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US: Islamists and left liberals hijack Holi in the name of ‘fighting Hindutva’. Read how a similar event from 2020 was tied to anti-CAA violence

The controversial programme is being held jointly by the 'Asian American Alliance (AAA)' and 'Muslim Students Association (MSA)'.

With a sinister objective to hijack Hindu festivals, left-liberals and Islamists at the Oberlin College in Ohio state of the United States have organised an event dubbed ‘Holi Against Hindutva’ on Sunday (21st April).

The controversial programme is being held jointly by the ‘Asian American Alliance (AAA)’ and ‘Muslim Students Association (MSA)’ at the Hallock Auditorium of the private liberal arts college.

“Join us for a teach-in on Hindu nationalism in the US and India, its violent implications for Muslims worldwide and connections to Zionism. No prior knowledge necessary,” the event synopsis read.

One of the speakers at the ‘Holi against Hindutva’ event happens to be Pranay Somayajula – the Director of Research at the pro-Islamist outfit Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR).

According to the popular OSINT handle ‘Disinfo Lab’, HfHR was formed in the year 2019 by the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and the Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI).

Interestingly, the three organisations had formed another outfit called the Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA). As per an article in The Hindu, the Alliance for Justice and Accountability had been at the forefront of leading demonstrations against the visit of PM Modi to Houston on September 22, 2019.

Hindus for Human Rights endorsed Dismantle Global Hindutva

In 2021, ‘Hindus for Human Rights’ also endorsed the anti-Hindu event ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ conference. It also came up with a “special toolkit” to propagate against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his State visit to the US in June 2023.

In October 2023, the X (formerly Twitter) account of HfHR was withheld in India in response to a legal demand.

‘Holi Against Hindutva’ event and anti-Hindu Delhi riots

OpIndia had previously reported about nefarious attempts (here and here) to appropriate the annual Hindu festival of Holi for political propaganda.

In 2020, a controversial outfit called ‘Students Against Hindutva’ (SAH) organised ‘Holi against Hindutva’ events across several universities in the United States.

SAH had also written to the US Congress and spread numerous lies about the nature of Hindutva, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The letter was edited by one Zaid Ahmed, a member of Yale Muslim Student Association.

Ziad Ahmed’s tweet

On his social media account, the link to his personal website was mentioned. Thus, we took a detour and explored it. We shall elaborate on what we learned about Ziad Ahmed later on but before all of that, we need to understand the political context first.

‘Students Against Hindutva’ (SAH), which organised the ‘Holi against Hindutva’ event, is also associated with pro-Islamist outfits such as ‘South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)’ and ‘Stand With Kashmir(SWH).

OpIndia had previously exposed how SAALT has several Pakistanis on its Board of Directors, including Amina Khan (ex-senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy under President Bill Clinton) and Darakshan Raja (founder of Justice For Muslims Collective).

Anti-CAA poster designed by SWK and shared by Farhan Akhtar,

Stand with Kashmir (SWK), on the other hand, is known for amplifying the Pakistani narrative on the Indian Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The outfit has previously labelled India’s military presence in Kashmir an ‘occupation’ and ignored the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits.

During the infamous anti-CAA protests, Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar shared a misleading poster designed by SWK.

It is important to note that Farhan Akhtar shared the work of propaganda on 18th December 2019, precisely a week after Ziad Ahmed announced the launch of ‘Holi Against Hindutva’.

A portion of SAH’s Open Letter

Interestingly, a leftist propaganda portal by the name of ‘Teen Vogue’ had also endorsed the ‘Holi against Hindutva’ event organised by Students against Hindutva (SAH).

An article published on the website of Teen Vogue, repeated the talking points of the SAH and used the picture of ‘jihad supporting’ Jamia Millia Islamia student Ladeeda Sakhaloon. It was later replaced following outrage on social media.

OpIndia had also found that SAH had compiled ‘information’ against the CAA from far-left sources, the same ‘organizers and collectives’ that were inciting protests across India.

The ‘resources section’ of their website also featured petitions, open letters, leftist opinion pieces and places where people can donate to support the students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jamia Milia Islamia.

‘Students Against Hindutva had compiled a list of protests against the CAA across India . The list even included ‘CAA Protest Helper’ which was apparently a ‘Legal Services Clinic’ where people could find legal help if they ran into any trouble during any protests against the CAA.

In addition, a ‘protest schedule’ and a running list of protests in the USA, UK, Germany, South Africa, Japan, Canada and other countries were also provided.

From: SAH’s website

‘Students Against Hindutva’ had admitted, on its home page, about lobbying with the financial donations received by it.

The outfit stated, “Our growing inter-campus coalition plans to campaign through protesting, sharing informational material, holding on-campus teach-ins, lobbying, and coordinating other events to raise awareness. Any donations to our fundraiser would be greatly appreciated and will help us continue to organize in support of protestors on the front lines.”

From the conduct of the SAH, it was pretty clear that the organization was working towards undermining Indian interests. In addition to supporting the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in India, it also sought to lobby against Indian national interests, presumably in the USA.

Holi Against Hindutva redux in 2022

Two years later in 2022, a similar event was organised online by ‘Hindus for Human Rights(HfHR)’, ‘Students against Hindutva Ideology (SAHI)’ and ‘Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus.’

Screengrab of the event

The ‘Holi Against Hindutva’ continues to remain an active conspiracy hatched against the Hindu diaspora by Liberal fundamentalism which has garnered support from South Asian Islamists and left-liberals.

Appropriating a Hindu festival for protest not only targets Hindus worldwide but also meddles with India’s sovereign interests.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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