NEW YORK CITY, NY–The World Hindu Council of America, known by its Hindi acronym as VHPA, denounced the attempts by “Hinduphobic organizations that have banded together to prevent Hindus from expressing their right to practice their religion freely and publicly” by commemorating the foundation laying for restoration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, India.
VHPA said in a statement that foundation laying of the temple, at the birthplace of Hindu God Rama, almost 500 years after it was destroyed an Islamic invader, is one of the most significant event in Hindus history.
“The Hinduphobic groups are actively canvassing the billboard display owners to dissuade them from displaying the images of Shree Ram and the images of future mandir (temple), a perfectly legitimate activity guaranteed by the constitution of the United States,” VHPA statement said.
Utsav Chakrabarti, Director of Advocacy and Public Relations of VHPA said: “We condemn efforts by ‘Stand with Kashmir’ and Islamist organizations to prop-up proxy groups and individuals with Hindu sounding names, to vilify and slander revered Hindu deities. The new temple at the birthplace of Shri Ram in Ayodhya (India), represents the positive sentiments and hopes of 2 billion Hindus and Buddhists from India, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal, Korea, Indonesia Vietnam, the US and the EU.”
Commenting on the activities directed at the event, Ajay Shah, Executive Vice President of VHPA said: “The malicious statements by some organizations about Shree Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya are driven by their Hinduphobia. This temple is being built on the site where the original Ram Mandir (temple for Bhagwan (God) Shree Ram stood and was destroyed by Moghul invader, Babur. The monument to slavery of Indians is now being restored to those who have been freed after 1000 years. It marks a new beginning for Hindus, just like replacement of statues of slave owners around the world marks the next step in racial justice.”
Shyam Tiwari, VHPA Vice President for Publications said: “This is akin to the Iconoclastic mindset that destroyed Ram Mandir in Ayodhya originally. This is flagrant violation and attack on religious freedom and Hindus’ Constitutional right to practice their religion.”
Here is the backgrounder provided by VHPA:
“In 1992, in what is reminiscent of the taking down of statues of slave owners, Hindus took down Babri structure that stood on the sight of the birthplace representing one of the most revered avatars of God, Shree Rama for close to 500 years. The Babri structure, built by the foreign invader Baber who killed and enslaved thousands of Hindus, and then destroyed the temples. Hindus fought many battles, physical and legal over centuries. Finally, in November 2019, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the original temple can be restored at the site where Babri structure stood.”
VHPA has welcomed this decision of the Supreme Court of India, just as VHPA has welcomed the taking down of statues of slave owners.
Founded in 1970, World Hindu Council of America has chapters across the United States. VHPA runs educational programs for Hindu children and youth in addition to community service (Seva) activities like Support-A-Child supporting 3,000 children, and initiatives such as Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC), Hindu Priests Conference, Hindu Womens’ Network, and American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) and Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective (HinduPACT).