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USA: Indian-American politician says he’s ‘ashamed’ of World Hindu Congress, slams ‘bigoted’ RSS

Tuesday 18 September 2018, by siawi3


Indian-American politician says he’s ‘ashamed’ of World Hindu Congress, slams ‘bigoted’ RSS

Written By
DNA Web Team

Updated: Sep 9, 2018, 01:09 PM IST

Ameya Pawar an American-Indian politician who serves as an alderman for the 47th Ward of the City of Chicago hit out at the World Hindu Congress being held in the city.

Pawar, who was re-elected in 2015 with 82% of votes, hit out claiming that ‘’bigoted’ RSS had no place in a discussion about Hinduism’ and criticised violence against protesters.

He wrote on Twitter on September 7: “I’m a proud Hindu and the first Indian American elected to Chicago City Council. I’m extremely disappointed and ashamed the @WHCongress would invite speakers and organizations that promote discrimination, Islamaphobia, and Hindu nationalism. This is not who we are. I’m disgusted that peaceful protestors at the @WHCongress were pushed, kicked, and spat on. The behavior of some attendees confirms that Hindu Nationalists and the bigoted RSS have no place in a discussion about Hinduism. We are better than this.”

A group of protesters briefly disrupted the proceedings of the World Hindu Congress in Chicago when they started raising slogans demanding the religious leaders at the meet to oppose the Indian government’s alleged “actions against religious minorities”.

Two of the women protesters were arrested Friday evening and local police charged them with disorderly conduct and trespassing. They were released later in the night.

Representing the Chicago South Asians for Justice, the two women speaking on condition of anonymity told PTI that they protested during the World Hindu Congress to urge the leaders attending it to oppose the “current actions of the government against religious minorities”.

The event organisers alleged that the protesters sneaked into the venue through a “fake identity card”. The issue has been reported to the police and is being investigated.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and its joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosbale and six other top Hindu religious leaders were participating in a panel discussion on collective efforts for Hindu resurgence when the protesters seated at two different places in the hall suddenly stood on their chairs and started raising slogans such as “Stop Hindu Fascism” and “RSS turn around, we do not want you in town.” Taken by surprise, some of the attendees of the conference raised counter slogans, prevented them from raising the banner that they had brought in and in less than a minute were taken out of the plenary hall. The hotel security and local police immediately took the situation under control.

“About six of us were at the WHC today. We were there to protest the conference, the organiser, the speakers, and the attendees and their support for the current and historic violence that’s been propagated by the RSS and other similar organisations,” one of the woman protestors told PTI after being released.

“We sat through most of the plenary this evening. There were about six speakers. Two of us were on one side of the room and the rest sat on the other side of the room. We stood up with a banner. We chanted ’RSS turnaround, we do not want you in town’,” she said and alleged that they were immediately swarmed and other conference attendees started screaming at them.

The two of these women were handcuffed as they came out of the hotel. The police arrested another individual for allegedly spitting on them.

“He did that in front of the police,” she said.

“We mounted our disruption towards the end of the evening plenary session,” the second woman protestor said, alleging that some of the attendees in the room snatched the banner from them.

The second World Hindu Congress is being held here to mark the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893 in Chicago.

With inputs from PTI