Presence of Indian Flag carried by rioting mobs at Capitol Hill, sparks shame and horror
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By Vijaylakshmi Nadar, Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO: In what is being called out as one of the darkest days in US history, by none other the President-Elect Joe Biden, when 1000’s of violent rioters owing allegiance to outgoing President Donald Trump, stormed the Capitol Hill building in Washington DC, on January 6, in what is being widely viewed as an affront to American Democracy, there was yet another moment of shame, this time for India.
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Millions of Indians in the US and around the world, watched with shock and horror as amongst the snatches of live telecast of the Capitol Hill horror, were visuals of the Indian tri-color, the ONLY international flag standing out in a sea of American and Trump flags, carried by angry insurrectionists, some of them Indian Americans. Most of the Indian American supporters of Donald Trump are also default supporters of the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, propagating the right-wing, extremist Hindutva ideology.
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One of the Indian Americans carrying the Indian flag, amongst the rioting Makes America Great Again (MAGA) supporters, is Vincent Xavier (Vinson Palathingal) who has long been identified as a MAGA supporter too. He lost elections at the local school board in Virginia in November 2019, after he was called out for his fact-free, hateful campaign.
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Though traditionally most Indian Americans have supported the Democrats, the political affiliations of many Indian Americans went through a marked change after Modi came to power in India in 2014. Since then the right-wing Hindutva ideology which fuels Modi and his political outfit, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has also started fanning the hateful and divisive politics of both Modi and Trump on US soil…
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The world in general and the US, in particular, have been caught unawares with the rise of Hindutva influence not just amongst the Indian community, but in US politics as well, with several Indian American politicians in the present Senate and Congress, supported by Hindutva affiliations.
Hindutva as an ideology has nothing to do with Hinduism as the religion as if often believed. Hindutva is a fascist cult, fashioned after Hitler’s Nazis, which needs to be identified and investigated as one. Though the first Hindutva presence was established as far as in 1989 in the US, with the registration of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), the organization was largely silent, not infiltrating politically, until 2014.
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Both Trump and Modi supporters, who view both of the leaders as very strong, enjoy a symbiotic relationship, with a common ideology and goals. But the violent gathering at Capitol Hill is one battle in which Modi supporters need not have indulged in, which Modi himself denounced in a tweet, especially carrying an Indian flag, hurting the sensibilities of the peaceful Indians in the US and the rest of the world, including India.
Expressing growing concern over the infiltration of “ultranationalists and Hindutva supremacists,” the founder member of the Alliance to Save and Protect America from Infiltration by Religious Extremists (ASPAIRE). Dr. Shaik Ubaid, whilst denouncing the attacks on democracy, demanded an investigation into their sustained infiltration into the US power centers, demanding an investigation into it.
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ASPAIRE is a nationwide alliance of organizations dedicated to preserving and promoting freedom, democracy, and rule of law, and has been keeping a tight check on the Hindutva infiltration into American politics. A coalition of Americans for Pluralism in India (CAPI), yet another non-profit, has also condemned the violent attacks on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Masood Rab, the co-chair of ASPAIRE, unequivocally condemned the rioters assembling at the Capitol Building in Washington DC, and breaking in the national historical monument, calling it “ an act of terrorism against the American Nation, its properties, and its values”. He added that. “President Trump and the legislators supporting his quest to disrupt the American democratic system shall be brought to justice openly to stand as a lesson for the future American generations and become part of our history to discourage any future similar activities”.
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Compiled by Shafaat Khan Curated By Humra Kidwai