For Immediate Release 20th August 2022
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) strongly condemns the attack on the Hindu Temple (Shri Tulsi Mandir) and vandalization of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Queens on 16th August 2022.
This is the second such incident in the month of August 2022. Two weeks ago, the statue was toppled over in an act of hatred. This time, six men apparently attacked the Hindu Temple and smashed the life-sized Gandhi statue to pieces using a sledgehammer. All this happened during the sacred month of ‘Shravan’ when Hindus are especially engaged in traditional worship, spiritual practices, and visiting Temples.
Mahatma Gandhi, a proponent of peace and justice, embodies the tolerance and love of all humanity. His philosophy of non-violence influenced Martin Luther King. Jr. and through him the civil rights movement in the United States. His legacy has also influenced and inspired millions, including important world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and his Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is ironic that in the month of July a Rutgers University report shows a significant rise in Hinduphobia in the west, and this is followed by such attacks on Hindu Temples.
This act of vandalism is an attack on a cultural icon from India and also an indication of growing Hindu-hate and Hinduphobia in America.
The campaign of hatred, intimidation and phobia against Hindu Americans by many anti-India and anti-Hindu groups has been ongoing for years unchecked. Such acts of vandalism can lead to physical violence against Hindu-Americans.
HSS-USA calls for a swift investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators who attacked the Hindu Temple of Queens and destroyed the statue. HSS-USA also appeals to the minority Hindu community to stay vigilant and united and to oppose all groups and activities promoting hate, divisiveness, and Hinduphobia.