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A Smear Campaign Against Lone Hindu Voice in Faith-Based Security Advisory Council

A Smear Campaign Against Lone Hindu Voice in Faith-Based Security Advisory Council

  • It reflects another episode of hatred perpetuated against American Hindu organizations and their members.

Recent coordinated attacks by a section of international vested interest groups and fear-mongering media houses on a newly appointed Department of Homeland Security’s faith-based security advisory council (FBSAC) member, Chandru Acharya, reflect another episode of hatred perpetuated against American Hindu organizations and their members. There has been a dramatic increase in Hinduphobic micro-aggressions and targeted Hindu shaming in social media channels and extreme left-wing geopolitical crusaders masquerading as journalists.

An observation worth noting is that despite being the target of an ugly mud-smearing campaign, Acharya has provided logical and sincere responses clearly articulating his inclusive personality and demeanor. It is not a surprise that many interfaith leaders and nonprofit organizational colleagues have come forward in his defense and commented eloquently in support of his pluralistic and inclusive credentials. 

A few noteworthy testimonials are listed below :

“I have had the pleasure of working with Chandru on the South Asian American Voice of Impact (SAAVI) board. He serves as the president of SAAVI. Chandru defines Service. He personifies unconditional, unbiased Service to society. Chandru is instrumental in the success of the SAAVI. He brings solidarity, diversity, integrity, culture, and a sense of giving to our group and society as a whole…,” said Sangeeta Khalsa, Sikh American board member of South Asian American Voices For Impact.

“I have known Chandru as a friend for nearly a decade now. He is a man who embraces diversity and has been actively involved in community services/activities both at a personal level and through SAAVI. It’s very difficult for me to fathom his energy levels. He is always ready to help and support the community or individual(s) in distress. I am lucky to have known Chandru at a personal level,” said Jawwad Khan, Secretary of the Board, SAAVI.

These attacks often analyze organizations through the lens of the activists and not based on the practices, culture, and faith that these organizations followed.

The FBSAC provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Homeland Security and other senior leadership on protecting houses of worship, preparedness, and enhanced coordination with the faith community. In this committee of twenty-five distinguished faith leaders, Acharya is the lone Hindu voice representing over 3.3 million Hindu Americans born in the U.S. and those who migrated from India, the UK, the Caribbean, Africa, and other countries.  

Over the last two decades, Acharya has actively worked with diverse community organizations working locally and nationally for social equity and pluralism. Following are some of his widely acknowledged accomplishments:

  • He continues to work tirelessly in the Religious Diversity Journey events of the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metro Detroit to raise cross-cultural awareness among middle schoolers.
  • His work across faith lines during challenging times such as COVID has been exemplary and has been lauded by the interfaith community.
  • He has always been a strong voice in support of minority Hindu Americans who have been targets of Hinduphobic incidents.
  • He has been an interfaith ambassador in Diversity Organizations and has led cultural sensitivity workshops for local law enforcement officials in the State of Michigan. 

One would wonder what made such a cross-community friend and a leader of high integrity and stature be subjected to a baseless campaign of hate. The hate campaigns have been specifically critical of his association as a board member with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS), a U.S.-based, independent, national organization representing Hindus in 34 states across the country.

HSS focuses on teaching Hindu culture and philosophy to Hindu Americans. It is a proponent of Hindu Dharma’s core philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which, per Hindu scriptures, means “The entire universe is one family.” A close look at the events and programs of HSS demonstrates that it is an organization that promotes pluralism, human dignity, and freedom of faith. HSS works with diverse communities, including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and LGBTQ communities. HSS volunteers have been at the forefront of community service initiatives in American society during times of distress – COVID-19, addressing food insecurity, to help raise health awareness, to highlight a few.

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No evidence worth its merit has been produced against HSS that demonstrates that it works for any other agenda than its stated mission. Several neutral media and unbiased agencies have conducted extensive research and studied the work of HSS, articles, and its social media posts. No single example can show that HSS initiated any negativity and hateful campaign against any organization, community, individual, philosophy, or faith.

However, unfortunately, this hate campaign is more and more visible. These attacks often analyze organizations through the lens of the activists and not based on the practices, culture, and faith that these organizations followed. 

Such so-called activism and efforts to cancel any good work in society may give a false sense of satisfaction. But in reality, such misuse of energy adversely impacts the people and the community that otherwise could benefit. It is worth self-reflection for the people and organizations who spend their time only in negativity on social media and in media.

Vikas Deshpande is a member of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA.

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  • Chandru Acharya has many good qualities. HSS may be a good organization but associated with, inspired by RSS of India. RSS & particularly its associates like VHP, Bajarang Dal have a bad global reputation for which they are they are themselves responsible.
    RSS group ( Sangha Parivar) is patronized by Hindu supremacists.
    These are simple facts.

    • Actually these are not simple facts. RSS is the largest voluntary group. I’m critical of them because they refuse to create a proper narration and reputation for themselves believing that charity to the nation should not require any acknowledgement. However, they have been constantly defamed. Look into them, not through New York Times articles or BBC articles but local articles, or videos of them themsevles. RSS even has Muslims and Chrisitans who join for volunteer work. And idk what is a Hindu supremacist when Hindus believe all ways of life are valid. VHP has some extremists who tend towards violence. Bajarang Dal has some negative tendancies too, however you should watch Prerna Thiruvaipati’s interview. She’s a dalit activist and Bajrang dal gives her security protection without shich she’d be dead. They operate in a space where there is a lot of violence against Hindus. Heard of Nagaraju who was a dalit killed for marying a Muslim woman?

      • yeah, just read the books written by the rss founder and then tell us you really believe what you wrote. it’s a fascist hitler loving paramilitary group responsible for deaths of many.

  • It is absolutely necessary to combat this anti-Hindu nonsense from Christian-Islamic journalists . They are ignorant bunch in the pocket of their rich masters.
    They find sycophantic Indian origin people to regurgitate anti-Hindu nonsense.

    • yeah, keep believing no one will read the writings of your criminal founder of the rss who was responsible for so much sectarian violence in india. a hitler lover looking to replicate it in india

  • It is necessary to counter this anti-Hindu narration. Disappointed to see the number of articles defaming this man. I’m glad this one article exists on his behalf but we need way more. Thank you forthis article

    • let’s not kid around. the rss is a criminal organization. the hss is hoping the veil of ignorance will give them cover in america. it won’t. unlike india where you can murder those who oppose you, in america the light will be shined brightly on you and your lies uncovered. just a matter of time before you are run out of this place.

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