overreaction. [01:30:19] Speaker B: Yeah, well, as you phrased that, I think you may be putting words into my mouth, because I didn't argue that. I do not argue. I never have argued that we should be afraid of every Hindu that comes into power. There's a lot of good Hindus who are in political positions who I celebrate and embrace. Pramila Jayapal in Congress, for instance, would be one of them at times, to a lesser extent these days, but at times, Congressman Row Khanna has been one of them. Other people like this, there's various people at state levels as well and elsewhere. So I haven't argued that. In fact, actually you mentioned these Diwali holidays and stuff being celebrated. I haven't even mentioned that in this entire conversation. I have no problem with that whatsoever. Strongly support that I think, especially in a pluralistic society like the US, is that we should have politicians who are willing to recognize the importance to their diverse communities, their diverse voter base of every religious holiday, including Diwali, of course. However, one thing, and again, you're bringing up something which actually, in this conversation I haven't even mentioned, but you're bringing up something which I have talked about in the past as far as these resolutions, say, for instance, at city levels. Now when we want to talk about resolutions like Diwali, the question is who is going to the local city and requesting that the local city recognize the valley? Is it the local Hindu temple? If so, that's one thing. That's great. Perfectly fine, no problem. Nobody has an issue with that. Or is the HSS, which is the US wing of the RSS, this Hindrance paramilitary in India, is the HSS the one going to the local city council and requesting recognition of Diwali? And then, as we've seen on many occasions, many, many occasions, is the HSS, when they approach the local city council and request a resolution, recognize the Diwali, are they giving the city council language for that resolution, which includes within the resolution recognition of the HSS itself as well? And we've seen that on many occasions. We've seen that on occasions where the HSS goes to local city councils, requests recognition of the Bali, or of Hindu Heritage Month, or of yoga or of things like that. And not only is the HSS the one soliciting the resolution, but the HSS is the one proposing the language which is ultimately adopted, which includes a paragraph talking about the HSS and about how wonderful the HSS is. And then the HSS is the one that is actually going and meeting the city council at the city council meeting while wearing the HSS branded uniform and accepting the resolution, which in that case, it has nothing to do with the city acknowledging, as it should, as nobody here has any problem with the importance or beauty of things like yoga or Hindu Heritage Month or Diwali. Instead, it has everything to do with the HSS as an organization, as an organization which is the US affiliate of the RSS, powering itself by getting that stamp of approval and pat on the back from the city. [01:34:18] Speaker E: I just wanted to counterattack to that one, Peter. Not every time the HSS comes and asks these questions in the city council, even the local Indian people have come and asked for the requisition. And I can vouch for the state of New Jersey and New York people do come because they wanted to have, they didn't know, ten years ago or 15 years ago now they have been living for quite some time and they see how other people work, they learn from them and they go and request for normal holidays. That's how most of the things I didn't know, I have not seen any HSS. I'm against HSS people, but I have not seen any HSS coming and asking for holidays in every city council. [01:35:06] Speaker B: Sure, I appreciate that. I mean, as said, like, I would differentiate between the HSS doing it and somebody not doing it under the banner of the HSS. And in my experience over the years, I've seen the HSS being in many times the primary organization behind a lot of this. And I've seen pushback. I've participated in pushback against this where there have been multiple city councils now throughout the US, which have rescinded proclamations for things like yoga because they were educated about how the organization behind it was the HSS. But if it's not the HSS doing it, if it's not a Hinduta organization doing it, then, yeah, of mean. It's wonderful to know something like this happen. [01:36:02] Speaker C: All right, thank you, Peter, so much for your time. Yeah, I think we'll wrap questions up here and we'll let you continue with the rest of your day. We can continue discussing about this even after Peter leaves, people want to stay back. If you have more questions, we'll engage them. We can discuss more. And thank you, Dilibabu, for bringing Peter again once to join us. Dilibabu, if you want to speak. [01:36:35] Speaker B: Can. [01:36:35] Speaker G: I say one question before Peter wraps? [01:36:38] Speaker D: Yes. [01:36:38] Speaker G: Okay, sure. [01:36:42] Speaker B: Okay. [01:36:42] Speaker G: Yeah, just one quick question. It's more of a rhetorical question. Hey, Peter. Peter, my question for you is that you have written this book. What you have stated is obvious facts. They are visible as daylight. We see Hindutva organizations being funded. In the back end. There is RSS. Even somebody with basic Internet skills can go and check who are the people? They are not only funding organizations, they are funding companies. IT companies, companies in AI. Just a basic check on the founders can reveal that they have deep ties with an ideological organization in a foreign government. Add on top of that, we have their elements which have been seeded into United States through our immigration, legal immigration channels, mostly who have come here in large numbers. They are used to intimidate other minorities, cause conflicts, especially with Sikhs, kind of defaming them. Kind know mouths the propaganda of India out here in our country. And so my question to you is, all this is happening. We all can see it. Do we have something called national security Establishment in United States of America. Are they seeing it? If they are seeing it, are they sleeping on the job or are they ever going to wake up? Or what are they going to do in your assessment? Or are they actually doing something? Or are we destined to become another banana republic like some of the other countries are? [01:38:26] Speaker B: Well, Brother Hajit, that question, deep question. I'm going to leave it at this for now. [01:38:35] Speaker G: Sorry. Yeah, I don't want