Maktoob Media: Indian Americans protest Hindutva figure Sadhvi Ritambhara’s visit to US

More than 100 Indian Americans protested outside the venue of an event that featured Sadhvi Rithambra, a Hindutva figure, at Norcross, a city near Atlanta on Wednesday.

Joining under the banner of Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Hindus for Human Rights, Muslims of USA, Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) – Georgia, and Voices of Muslims on Tuesday, the protesters chanted slogans saying hate was not welcome in Atlanta and demanding that the US government immediately revoke Rithambra’s visa and send her back to India.

Earlier, a public campaign against her visit had sent over 2,000 letters calling on the organizers to cancel the event. Among others, the event was organized by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), the US-based Hindu rightwing groups ideologically connected with the Hindu militant group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in India.

Afshan Khan, a protester, said, “We have to stop the Hindutva instigated bigotry and hate from seeping into our communities here in the United States where peace-loving Hindus and Muslims have been living in harmony for many years.”

Rahim Shah Akhunkhail from Voices of Muslims of Georgia said, “The American Muslim community, joined by Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith, reject hate mongers and strongly object and protest the presence of Sadhvi Ritambhara at the Global Mall in Atlanta. She has openly called for the massacre of Muslims and Christians in India. We reject it. America rejects it. We call people of all faiths to reject and denounce such people. We also call upon the State Dept to immediately revoke her visa and for law enforcement agencies to take appropriate legal actions against her and organizers of her visit to the US”.

Zameer Khan, President of IAMC’s Atlanta Chapter said, “It is an affront to all civilized and peace-loving people of all faiths and it should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. We cannot allow people like Rithambara to come and spread their hatred and divisiveness in the peace-loving communities of America. We demand that the Owner of Global Mall and the organizers immediately cancel the event and issue a public apology to the good people of Atlanta.”

“Sadhvi Ritambhara’s presence in the United States goes against the values we hold dear at Hindus for Human Rights. She represents an ideology of hate and violence – an ideology that is tearing India apart and is threatening our communities here too. The protesters demonstrated that Hindu nationalist hate will not be tolerated in the US, and that they will continue to stand for all people targeted by the Hindu nationalist hate that is taking over our religious and cultural spaces,” Khan added.

This article first appeared in Maktoob Media