VHP-America Has Deep Ties to Indian Arm, Sends Material Support: Report

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VHP-America Has Deep Ties to Indian Arm, Sends Material Support: Report

| Updated: April 23, 2024 11:48

This relationship between the organisations in India and the US, the report says, has been strengthened in the five decades of the VHP-A's existence, despite claims to the contrary.

New Delhi: Despite claiming to be an “independent” organisation, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad-America has deep ties – both political and material – with the right-wing Hindutva group in India, a new report has said.

“The VHP-A…must be seen as an inseparable part of the VHP: born from its efforts, and tied by shared personnel, regular coordination meetings and deep financial links — all of which are managed by a layered transnational bureaucracy,” states the report released by Savera – an alliance of Indian-American groups including Dalit Solidarity Forum, Ambedkar King Study Circle, Indian American Muslim Council, India Civil Watch International and Hindus for Human Rights.

This relationship between the organisations in India and the US, the report says, has been strengthened in the five decades of the VHP-A’s existence, despite claims to the contrary.

“VHP-A leaders made regular visits to India to meet with, and receive training from, their VHP counterparts in India, including the Vishwa Sangh Shibir, a once-in-five-years camp specifically directed at overseas workers of the RSS and VHP. Nearly every President or General Secretary of the VHP-A has been documented receiving training at the Shibir,” the report states.

Funds transfer

Funding too has regularly changed hands, according to the report. “The VHP-A has transferred over $7 million to VHP and its affiliates between 2001 and 2020.”

This relationship is symbolic of larger such ties that exist between Hindutva groups in India and the US, the report says. “The implications of these findings are stark. The Global VHP is just one example among dozens of other constituent parts of the broader Sangh network. Not only do similar relationships exist among other Sangh organizations and their overseas wings — say, the RSS and HSS, or the BJP and OFBJP — but in horizontal ways too. For example, the relationship between the VHP and the BJP can be considered analogous to that between the VHP-A and OFBJP, the latter of whom was forced to register as a Foreign Agent in the US in 2020. The dense relationships between these organizations throw into question whether a similar designation would indeed be appropriate for a wider range of organizations.”

This article was first published on The Wire on April 16, 2024.

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