Call at Capitol Event For Protection Against Rising Hinduphobia
Congresswoman Carolyn Bordeaux (D-GA) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) with CoHNA leadership.
India-West Staff Reporter
WASHINGTON, DC – On National Hindu Advocacy Day, an event organized by the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) at the US Capitol, showcased the core values of the Hindu community and the impact of Hinduism in the US.
On September 21 elected lawmakers heard the findings from a recent groundbreaking study on anti-Hindu disinformation and Hinduphobia by the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) at Rutgers University. Their work has uncovered a sharp spike in anti-Hindu hatred in online channels and growth in Hinduphobia. It also warned that such online hatred is an indicator of real-world violence, as exemplified by their previous research on antisemitism.
Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) said, “there’s a real problem with Hinduphobia in America. It’s something that is growing.” Ferguson went on to point out that Hindu Americans “share the same values of work, creativity, innovation, compassion, love, giving and — quite candidly — love America.”
Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) pointed out, “We must elevate how much Hindu Americans have contributed to our society whether through yoga, vegetarianism, the arts, or through business enterprises, science and technology, and the medical field.” He added, “important American leaders and thinkers have been inspired by Hindu values and ways of being. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one leader who was inspired by the philosophy of Mohandas Gandhi and worked to end segregation and discrimination based on the theory and philosophy of nonviolence.”
“Our event is the outcome of recognizing the need for more advocacy,” said Nikunj Trivedi, President of CoHNA. “In addition to online hatred, we have witnessed growing academic bias against Hindus.”
Hindu American students, workers and community members are found in every part of the country and have been part of the American tapestry for decades. Yet, data shows that only one in four Americans knows a Hindu and according to 2020 Federal Bureau of Investigation data, hate crimes against Indian Americans are up 500%.
Over the past twelve months, CoHNA has held three congressional briefings on various issues impacting the Hindu American community and is leading efforts to educate stakeholders about Hinduism and the growing challenges it faces today in the US through events like its Hindu Advocacy on the Hill event.