Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Attack by Media on Sonal Shah

When Barak Obama won the elections and named Sonal Shah as one fo the people to help him transition to office there were reports of her being associated with the VHP-America as though it were a crime. A campaign of false accusations and character assasination was started by Indian Communist, Muslim and Christian groups to defame Sonal as well as the VHP. Various news articles were published quoting known hindu-haters to show the VHP in a highly negative light.

Here is the offical response from the VHP,

The appointment of Ms. Sonal Shah was criticized by only a handful of people, known to have communist ideology, out of three million strong Indian community. True to right-wing fundamentalists' extremist campaign, Mr. Santorum has attempted “swift-boating", this time directed at Sonal Shah. It is exactly this type of false accusations that did not succeed in the recent polls. We do hope that Mr. Santorum would learn from the election that the American people are tired of these tactics.

Rick Santorum's strategy here is to criticize Sonal by criticizing VHPA because of its link to VHP- India due to name, logo and stated ideology. This reminds me of the extremist elements which tried to defeat then candidate Obama by making an obvious but completely fabricated link with Osama Bin-Laden because their names are similar sounding. Just because VHPA and VHP-India share a common name and indeed both represent the cause of Hindus in their respective countries, the name and constituencies is where the relationship ends. Even after the resounding rejection of such tactics of misplaced association in the elections, Mr. Santorum still doesn't get it that the American people have moved on from these types of cheap tactics.

Mr. Santorum also appears to have lack of awareness about our organization and its activities. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) of America (VHPA) is a non-profit organization legally registered in USA and has been working with the Hindu community here for the last 38 years. It is an independent body governed by and operating under the laws of the USA, VHPA is inspired by the ideal that the entire world is indeed one big family. VHPA’s work is an open book; VHPA's volunteers serve society selflessly to keep the overhead and administrative costs to less than 10%. VHPA re-constructed an entire village after the Gujarat earthquake which is inhabited by Hindu and Muslim alike.

We must take objection to Mr. Santorum’s canards about VHP–India. Though I cannot speak for VHP-India, those who have taken the time to actually research the incidents of Christian bashing and violence against them have found the facts to be different than what Mr. Santorum alleges – This sad strategy of distorting facts and reporting half-the story does not behoove an ex senator. Christian fundamentalists, whose thinking Mr. Santorum supports have wrought untold havoc in Indian psyche and its social fiber by converting hundreds of thousands of poor, gullible people by fraudulent means. The state of Orissa has been a hotbed of conversions induced by fraud, deceit and allurement and resulting conflicts for many years. Swami Laxmananand, an 84 year old Hindu spiritual leader was killed with AK47 guns and axes along with six of his disciples by these fundamentalist Christians who found him very inconvenient in their game of “harvesting Hindu souls.”

Genesis of Gujarat riots in 2002 is in burning alive of 59 Hindu pilgrims in a train that was set upon by a 2000 strong Muslim mob. Mr. Santorum conveniently says only that “the train caught fire.” The riots killed close to 1000 people which included almost 300 Hindus according to the Federal Government. A special commission set up to investigate the riots has, after years of labor given a clean chit to the Gujarat state government and it’s Chief Minister.

India has been at the receiving end of Islamic terror for 1100 years starting with 711 A.D. She has been attacked, plundered, raped and maimed by those who carried Koran in one hand and a sword in another.Even after its bifurcation on religious lines 61 years back, Islamists, aided by Pakistan have fomented hundreds of riots. The latest in this saga of terror and mayhem is what we witnessed two weeks back in Mumbai. And yet, Mr. Santorum finds fault with Hindus and Hindu groups!

Mr. Santorum takes refuge in the writings of Professor Martha Nussbaum, whose anti-Hindu bias is known to the Indian Diaspora. This is a “cyclic” strategy where one person makes an unsubstantiated attack, another quotes it and then the originator quotes the second person and this goes on and on making it a gospel truth. Mr. Santorum’s whole strategy comes from the same thinkers that tried to make President elect Obama’s brief and inconsequential interaction with William Ayers an issue in the campaign- again a feeble attempt to make an issue out of nothing.

The last paragraph is very revealing since it exposes the method by which most pseudo-seculars behave especially our communist historians who quote each others opinion to prove their point and rarely refer to any original work!

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