to put you on the smart. It's a rhetorical question, but if you want to comment, it's your no, no. [01:38:41] Speaker B: And I appreciate it. I saw your hand raised and I do have to go, but I felt a little bad leaving, like, before you had a chance to engage. Let me leave it at this that I think the Indian American community in the US, which is anti Hindutva, needs to continue to embrace, as I've seen it happening, but continue to embrace and expand upon the deep need to work across communities to work with this mentality of multi minority cooperation, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Dalits, Hindus, et cetera, and do that at the same time. I think that there's a need for them also to double, triple, quadruple, quintuple down on their engagement with the federal government. The sad reality, I mean, it's a good thing it's happening, but it's not enough. So the sad reality at the moment that I've seen is that there are a tiny handful of national anti Hindutva organizations working at the federal level. Indian American Muslim Council, Hindus for Human Rights, Federation of Indian American Churches of North America, Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America. That's pretty much it when it comes to Sikh organizations that are working in cooperation with those three groups, Muslim, Hindu and Christian, that I just mentioned. I'm actually not aware of any national Sikh organization that is working in close cooperation with them. As far as I know, groups like SALDEF, Seek Coalition, et cetera. They don't have a lot of collaboration with groups like IMC, H Four, HR and Fiacona, unfortunately. But there's just a handful of these groups that are working at the federal level that are the ones that are doing the engagement with the national security apparatus, for instance. [01:41:14] Speaker G: Yeah, I'm sorry I interrupted you, Peter, but I'll tell you now, I'm getting the full import of your book and last couple of months, and that's why I did not message you back on the discussion we had. But I can promise you today, this will change in one year or two years time. We need to change that this can't go on. We can't have lack of sick representative voice being represented at the federal level. [01:41:40] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. And especially with that multi minority cooperation collaboration going on. The Sikhs are unfortunately a very lacking voice. I mean, the Hindus need to be a stronger voice, but there is Hindu presence. The Christians, as I mentioned earlier on, I don't think you were here just last week. I was in New Jersey. I was speaking at the annual banquet of the National association of Asian Indian Christians. And the Indian Christians are far behind when it comes to political organization, but there is some presence there. They need to get more active and a stronger base around the country. The Indian Muslims so far seem to be like the best organized. The Sikhs are very strongly organized and have been politically for a long time around the country. But I don't see very much collaboration between them and a lot of these other groups when it comes to the anti indepthist struggle. But just in general, as far as when it comes to the national security apparatus, is that. My perspective is that there needs to be, like I said, a quintupling down of engagement. There is some engagement there, but there's not enough. These national security organizations need to be seeing the people power of the Indian American community, which is kind of mentioned earlier, but didn't get into the details. The numbers I have as of, I think, the last census or databasing or whatever, is like 4.2 million Indian Americans, about 50% of those are not Hindus, which is a completely different demographic from India. About 50% of 4.2 million Indian Americans are not Hindus. Now, of course, we also have to contextualize that those 50% who are Hindus, the majority of them are not actually Hindutva Hindus, at least when it comes to vocally organized, active, mobilized Hindutva Hindus, most of them are just normal, everyday people that want to live their lives. But like the 50% that you have on the other side, Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Dalit, Buddhist, et cetera, they represent a massive vote bank. They represent massive people power in this country, but they're not politically organized and mobilized enough yet. I think for the people, for outlets like the national security apparatus, to recognize the significance of their voice when they speak up about concern about these issues. [01:44:50] Speaker G: Yeah, Peter, I'll just add one thing to what you did not say explicitly, but you are right. The Sikhs are the most well organized minority group, whether it is in India or whether it is in us. And why you don't see their voice at the federal level is because of foreign interference in Sikh affairs. Right? Sitting here in us, many of our organizations right at the top, there are now open and deep concerns Whether they have been compromised by direct operations by Indian government itself. I think your book kind of sheds some light on that very deep, I would say, national security issue. And I think that's thanks to you. And now it has become an open topic of discussion between the Sikh Sangat, not only in us, but globally. And I think that is a key aspect why the Sikhs, while they are being the best organized, their voice itself is muted at the federal level, where it matters. But I think our hope is, and my hope is, and we'll try to change that. [01:46:05] Speaker B: Yeah. Hojeepai. Thank you. And we were actually primarily throughout this space discussing topics related to my new book, Saffron America. But the book you're referencing, and if anybody wants to understand at some level the idea of foreign interference in Sikh American political organizing, my book Seek Caucus is also published about two years ago, two and a half years ago now, and it's available on Amazon. So with that, Dilly, Babu, Clifford and all, I really appreciate you guys organizing this space. Look forward to connecting again. [01:46:48] Speaker D: Thanks, Peter, for coming up. [01:46:53] Speaker H: Thank you, Peter. [01:46:54] Speaker C: Have a good rest of your day. We'll discuss more. Hopefully we'll catch you again at some other space. Thank you. [01:47:01] Speaker B: Thank you. Take care. [01:47:03] Speaker A: Thank you for tuning in. If you liked what you heard, please remember to subscribe and follow for more to come as we look forward to dialoguing once again on DoSA.

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