Congressman Ro Khanna slammed for meeting Hindutva ideologue on India visit | Politics News

Congressman Ro Khanna slammed for meeting Hindutva ideologue on India visit | Politics News
Congressman Ro Khanna slammed for meeting Hindutva ideologue on India visit | Politics News

United States Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna has come below sharp criticism for assembly far-right Hindutva ideologue Abhijeet Iyer-Mitra on his latest journey to India, with many declaring that his embrace of Hindu nationalists is towards the progressive values that he has claimed to espouse.

Khanna, who’s the co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus, is main a bipartisan congressional delegation to the nation of his dad and mom’ start, the place he has met Indian authorities officers, and enterprise and expertise leaders.

On Monday, Iyer-Mitra posted {a photograph} with Khanna on X, the social media platform previously generally known as Twitter, and stated: “Had a really productive breakfast assembly with @RoKhanna. Free & frank trade of views. I thank the congressman for his candour & his perspicacity, in addition to striving to enhance India-US relations.”

In response, Khanna wrote: “Nice dialog @Iyervval! Appreciated the candid trade, your insights in regards to the US India relationship, and the backwards and forwards.”

The Indian-American Muslim Council, an advocacy group primarily based within the US, stated it was “deeply disillusioned to see Khanna participating with a far-right Islamophobe”, and condemned him for embracing those that “allow [this] cycle of hate and violence” towards Muslims.

Since Prime Minister Narendra got here to energy in 2014, Muslims have confronted rising assaults, together with lynchings on mere suspicion of cow smuggling. Many Muslim activists have been thrown into jail for protesting towards the federal government’s anti-Muslim insurance policies.

On August 1, a Hindu mob killed a deputy imam of a mosque in Gurugram metropolis subsequent to the capital, New Delhi, a day after lethal sectarian violence in a neighbouring district in Haryana state. A whole lot of Muslim homes have been demolished by state authorities with out following due course of in what activists say is a “collective punishment” towards the minority group.

A spiritual freedom watchdog, for the fourth yr in a row, in Could beneficial that the Indian authorities be added to a blacklist. In its annual report, the US Fee on Worldwide Non secular Freedom (USCIRF) known as on the Division of State to designate India as a “nation of explicit concern” for the worsening circumstances of minorities within the South Asian nation of 1.4 billion folks.

Iyer-Mitra has been accused of selling an Islamophobic narrative by way of his tweets.

Final October, he known as Khanna’s Muslim colleague, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a “jihadi” after her sharp trade with an Indian journalist throughout a US Home International Affairs Committee listening to on “Human Rights in South Asia” in Washington, DC.

As a part of the Democratic Social gathering’s Progressive wing, which additionally consists of Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, amongst others, Khanna has promised to reject Hindu nationalism.

Iyer-Mitra has additionally spoken and written on Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Financial institution and has stated India has “lots to study” from the Israeli use of pressure and intelligence within the occupied Palestinian territory. He has opposed terming Israel’s occupation as apartheid.

Journalists and teachers primarily based within the US and India have criticised Khanna for assembly Iyer-Mitra, calling on the congressman to “apologise” to his Democrat colleague Omar and concern a “forceful assertion” towards Iyer-Mitra.

Khanna has responded to the criticism by saying he met Iyer-Mitra as he had “sharply criticized my grandfather (see his previous posts on me) and we met so I may get up for my grandfather legacy as a freedom fighter. [India Independence hero Mahatma] Gandhi had a philosophy of participating with nearly anybody – together with British colonizers.”

The 46-year-old who represents California’s seventeenth Congressional District stated his “core values have by no means modified” after assembly folks he doesn’t agree with.

‘Appeasing his Indian backers and voters in US’

Khanna performed a key position in calling for Prime Minister Modi to handle a joint seating of the US Congress on his July journey to the US capital. He authored a bipartisan letter and stated “the best way to make progress on human rights is to interact with the Indian PM”.

He has justified his endorsement of Modi saying the Indian prime minister is democratically elected and that he would proceed to talk towards the human rights violations.

“It’s the responsibility of each American politician of Hindu religion to face for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and converse for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist & Christians. That’s the imaginative and prescient of India my grandfather Amarnath Vidyalankar fought for,” he had posted on X 4 years in the past in response to an article on the rise of Hindutva – an ideology that requires the supremacy of Hindus in India – within the US.

Khanna’s assembly with Iyer-Mitra has been termed an act of appeasement by a US-based tutorial.

“When he goes and meets with folks like Abhijeet [Iye-Mitra] or others who’re to the fitting of Indian Hindutva, he’s mainly appeasing his Indian backers and voters within the US,” Mohamad Junaid, an assistant professor at Massachusetts School of Liberal Arts in New York, informed Al Jazeera.

Junaid stated Khanna represents “the broader character of Hindu Indian diaspora within the US, which regularly votes for democratic candidates however can also be extremely radicalised by the Hindutva motion in India and votes for Modi”.

In line with the tutorial, the congressman is attempting to align himself with the liberal wing of the Democratic Social gathering however doesn’t need to alienate the Hindu diaspora, which is a giant abroad financier.

“He [Khanna] is aware of what he’s doing – he desires to run with the hare and hunt with the hound.”

Khanna has additionally been questioned for not assembly Indian opposition leaders or minority representatives throughout his journey.

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