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National HSC and the VHPA

Is the National Hindu Students Council really "independent" of the Sangh Parivar?

June 19, 2007: In our report, “Lying Religiously (LyR): The Hindu Students Council and the politics of deception,” we have documented in detail the links between the HSC and the Sangh Parivar. We have relied primarily on sources internal to the Sangh Parivar so as to ensure that the evidentiary basis of the conclusions drawn is of the highest standards. This week, we look at contradictory claims made by the HSC and the VHP of America about their relationship.

The National HSC claims to be independent of the Sangh Parivar: The “facts” page on the National HSC website says: "When HSC was started in 1990 by few students, they got very little support from adults in the Indian-American community. There was no national Indian/Hindu organization that could provide HSC with resources like intellectual speakers/Swamijis, books, etc. The only non-sectarian Indian organization with a pan-American presence that offered to help them was the VHP-America (VHPA). The leaders and members of the VHPA offered to support HSC as a project, helping HSC with resources like speakers/swamijis, books, etc. Once HSC was started up, it become an independently run organization within 3 years, in 1993". (http://hscnet.org/fact.php)

However, this is contradicted even by HSC’s own statements. Last week, we presented as evidence two sources:

1) A HSC announcement in 1994 for the Yuva 94 conference which included the admission that “HSC is sponsored by the VHPA” (http://hsctruthout.stopfundinghate.org/PRs/docs/041594.pdf);
2) A HSC announcement in 1995 for the Northeast Regional Youth Conference which also admitted that "HSC is sponsored by Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America" and requested applicants to “Please make checks payable to VHPA” (http://hsctruthout.stopfundinghate.org/PRs/docs/070795.pdf).

Despite all disavowals by the National HSC leadership about their relationship to the Sangh Parivar, the VHP of America has repeatedly, and most recently in 2003, said that the HSC was its project. Here is an extract from an archived VHPA page from 2003: "The programs and projects are defined by the local community needs within the broad framework of the Parishad mission. The ongoing projects are: Hindu Student Council: It is the youth wing of VHP-A functioning in 50 universities and colleges in the USA." (http://hsctruthout.stopfundinghate.org/footnotes/066.pdf)

Given the official HSC position that it severed all links with VHPA in 1993, this amounts to a minimum of ten years of deception. Does the National HSC deny that this link existed at least until 2003 officially? The VHPA website still lists the HSC as an "Organizational Component" that it" facilitates and promotes". (http://www.vhp-america.org/whatvhpa/orgcomponents3.htm).

Is the VHPA website "based on inaccuracies" and "outdated information"?

Our question to the National HSC for Week #4: How does the National HSC explain such links with the VHPA, years after it claimed to have become an “independently run organization”?

More recently, in Fall 2004, a “core team with representatives from both Hindu Students Council and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh joined in spirit, strength, and resources to coordinate” the Midwest Hindu Youth Retreat
in Illinois (http://www.hssus.org/content/view/36/2). Again, in Fall 2005, the HSC of Florida Institute of Technology and the HSS jointly conducted a Yuva Sangam. One of the themes of the conference was “to promote Hindutva”. (http://www.hssus.org/content/view/116/2/)

CSFH continues to urge all concerned individuals and groups to engage in a substantive public discussion on the issues we have raised in our LyR report. Such open discussions are important within the South Asian community, especially among Indian-American youth, who we believe have been deceived by the National HSC leadership. It is incumbent upon all HSC chapters to begin sorting out the truth from the lies by asking the National HSC leadership to respond to the concrete challenge we have raised above and not produce random distractions.

For more information, contact: Murli Natrajan (mnatrajan@yahoo.com) or Ashwini Rao (akrao_nyc@yahoo.com)


 


 

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