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National HSC and the Sangh Parivar

Why does the Hindu Student Council (HSC) support Hindutva ideologues like Sadhvi Rithambara?

Recent actions of the HSC support our view about the connection between the HSC and the Sangh Parivar. On June 9, 2007 the HSC joined numerous US affiliates of the RSS (such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad-America and Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh) in inviting one of the most vitriolic ideologues of the Sangh Parivar, Sadhvi Rithambara, to speak at a benefit event in Houston, Texas 1 (Original source: http://www.vatsalyagram.com/ticket.htm).

Sadhvi Rithambara has been a member of the central Margdarshak Mandal (Core Group) of the VHP (Jaffrelot, Christophe. The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996, p. 396), and one of the founders of the Durga Vahini (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6548454.cms), which is the women's armed wing of the Bajrang Dal – another Sangh outfit known to frequently engage in violence. She is perhaps most infamous for her fiery speeches inciting hate and communal violence against Muslims. During the 1992 campaign to destroy the mosque at Ayodhya, Sadhvi Rithambara joined another firebrand Hindutva ideologue, Uma Bharathi, and incited the crowd of Hindutva volunteers with their chant:

"Ek Dhakka aur do, babri masjid tod do
[give it one more push, break down the Babri mosque]".
(See http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/83482.cms)

In the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya in 1992, there have been a series of charges filed in different courts against those perceived to be responsible for the heinous act. One such case which is still ongoing in India has been filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (India). This case has named Rithambara (along with seven other prominent Hindutva leaders) for inciting violence that destroyed the Babri Mosque and led to the death of several hundred Muslims (see a recent update on this issue, dated June 8 2007 at http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=87855#compstory)

In July 2002, a few months after the Gujarat genocide, Sadhvi Rithambara said during her speech at the Ganesh temple in Queens, NY:

"We cannot tolerate the world tear apart our Mother India," she said. "They say Pakistan is incomplete without Kashmir. And we say India is incomplete without Pakistan and Bangladesh. We are aiming to reunite India [Hum Hindustan ko akhandata ki singhasan par birajman karne ki sadhana mein lagey hain ]" (http://www.rediff.com/us/2002/jul/27us.htm).

In another of her speeches in which she urged “victory to the Lord’s army” and revolution in which “no trace of Pakistan will remain”, she stated:

“ Those who regret their mistakes are called humans; those who don’t regret are called devils; He that repeats the mistake despite repeated beatings is called Pakistan.”

Original source: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8817218285615987893&q=vhp&hl=en.

Sadhvi Rithambara is an extremist ideologue whose prejudice has been expressed on numerous occasions. She is proud of her brand of activism and memorably coined the popular Hindutva slogan: "Say with pride, we are Hindus. Hindusthan (India) is ours” in her speech in 1991 (quoted in full in Sudhir Kakar, Colors of Violence: Cultural Identities, Religion, and Conflict, University of Chicago Press, 1996, p. 165). She has long been associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an organization that has been implicated in acts of violence against religious minorities in India. Inviting such a person is tantamount to legitimizing their ideologies (http://www.vatsalyagram.com/ticket.htm).

CSFH's question to the National HSC:
How does the HSC explain its invitation to an ideologue of hate like Sadhvi Rithambara when its organizational vision claims "The entire creation is one family" and "Let everybody be happy, healthy, and blessed"
(from http://hscnet.org/aboutus.php)?

For more information or to pass on comments or questions, contact: Ashwini Rao (akrao_nyc@yahoo.com) or Murli Natrajan (mnatrajan@yahoo.com).


 


 

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