Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the sole remaining woman in the Democratic presidential primaries, has been accused of “fascism” and pressured to drop out of the race after she shared a post about hatred of Hindus in the US.
“Unfortunately, Hinduphobia is very real,” Gabbard tweeted on Thursday, saying she experienced it directly both in her congressional and presidential campaigns. “Sadly, our political leaders [and] media not only tolerate it, but foment it,” she added.
By way of example, she retweeted someone quoting a Facebook post about a confrontation with an Uber driver accusing Hindus of murdering Muslims during the recent unrest in New Delhi.
Unfortunately, Hinduphobia is very real. I've experienced it directly in each of my campaigns for Congress & in this presidential race. Here's just one example of what Hindus face every day in our country. Sadly, our political leaders & media not only tolerate it, but foment it. https://t.co/60MDtszQHf
— Tulsi Gabbard ? (@TulsiGabbard) March 5, 2020
Reactions to Gabbard’s post quickly proved her point, as critics swooped on the Hindu-American congresswoman to accuse her of “fascism” over her alleged support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ideology of Hindutva, or Indian nationalism.
“She is a fascist and needs to drop out,” argued Molly Crabapple, a self-described Bernie Sanders supporter.
Rutgers professor Audrey Truschke chimed in as well, saying that Gabbard being Hindu is not the issue, but her “being a Hindu nationalist is horrifying and disqualifying,” and that she has “yet to comment on the Hindu nationalist pogrom in Delhi last week that left more than 45 people dead.”
We have been over this — Tulsi Gabbard being Hindu is no problem. Her being a Hindu nationalist is horrifying and disqualifying.
The most recent salt in the wound: Gabbard has yet to comment on the Hindu nationalist pogrom in Delhi last week that left more than 45 people dead. https://t.co/EyYXUDJO7U
— Audrey Truschke (@AudreyTruschke) March 5, 2020
Not to be outdone, BuzzFeed editor Tom Gara went searching on the timeline of the person Gabbard quoted and found that “she shared something saying Bernie’s campaign has been infiltrated by Islamists,” apparently holding the congresswoman responsible for everything else the person she quoted has ever said.
I looked at the lady Tulsi Gabbard just retweeted re rampant "Hinduphobia" in America and earlier today she shared something saying Bernie's campaign has been infiltrated by Islamists pic.twitter.com/RONuuxTUko
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) March 5, 2020
Gabbard’s defenders were quick to point out how the vitriolic reaction to her calling out anti-Hindu speech and behavior is effectively proving her point.
So @TulsiGabbard calls out a real anti-Hindu hate story—annissue she knows as the first Hindu serving in Congress. So the response? She’s a fascist. Kinda proves Tulsi’s point. ??♀️ https://t.co/LKDH4DfkQI
— Suhag A. Shukla (@SuhagAShukla) March 5, 2020
Demanding that Gabbard speak on behalf of every Hindu and issue a statement every time there is sectarian violence in India “looks petty,” argued journalist Lee Fang, calling it “ridiculous” and comparing it to asking Jewish lawmakers to condemn Israeli violence or Muslims to apologize for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group.
The demand for Tulsi to speak on behalf of every Hindu and to issue a statement every time there's sectarian violence in India looks petty. Why not ask every Jewish lawmaker to condemn Israeli violence? Why not demand every Muslim lawmaker apologize on behalf of ISIS? Ridiculous.
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) March 5, 2020
Fang also pointed out that the current Democrat front-runner Joe Biden has also “embraced and praised” Modi.
“Weird how there’s virtually no condemnation of Biden & Modi and so much intense vitriol at a congresswoman from a marginalized background,” he tweeted.
Journalist Michael Tracey, who has covered Gabbard’s presidential campaign extensively, called the claims that she is funded or backed by Modi “just false,” adding that American Twitter pundits only bring up India when it’s time to bash Gabbard.
“We’re supposed to believe they have a deep understanding of Indian politics when they’re oblivious about the politics of South Carolina,” he argued.
I'm also reflexively skeptical of American Twitter pundits who have nothing to say about Modi, ever, except when it comes to bashing Tulsi. We're supposed to believe they have a deep understanding of Indian politics when they're oblivious about the politics of South Carolina
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) March 5, 2020
Gabbard is the only female Democrat running for the 2020 presidential nomination, after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) dropped out on Thursday, but one would not know that she exists at all from mainstream media reporting. Even the DNC has effectively erased her from existence by keeping her off the debate stage – while altering the rules to allow billionaire Michael Bloomberg, for example – ever since she torpedoed the candidacy of Kamala Harris in August 2019.
She was also described as “the favorite of the Russians” by the failed 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton, prompting Gabbard to sue Clinton for defamation.
(This article first appeared on RT.com on 5 Mar, 2020 with title “Tulsi Gabbard calls out ‘very real’ Hinduphobia in US, gets branded ‘fascist’ as if to prove her point” and has been reproduced here with minor edits.)
Hinduphobia is true across the entire Western world, due to a toxic mix of orientalist academics, left-liberal intelligentsia, and the evangelical Church. In popular Western culture, Hindus are stereotyped with the ‘caste, cows, curry‘ portrayal. Unlike other minority & world cultures which are allowed to speak for themselves in Western academia, practising Hindus are almost completely excluded from Hindu studies in the West. It is a travesty of the highest order that an anti-Hindu bigot like Audrey Truschke gets to teach Indian history at Rutgers, New Jersey, USA.
What makes matters worse is that many rootless Indian-Americans actively collaborate and lead the efforts to portray Hindu Dharma as a regressive, oppressive faith & culture. The rise of Tulsi Gabbard in American politics has managed to bring the ugly anti-Hindu attitudes, bubbling under the surface in Western society, to the fore.
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