An article, “The Hindu Nationalist Campaign to Promote Yoga,” published by The Nation, mirrors how ideological extremism spreads disinformation and narrates false inferences.
We want to highlight the fact from our earlier statement, “Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) is a non-political, nonprofit, volunteer-based organization and is neither involved in nor does it support any political activism. However, recently we came across certain media articles referring to HSS in connection with activities or events that HSS neither organized nor was involved with.” HSS activities are US-based, and its membership consists of US-born, raised, and additionally immigrated from diverse countries worldwide. HSS works with and across all communities in the United States.
Our long history of community service has been widely acknowledged, both in terms of public citations and in developing partnerships with elected leaders, government agencies, schools, interfaith, and more.
HSS initiated Health for Humanity Yogathon, developing health awareness across American society regardless of any social barrier. An Exhibition, “Darshana – A Glimpse into the Hindu Civilization,” produced by HSS, was held and well received by citizens, interfaith organizations, and elected officials across the party line and attended by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan.
We are proud of our record of inculcating our American members with the best cultural and civil education. It was visible especially during COVID when our young and adult generations were working shoulder to shoulder to help individuals, families, and society by supporting local governments and Federal Emergency Management Authority.
However, unfortunately, the authors of the above-referred article misused HSS and its noble work in society to malign its name and its members. The authors referred to comments by those perpetually criticizing HSS and Hindu traditions. However, as a standard journalistic practice, the authors did not formally contact HSS for its responses and its stand while writing this biased article.
While attempting to discredit our work, this article (a) Falsely characterizes Health for Humanity Yogathon as a Hindu Nationalist campaign; (b) Makes a casteist interpretation of Yoga to question the multiplicity and diversity of practices of Yoga, which is ill-informed and discriminatory (c) Misleads its readers by falsely claiming that the US civic officials, without any background check, appreciate HSS’ Yogathon and other community services.
Further, this article considers that HSS members are from India, showing prejudice, apathy, and lack of knowledge. Thus effectively, the authors of this article are segmenting the 1% of the American-Hindu community from the rest of American society. Such allegations are grave and of anti-minority view. That to our dismay, an almost 150-year-old publication, The Nation, which has seen the history of World War II and its impact on minorities, helped publicize. Our work is factually accurate, and our clean record is publicly available. Regardless, while propagandizing, the writers desperately tried to convince their toxic interpretations as facts. Thus we strongly object to the intention of the reporters to vilify Hindu-Americans and their social contribution to American society.
Our commitment to serving the society we live in – is in accordance to the Hindu values of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (Whole World is One Family)’ that we practice daily. As such, our work will continue, and we will keep growing and making friends in the United States of America.