Teaneck, NJ– Almost fifty-five Hindu American organizations representing more than 155,000 residents of Bergen County, NJ and surrounding areas signed a coalition letter condemning a “hateful” resolution recently passed by the Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee (TDMC).
“The resolution recklessly and falsely labels almost every major Hindu American organization in the United States, including Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Sewa International, and others, as a fascist organization which promotes hate and terrorism without providing any of those organizations the opportunity to be heard,” Sewa said in a statement. “The resolution has outraged Hindu Americans who see this as a vicious, false, and provocative act by Democratic Party activists in Teaneck to
demonize the entire Hindu community, their activities, their beliefs, and their political participation in New Jersey.”
The Hindu American community, considered by many to be a model minority community, has recently experienced numerous instances of hate crimes, including against many Hindu temples in the New Jersey area, the statement added.
“Just like the ‘Dot-Busters’ gangs in New Jersey in the late 80s that violently targeted Hindu Americans because of their religious beliefs or skin color, the TDMC chose to also make baseless assumptions and operate from a position of ignorance and hate,” said S. Rawal, a New Jersey resident. Rawal was 7-years-old when the “Dot Busters”
announced their campaign in 1987 to eradicate Hindus from New Jersey. “Back then, it was ‘dirty’ Hindu, today it is ‘fascist’ Hindu,” he said.
New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal, in a strongly worded statement of support for the Hindu American community condemned the resolution and called for its immediate rescission.
In his statement, he said, “It is unfortunate that this committee that purports to support the ideals of the Democratic Party would act in a manner that illustrates the type of bigotry and hatred that we are working hard as a country to eradicate from our society.”
Teaneck City Council Members Keith Kaplan and Michael Santiago Pagan also issued a strong statement in response to the resolution in which they said, “Unfortunately, the
TDMC resolution at issue… was felt by some to condemn all Hindus, which encompasses many peaceful members of our larger community here in Bergen County and beyond.” They added, “Just as we did on the day we were sworn in, we proclaim: Hate has no home in Teaneck.”
In the recent Teaneck City Council meeting, Hindu American community members called for an investigation into the individuals and organizations that may have incited the TDMC to pass this defamatory and hateful resolution. The coalition letter stated, “We understand that the TDMC may simply be a pawn in a much larger agenda to malign and denigrate the Hindu American community, but we wish to impress upon the TDMC that there are real consequences when one makes misplaced, false, and malicious allegations about a law-abiding and peaceful community.”