Hindu Americans Condemn Religious Violence in India: Hate Speech and Politics to Blame

October 8, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Hindu American Foundation


A recent spate of inter-religious riots in India, pitting mostly Hindu and Christian communities against each other, have been widely covered in the international media. The clashes began after a Hindu monk was killed in the eastern Indian state of Orissa in early September, and in the southern city of Mangalore, a pamphlet blaspheming Hindu beliefs was distributed by an evangelical group. The riots have left nearly two dozen people dead and many more remain displaced and homeless.

"Religious violence is contrary to the India's long history of pluralism and co-existence that threatens the fabric of the country," said Suhag Shukla, Esq., the Hindu American Foundation's managing director. "We unequivocally condemn the violence and demand justice for the aggrieved as we mourn for all of the innocent victims."

"Disturbing images of Hindus and Christians clashing were widely covered in the U.S., and several media inquiries have been addressed at HAF's offices," Shukla added. Difficulty obtaining accurate on-the-scene reports from some isolated areas led to frenzied reports with several oversights and omissions, the Foundation maintained. Shukla said that parsing events in India to soundbites depicting rampaging Hindu "extremists" attacking Christians does nothing to increase understanding of root causes of the conflict or promote interfaith dialogue.