NRI Dunia
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US diaspora opposes ‘hate’ spectacle

Various US-based diaspora groups are mobilizing opinion against a planned celebration at Times Square of the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday, calling the New York jamboree a “grand spectacle for an event marred by hate, violence and polarization”.

They have been calling the mayor’s office and other elected officials besides the owners of the giant billboards which the American India Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a diaspora group, has leased to beam massive images of Lord Ram, 3D portraits of the temple’s design and architecture across Times Square to reconsider the “decision to allow the use of public space” for the “tone deaf” planned commemoration.

Speaking for the coalition of diaspora groups involved in the effort to provide Americans in general and New Yorkers in particular the historical perspective in the face of the glitzy event that is being planned at Times Square along with singing of bhajans and distribution of sweets, Sunita Viswanath of the Hindus For Human Rights told The media on Tuesday evening that “we will be present to present the other voice”.

“I am a Hindu, my Hinduism tells me that we are all one. I do not recognize this brand of Hinduism that believes I am better than you,” Viswanath said.

Categorically professing respect for all faiths and people’s right to display it at a place of worship, Manish Madan of the Global Indian Progressive Alliance said the AIPAC’s planned commemoration “is not only devoid of the recognition of the deeply troubling historical context, but it also usurps the religious and moral sentiments of many Indian-Americans spread globally, including reinforcing saffron supremacy on US soil — which is fundamentally against America’s secular character that we all promise to uphold.’’