Two Indian Charities Face Questions About Connections to Hindu Nationalists

March 13, 2005

Source: Mercury News

On March 13, 2005 the Mercury News reported, "The crowd at a recent tsunami fundraiser represented a swath of the Bay Area's Indo-American community...But if the turnout was typical of Silicon Valley's easygoing diversity, some critics say the event at the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple was tainted by episodes of sectarian violence half a world away. The two U.S.-based non-profit organizations that sponsored the Feb. 27 event have drawn fire from a loose network of left-wing activists, both here and abroad. They say the charities are using good works and good intentions to build grass-roots support for a nationalist movement that has been linked to attacks against India's non-Hindu minorities in recent years. Both charities deny those allegations. And for those who attended the recent fundraiser, the ambiguities of a religious and political dispute in India seemed even hazier when viewed from afar. Many said the event was a chance to connect with friends in busy Silicon Valley, while sending aid to another part of the world where they still have ties. They either weren't aware of the allegations involving the charities or didn't believe them."