US Justice Department and State department urged to investigate US based Tax-Exempt relief organization with links to extremist groups

November 22, 2002

Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA), a Washington Based human rights advocacy group for activism against rising fascism is calling on the US Justice Department and State Department to investigate a US Based, India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) a Tax-Exempt relief organization for allegedly being a conduit to funnel Tax-exempt donations to fascist groups in India. This comes on the heels of a damning report “A Foreign Exchange of Hate (FEH)” released by Sabrang Communications Private Limited (India) and The South Asia Citizens Web (France). The FEH report offers incontrovertible information on the involvement of IDRF in funneling Tax-Exempt donations to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) an extremist group with fascist ideology. The conclusions are apparent, IDRF contributes significantly to the creation of infrastructure and promotion of an ideology that promulgates hate.

This report further corroborates the assertion of many human rights and secular groups that millions of dollars are being sent from the United States to the extremist groups in India, like the VHP (a.k.a World Hindu Council) and the RSS. These tax-exempt charitable donations are being sent to groups that spread hate, indulge in ethnic cleansing and genocide of minorities in India as recently as March 2002 when over 2000 Indians were killed, many burnt alive, hundreds of women and young girls raped and burnt. The VHP has been at the forefront of the recent carnage in Gujarat and The VHP working president, Ashok Singhal called it “a successful experiment, which will be repeated all over the country”. The same groups are responsible for anti-Christian violence in India. Between January 1998 and February 1999 alone, there were 116 attacks against the Christian community in India. The South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center report states: “Most of these attacks have been perpetrated by individuals connected to the Sangh Parivar, which is comprised of rightwing Hindu fundamentalist organizations including elements from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagran Manch. These cells with strong leanings to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal are teaching young minds hate and bigotry. Communal feelings are spreading among the Non Resident community in the U.S., you can almost feel it in the air.” [Aditi Desai, a sociologist from New York and a former lecturer at Delhi University and a consultant for the U.N.]

IMC-USA is also calling United Way and major corporations including CISCO, Sun, Oracle, HP and AOL Time Warner to drop IDRF from their list of charities so that their foundation dollars are not abused to promote the fascist ideology in India and also in the U.S.

Contact: Rasheed Ahmed Telephone (708) 466-0244 www.IMC-USA.ORG

For a full copy of the report see: http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex/2002/FEH/ http://www.sabrang.com/hnfund/sacw/index.html

Coverage in India’s main English daily http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/comp/articleshow?artid=2…
http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/nov/20josy.htm

IMC-USA: Defending India’s freedom, democracy and pluralism.