We, the undersigned, condemn the immoral silence of the Democratic Party and its members on Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s association with the Hindu-militant organization, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and its American affiliates.
It is no secret that since the beginning of her political career, Gabbard has been funded by members of groups like — Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Overseas Friends of the BJP, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and Ekal Foundation, which have direct links with the RSS. The association has also come under the lens time and again in the American media. A recent investigative story by an Indian publication, The Caravan, authored by Pieter Friedrich, traced the Congresswoman’s nearly two-decade-long liaison with the Sangh during which she received copious amounts of funds from members of the above mentioned groups and in return, left no stone unturned in whitewashing and legitimizing their parent body.
The rise in the world of politics for Gabbard, who projects herself as a progressive espousing “American liberal values”, was made possible by a network which unapologetically professes an ideology of hate-and-divide which is enshrined in their supremacist beliefs. As Gabbard frequently met and grew closer to the high-ranking officials of the Sangh and its political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party, members of the latter groups worked towards making the man who murdered Gandhi a hero. RSS was conceived with the similar belief systems as that of Hitler’s Nazi Party and Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, and has actively worked towards establishing a Hindu supremacist rule in India, a country that has secular values enshrined in its Constitution. Furthering their agenda of making India a “Hindu Rashtra”, RSS, inter alia, aided and abetted anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in 2002 and murdered Christian Missionaries in 2008. All this while, Gabbard filled her coffers with their blood-tainted money and quite expectedly never condemned any of these heinous acts and ironically went prancing around as the champion of inclusive politics.
Even as various rights groups in USA stood against her sullied association with the RSS, the Democratic Party chose to look the other way. If any leader of the Democratic Party was committed to the ‘liberal and progressive values’ they claim to eschew, they would have called out her hypocrisy of opposing Trump’s divisive and racist politics, while she herself benefited from her close association with BJP-RSS and their affiliates.
It would be a moral failure of members of the Democratic Party to have within their ranks a person like Gabbard who has supported and is backed by a network under whose rule India has witnessed increasing violence against Christians, Muslims and Dalits, disenfranchising of minority groups, illegal detention and clampdown on human rights of Kashmiris, and crushing of rational and progressive voices.
We demand that unless Gabbard unequivocally and publicly denounces the hate politics of RSS, the Democratic Party leaders hold her accountable being hand-in-glove with forces of hate and cut all ties with her.
Originally published on www.medium.com